WASHINGTON (AA) – No one, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has produced an alternative plan for preventing Iran from gaining the capability to build a nuclear weapon, the White House said Monday.
“No one else has laid out a strategy for how to accomplish what apparently the prime minister has laid out as his goal. He hasn’t even laid out a strategy for how to accomplish his goal,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
He cast doubt on a possible military solution to the prime minister’s stated goals. “It would require not just a detailed destruction of Iran’s infrastructure, but it also would require the removal of knowledge that Iran has already obtained,” he said.
Earnest’s comments came a day before Netanyahu is expected to address a joint session of Congress to rally opposition against international negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program.
The nuclear talks have until the end of the month to produce a political framework agreement ahead of an end of June deadline for a final comprehensive deal.
Pressed by reporters, Earnest said Netanyahu’s speech would not have “much of an impact” on the final outcome of the talks.
A senior Israeli official traveling with Netanyahu who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters on the flight from Israel that Netanyahu had details of the forming deal that he believed American lawmakers needed to know.
Earnest said if the information in question came from classified briefings Washington holds with Israeli officials, “The release of that information would betray the trust between our allies, and it certainly is inconsistent with the behavior of trusted allies.”
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf stressed, however, that “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and there are a lot of rumors out there and reports of people either, you know, making, you know, flatly incorrect statements or cherry-picking bits and pieces of things they may have heard to try and advance an agenda.”
Secretary of State John Kerry is currently in Montreux, Switzerland, to meet with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Zarif, for a new round of nuclear talks.
Those negotiations are expected to continue for multiple hours through Tuesday, Harf said.
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