Top U.S. negotiator tells Israeli journalists: Final Iran deal will be signed by June 30

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Iran and the world powers will reach a comprehensive final agreement on curbing Iran’s nuclear program by the June 30 deadline, the top U.S. negotiator in the talks told Israeli journalists.

A diplomatic negotiated solution is the best option to slow Iran’s nuclear program, Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said during a briefing Monday with Israel’s diplomatic reporters. She said a military strike by Israel or the United States would only set back Iran’s nuclear program by two years.

“You can’t bomb their nuclear know-how, and they will rebuild everything,” Sherman said in the conference call.

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“We think we are headed for a good deal. Is it a perfect deal? No. There is no such thing as a perfect deal.”

The briefing is part of the Obama administration’s efforts to garner support in Israel and among Jewish-Americans for the framework agreement signed earlier this month with Iran.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has expressed opposition to the agreement, saying it would threaten Israel’s survival. He has called on the international community to negotiate a better agreement. Sherman acknowledged that Netanyahu’s concerns are legitimate.

She told the Israeli reporters that the United States remains committed to Israel’s security.

“Israel’s right to exist and Iran’s actions in the region will be dealt with on a parallel track,” Sherman said. “The U.S. will consult Israel on what it needs for its security.”

Sherman reiterated the Obama administration’s promise that a final deal would ensure that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon.