White House: Israel's complaints on Iran talks 'premature'

White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismissed criticism from Israel over the U.S. proposal to loosen sanctions on Iran, saying it was "premature" to weigh in on a deal that had not yet been finalized.

"There is no deal," Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One. "Any critique of the deal is premature."


On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the proposal as a "very bad deal" in comments that could endanger President Obama's attempt to strike an agreement to pause Iran's nuclear weapons program.

“I understand that the Iranians are walking around very satisfied in Geneva, as well they should be — because they got everything and paid nothing,” Netanyahu said. "Everything they wanted."

The Israeli leader said that the proposal, which would offer a small easing of economic sanctions in exchange for Iran freezing its production of highly enriched uranium, was the "deal of the century" for Iran.

On Thursday, President Obama defended the proposal as "very modest relief" during an interview with NBC News.

"We don't have to trust them,” Obama said. “What we have to do is to make sure that there is a good deal in place from the perspective of us verifying what they're doing.”

The president added that the deal would be “greatly preferable to us ratcheting up that conflict higher and higher, which ultimately might lead to some sort of confrontation.”

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryHill.TV's Krystal Ball: Biden campaign has 'big' Hillary Clinton energy Democratic debates are magnet for lobbyists The Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary MORE headed to Geneva on Friday to participate in the latest rounds of talks between the U.S. and five other nations, a sign that a deal could be nearing.