October 14, 2017 / 2:08 PM / 4 months ago

Israeli minister says was misunderstood on war remarks with Iran

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli minister was not suggesting U.S. President Donald Trump’s words could lead to war with Iran when he reacted to the U.S. leader’s speech concerning the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic, the minister’s spokesman said on Saturday.

In an interview on Friday on Israel’s Channel 2 news after Trump’s speech, in answer to a long question that ended with whether he saw a risk of war, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said: “Absolutely, yes. I think that the speech was very significant,” before expanding on the issue.

Katz’s spokesman said on Saturday that the minister’s reply was directed at an earlier part of the question and that he had not intended to say that an armed conflict would erupt.

Katz was not reacting “to the question which the anchor added later whether the president’s speech could lead to war with Iran,” the spokesman said, rather that the “speech and new strategy could bring about a real change.”

The spokesman added that Katz thought the speech “signaled the (U.S.) administration’s resolve to actively counter the threats which Iran poses, including its nuclear and ballistic missile threat, its support of terror organizations, its subversive activities in the region and its human rights violations.”

Reporting by Dan Williams, Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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