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AP Reporter Hammers Psaki Over U.S.-Israeli ‘Dialogue’ on Iran

• October 29, 2014 4:47 pm

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Associated Press diplomatic reporter Matt Lee grilled State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki over an unnamed U.S. official who "took pride" in the fact that the U.S. had forestalled an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

"Is the administration proud of the fact that it ‘boxed' Israel in or out of conducting some type of military operation against the Iranians?" Lee asked.

"No, we are proud of the fact that we reached an agreement that was credible that was able to stall and roll back the program," Psaki said. "Obviously there's more work to be done. That's why we prevented additional action."

Lee pointed out that even if the Obama administration is not ‘proud' of boxing Israel out of an attack, it is still proud of the result of that policy.

"Well, we have been consulting, as you know, with Israel very closely at very high levels throughout the course of the Iran negotiations," Psaki said.

"Right, and how is that going?" Lee asked.

"I would say we have an open dialogue, Matt, and we talk with them about where the status of the negotiations are, and we hear their concerns," Psaki said.

The ‘dialogue,' Lee pointed out, involves top Israeli officials–including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu–publicly opposing the U.S. proposed ‘deal' with Iran and denouncing inflammatory rhetoric from a top Obama administration official.

"This ongoing dialogue doesn't seem to have done anything in terms of bringing the Israelis on board," Lee said. "Is that not correct?"

Psaki refused to acknowledge whether or not "bringing the Israelis on board" was part of the final deal in halting Iran's nuclear program.

"I think we are continuing to work on this. Obviously we don't have a comprehensive deal at this point in time," Psaki said. "The proof is in the pudding, the details matter, and we'll continue to consult with Israel as we pursue that."