Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer said he spends the vast majority of his time on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program.
Speaking with American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris at the AJC Global Forum in Washington DC on Monday, when asked what he spends most of his time doing, Dermer replied: “Iran, Iran and Iran.”
“I spend 80% of my time on this issue,” he said, speaking to an audience of some 2,000 people representing Jewish communities across the U.S.
Jewish Insider reported that Dermer sought to differentiate between the North Korean Agreed Framework nuclear containment deal signed with the U.S. in 1994, which ultimately broke down in 2003 when North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the current deal underway with Iran.
“In the North Korean deal there were six parties involved but two of those parties were the South Koreans and the Japanese – the ones who were most vulnerable and most threatened were at the table. So it’s very hard to criticize either President Clinton or President Bush,” he said. “It’s hard to criticize them for doing what the South Koreans and Japanese were telling them to do.”
“In this case however, the countries that are most vulnerable and opposed to the agreement are not at the negotiating table and that is a big concern. We hope that at least people will listen to our voice,” he said.
The AJC is one of the oldest Jewish organizations in the U.S., and holds its annual forum in Washington DC every spring.
Dermer was one of many guests at the event, which also included U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the chairman of Israel’s Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid and Vice President at the Brookings Institution Martin Indyk, who was the chief U.S. ambassador to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in 2013-2014.