State Department spokeswoman says any agreement with Iran would have to meet U.S. standards; adds: Hamas, Islamic State pose different terror threats to U.S.
The U.S. won’t be fooled by what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Iran’s “manipulative charm offensive” regarding the Islamic nation’s intentions toward the West, the State Department’s spokeswoman said Tuesday.
“I can assure anyone that an agreement reached would not be based on a charm offensive or how that impacts us, but on the facts and the details,” Jen Psaki said at a news conference.
“And we’re not going to agree to a comprehensive agreement that doesn’t meet our standards and meet our threshold.”
On Monday, Netanyahu told the United Nations General Assembly that the goal of militant Islam was to “dominate the world.”
Asked whether the Obama administration was worried about such a prospect, Psaki said she was more concerned with getting Iran to agree to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions.
The United States is “focused on the here and now, and our effort is focused on these negotiations and the upcoming deadline in November” for a final nuclear accord with Iran, she said.
Netanyahu told the United Nations that a number of countries backed U.S. President Barack Obama for confronting Islamic State but objected to Israel confronting Hamas in Gaza. The Israeli premier said those countries “evidently don’t understand that [Islamic State] and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree.”
Psaki said that while the United States views both Islamic State and Hamas as terror organizations, Islamic State, which is trying to impose a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, “poses a different threat to the U.S.”
She said the United States did not view Netanyahu’s speech as indicating that he “or anybody else from Israel is suggesting that the U.S. launch a military campaign against Hamas.”
In his remarks to the General Assembly, Netanyahu characterized the UN Human Rights Council as a “terrorist rights council” and an “oxymoron.”
Psaki noted that the United States had also criticized the council for its frequent criticism of Israel, but she also said the country would not agree with Netanyahu’s description of the human-rights body.
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