US Secretary of State John Kerry sought to calm Israeli worries over an emerging nuclear deal with Iran in an interview aired Sunday, dismissing some concerns as brought on by “hysteria” over the possible agreement. Speaking to Israel’s Channel 10 television, Kerry said the deal wouldn’t affect American options to counter any possible effort by Iran to build atomic weapons. He also said he did not believe Israel would surprise the United States by attacking Iran without prior consultation, because of the “huge” potential implications. “I say to every Israeli that today we have the ability to stop [the Iranians] if they decided to move quickly to a bomb.

And I absolutely guarantee that in the future we will have the ability to know what they are doing, so that we can still stop them if they decided to move to a bomb,” Kerry said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been one of the harshest critics of the US-led framework deal with the Islamic Republic, which offers it sanctions relief in exchange for scaling back its contested nuclear program. Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran an existential threat, citing hostile Iranian rhetoric toward the Jewish state, Iran’s missile capabilities and its support for terrorist groups. In an apparent direct response to Kerry’s comments, Netanyahu said Sunday that the emerging deal “endangers Israel, it endangers the region, it endangers the world, the entire world in my opinion. So I think it’s very important to insist on a better deal.” MORE