On Monday, November 11, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro spoke at the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) General Assembly in Jerusalem. “There is no greater priority for the United States and for Israel than preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. On this crucial issue, the United States and Israel share an identical objective. President Obama has been crystal clear in stating that he will not permit Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, period. And we are prepared to use all elements of our national power to ensure that we are successful.
Our coordination with Israel in support of this shared goal has been intensive, continuous, and highly effective. Together with many other nations, we have put in place the strongest sanctions regime in history, which has brought Iran to the negotiating table. In these negotiations in Geneva, we will not squander the leverage that sanctions have given us. No deal is better than a bad deal, and we will not agree to a bad deal.
We are seeking, with our P5+1 partners, to test whether Iran is prepared to ensure that its nuclear program can only be used for peaceful purposes. We are trying to first reach an agreement on an initial six-month phase that freezes and rolls back the Iranian program. Iran could get very limited sanctions relief during this period, while the main oil and banking sanctions that have brought them to the table would remain in place, and the pressure would increase. With the time that gives us, we will seek to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that ensures Iran cannot acquire a nuclear weapon.
Our goal is clear: to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, through diplomacy and sanctions if possible, but using other means, including a military option, if necessary. We will not fail to achieve this goal.