On Wednesday, Benjamin Netanyahu issued a warning to the international community. A bad deal on Iran's nuclear program, the Israeli prime minister cautioned in an address to the Israeli parliament, could lead to war.
As U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice sees it, however, the Israeli leader is getting ahead of himself.
"I think it's important that everybody understand what the deal is that needs to be reached and then they can make a judgment on its contours," Rice said this afternoon, during an interview with Walter Isaacson at the Washington Ideas Forum in Washington, D.C.
"You think [Netanyahu] doesn't understand the deal?" Isaacson asked.
"Well it's not done, so by definition it's premature to judge it because the outlines have yet to be finalized."
With an interim deal with Iran stalled, Rice attributed the gridlock to Iranian reservations, not French opposition, as some have reported. The French are "fully on board," she said. "Some of the reporting on this has been frankly misleading."
Rice also addressed friction with another longtime ally in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia. Ever since the Saudis took the stunning step in October of rejecting a seat on the U.N. Security Council—in protest over Western decisions to not intervene militarily in Syria and reach out diplomatically to Iran—speculation has mounted about just how frayed relations are between Washington and Riyadh.