Skip to comments.Obama’s Meeting with Netanyahu a Last Ditch Effort to Halt Allied Attack on Iran
Posted on 02/20/2012 4:07:13 PM PST by SJackson
The March 5 meeting in Washington between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be the final attempt on the part of the US to bring Israel around to its position on the global efforts to curb Irans nuclear ambitions.
President Obamas National Security Adviser Tom Donilon concluded three days of talks with the Prime Minister and other Israeli leaders in Jerusalem Monday, in the midst of a brewing Israeli push for a military end to Irans nuclear plans. Donilon conducted a caustic, 2 hour conversation with Netanyahu Sunday, in which the two disagreed radically on the ways to deal with Irans progress in enriching uranium and the relocation of its nuclear production to underground sites.
Mondays statement from the White House said that Donilon and the U.S. delegation discussed the full range of mutual security concerns, and that the visit was part of the continuous and intensive dialogue between the United States and Israel and reflects our unshakable commitment to Israels security.
Donilon was only the latest American official to meet with Netanyahu and with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, after the chairman of the U.S. joint chiefs of staff Gen. Martin Dempsey January visit to Israel. Dempsey said on CNN Sunday that an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would be destabilizing, and that such a move wouldnt be prudent at this point.
According to sources in Israel, Netanyahu bitterly reproached the Obama administration for essentially assuring Iran that it could continue to enrich uranium, as long as it promised not to build a nuclear weapon. In Netanyahus view, this was a substantial deviation from the US administrations previous assurances to Israel, as Tehran is now free to upgrade its uranium enrichment level to weapons grade. Israel will not tolerate this change, stated the enraged Netanyahu, suggesting he will seriously consider the military option.
Washington Post columnist David Ignatius wrote this month that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June before Iran enters what Israelis described as a zone of immunity to commence building a nuclear bomb.
But the US is apparently convinced that this option will simply not work. In his interview on CNN, Gen. Dempsey said Israel only has the capability to strike Iran and delay the Iranians probably for a couple of years. But some of the targets are probably beyond their reach.
(According to the Iranian Mehr news agency, air defense maneuvers began in southern Iran on Monday. The maneuvers are meant to enhance the countrys integrated network of air defense with a focus on modern defensive tactics, and to increase the countrys preparedness in the face of military threats, particularly possible attacks on densely populated areas, sensitive and vulnerable centers, and nuclear facilities.)
A high-ranking delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in Tehran early Monday morning. The delegation, headed by Herman Nackaerts, the IAEA deputy director general and the head of the IAEA Department of Safeguards, has come to Tehran to help resolve disputes over Irans nuclear activities.
The talks in Tehran follow an announcement Sunday by Irans oil ministry that it was halting crude exports to French and British companies, an order following a threat that Iran would cut oil exports to some European Union countries in retaliation for sanctions put in place last month by the EU and the United States.
Iran has no difficulty in selling and exporting its crude oil. We have our own customers and have designated alternatives for our oil sales. We shall sell to new customers, who will replace French and UK companies, ministry spokesman Ali Reza Nikzad-Rahbar said in a statement.
But Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Monday he expected relations with Europe to improve. The two sides need each other, he said, adding, I believe that relations will return to their earlier state.
General Nikolai Makarov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia and First Deputy Minister of Defense, said last week that Iran is a sore spot, I think a decision will be made by the summer.
Russia is adamantly opposed to any military action against Iran, although it supported UN Security Council sanctions against Tehran.
According to Gideon Rachman at the Financial Times, Israel is not the only factor. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are also obsessed with the need to prevent Iran getting nuclear weapons. Also, Barack Obama may still be very keen to avoid conflict, but in a presidential election year, it is harder for him to rein in Israel. Rachman suggests Britain and France the two most important European military powers are also seriously contemplating the prospect of conflict with Iran. Indeed, in marked contrast to the run-up to the Iraq war, the British and the French seem to be more bellicose than the Americans.
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Someone has to stick up for Iran, other than China or Russia. Why not Obama.
Obama pledging support IF Israel waits until Aug/Sept/Oct .
My prayers and my resolve belong to Israel.
I hope Bibi stands him up.
re: “My prayers and my resolve belong to Israel.”
Absolutely with you on this. Iran should have been taken out years ago. We should be helping Israel in every way possible to stop the nuclear threat from Iran.
Hang tough, Bibi! Don’t listen to this liar-in-chief.
I wouldn’t listen to anything Obama has to say on the matter.
Aside from the strong possibility that he is really Muslim, he’s just simply unreliable.
If I was to counsel The Israel Prime Minister, it would be to scratch my face at Obama with the 3rd finger most prominently in view for the world to see!
This is no time for amteurs or politicians mouthing platitudes. A serious, knowledgeable and very smart leader is crucial, which is why Colonel Oliver North has endorsed him, along with Dr. Thomas Sowell.
For Iran it is a matter of kill and destroy.
For Israel it is a matter of self-preservation
Obama, as usual, is focusing on the wrong faction.
I assume Obama will make a grand show of treating Netanyahu with respect in order to firm up the Jewish vote for November. Like everything else, Iran is secondary to that.
He is no friend of Israel. Bibi knows this more than anyone. He will proceed with their plan no matter what the fraud in the WH says.
Bibi was already scheduled to be in DC for the AIPAC policy Conference. Almost all the Congressman and Women and Senators are set to speak to AIPAC. I don’t see Obama scheduled yet. I thought that was good he might get Boo-ed by the 12,000 attendees.
The German Jewish leaders in the early 1930’s failed to understand that Hitler’s rants were not just rhetoric. Bibi will not make the same mistake with the Iranians. Nor will he leave this burden to his successor. His term may end in early 2013. Whether Obama likes it or not, the Israelis will soon take definitive action.
As for “targets beyond reach”, Israel should deploy conventional bombs with spent plutonium casings. Even if the rats have gone underground they will have to stay there for the next several hundred years, due to poisonous plutonium dust in the environment.
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