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US negotiator: Israel rift over Iran deal was ‘very painful’

Wendy Sherman says tension within American Jewish community was ‘one of the most difficult parts’

US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman speaks to the press in Jerusalem on February 22, 2014. (screen capture: YouTube)
US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman speaks to the press in Jerusalem on February 22, 2014. (screen capture: YouTube)

WASHINGTON — A top US negotiator with Iran said enduring the tension the talks engendered between the Obama administration and Israel and the Jewish community was very painful.

“For me personally, one of the most difficult parts was the tension with this beloved country and its people,” said Wendy Sherman, who led the US team in the talks between Iran and six major powers leading to the sanctions relief for nuclear rollbacks deal.

“So having the dissension and the difficulties that we had in this process — and with the American Jewish community of which I consider myself a part — was very, very painful,” she said Tuesday at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, according to Defense News.

The governments of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama, while vigorously at odds over the value of the deal, have agreed to work closely to monitor Iran’s compliance.

“Now our task is to work together for a stable Middle East,” Sherman said at the INSS event. “We must be able to have our discussions directly and without rancor. We must be clear eyed with each other and draw conclusions upon which we can act together.”

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