Daily Kickoff: Israel & Lebanon trade gunfire; Saudi Prince bashes Obama’s Foreign Policy; List of Jewish leaders’ salaries; Bloomberg Associates

David Ignatius: Q&A with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister – Washington Post: Q: David Ignatius: Let me begin by asking about the state of the negotiations. After your delegation left technical negotiations in Vienna on Friday, your colleague Abbas Aragchi said that the U.S. announcement of a move to strengthen enforcement of existing sanctions “is against the spirit” of the Geneva deal” and said that Iran was evaluating an “appropriate response.” Can you clarify that and explain what you think Iran’s position should be.

A: Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian foreign minister: We are committed to ensuring that the process that we started — and it required a lot of courage on our side to reach his agreement — will lead to a satisfactory conclusion that would address the requirements as stated in the [Geneva interim] agreement — that is, to have an enrichment program in Iran while at the same time both concerns as well as restrictions imposed by the international community will be removed. This is the objective. Since we believe our program is exclusively for peaceful purposes, we have no desire to leave any ambiguity about the exclusively peaceful nature of our program. So on our side, we believe it is very easy to reach an agreement. Of course it requires serious political will and good faith in order to reach that agreement.” [WashPost]

Iranian Foreign Minister says no trace in Iran of missing Jewish ex-FBI agent: “There are no traces in Iran of the former FBI agent who disappeared there six years ago, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on CBS’s “Face The Nation” on Sunday.” [Reuters] (more…)

Jewish Insider Kickoff – Nov. 6

Top Talker – Report: Iran and Israel met for secret talks – “Iranian and Israeli diplomats, as well as those from the U.S. and Arab countries, participated in a secret meeting last month to discuss the possibility of an international conference on banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East, according to The Jerusalem Post. Diplomats told the Israeli newspaper Tuesday the meeting occurred Oct. 21-22 in a hotel in Glion, Switzerland. The envoys expressed their positions, but the Israeli representatives had no direct communication with the Iranians and Arabs, the report says. An Arab diplomat told Reuters, however, “that they were there, the Israelis and Iran, is the main thing.”

–More than a dozen delegations attended the meeting along with Jaakko Laajava, Finland’s undersecretary of state, who is responsible for organizing the conference, a diplomat said in the reports. The source also described the meeting as “quite constructive,” and suggested another meeting would take place in November. “This was a completely procedural meeting,” a foreign ministry official in Jerusalem told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. President Obama tasked Secretary of State John Kerry with navigating peace talks with the Iranians on their nuclear program. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in September he would not produce nuclear weapons and told Obama he’s open to negotiating the limits of his country’s program with the international community. During his international trip Tuesday, Kerry said in Poland the U.S. does not yet have a deal with Iran. The G-5 — the U.S., France, Britain, Russia and China, plus Germany — are slated to hold a new round of negotiations in Geneva on Thursday and Friday.” [The Hill] (more…)