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US will not apologize over Iran: Ex-Obama advisor

 
 
 
 
 
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Former national security advisor to the US President Barack Obama, retired Marine Corps Gen. James L. Jones.

A former national security adviser to the US President Barack Obama says Washington has no reason to apologize to Israel for its handling of the Iranian nuclear energy program.

“The Israelis have been given very very strong assurances about their security by the United States, and I don’t think the United States has to apologize for anything on that score,” retired General James Jones said in an interview with the Washington Times.

Jones comments underscore an increasingly public conflict between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Iran’s nuclear energy program.

Netanyahu has been mulling a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, while Washington — Tel Aviv’s strongest ally –insists for more time to allow diplomacy to work.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the US, Britain, France, China, and Russia — plus Germany (the P5+1 group), wrapped up their latest negotiations in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday and agreed to hold the next round of talks in Baghdad on May 23, 2012. Both sides hailed the talks as successful and constructive.

Last week, Netanyahu denounced the negotiations saying Iran had been given “a freebie” because the West has not demanded that the Islamic republic suspend uranium enrichment.

The US and some of its allies accuse Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.

Iran refutes such claims, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to utilize nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

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