Netanyahu and Obama Square Off Over Iran Nuclear Negotiations
The P5+1 meeting on Saturday in Istanbul looked like a major stall maneuver appeasing Iran. The offers to have Iran turn over uranium enriched to a level of 3.5% to third parties like France or Russia looks weak in the face of strident comments by President Ahmadinejad just prior to the Istanbul parlay. Ahmadinejad made it clear in no uncertain terms that Iran was not going to be deterred from its nuclear development objectives. As noted in a Times of Israelreport:
He claimed that the Islamic Republic would insist on its “fundamental rights” to a nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad said that his country would not surrender its nuclear rights “even under the most difficult pressure.”
Catherine Ashton, EU Foreign Relations Commissioner thought the session went swimmingly. Ira Sharkansky noted ,in a Jerusalem Post “Window on Israel” blog post, the cognitive disconnect between Ashton, Netanyahu and Obama:
Catherine Ashton, serving as the European Union's foreign minister and the chair of a meeting in Istanbul between Iran and representatives of Britain, France, Germany, Russia, the United States and China, is upbeat after the first meeting about Iran's nuclear program.
"We have agreed that the nonproliferation treaty forms a key basis for what must be serious engagement to ensure all the obligations under the treaty are met by Iran while fully respecting Iran's right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy."
She also said that the meeting provided a basis to establish a "sustained process of serious dialogue."
Ms. Ashton received a lashing from Israel's prime minister for doing little more than setting another meeting, in late May, and giving Iran more time to enrich uranium without inhibition.
Kenneth Timmerman, veteran Iran watcher and GOP candidate in Maryland’s 8th CD commented:
Just as I have been predicting, the Iranian regime successfully bought time at the first “negotiating” session over its nuclear program on Saturday in Istanbul, aided by Russia, China, and a gullible U.S. delegation.
See anything there about getting the Islamic Republic to stop uranium enrichment? Neither do I. Forget about any calls on the regime to lift its stranglehold on the Iranian people.
Netanyahu who was meeting with US Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut in Jerusalem lambasted the Istanbul meeting as giving the Islamic Republic a “freebie” of another five weeks to continue nuclear enrichment until the venue moves to Baghdad on May 23rd. That is, if the Al Maliki government in Iraq can assure security for the meeting.
Watch this You Tube video report showing Israeli PM Netanyahu speaking with Sen. Lieberman about the P5 +1 meetings and what should be done to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.
President Obama from the rostrum of a meeting in Cartagena, Colombia with the heads of Western Hemisphere governments on drug war issues,was quick to seize on Netanyahu’s remarks for yet another set to between the two heads of state.
Obama said he refused to let the talks turn into a “stalling process,” but believed there was still time for diplomacy.
His assessment, delivered at the close of a Latin American summit in Colombia, came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday had said the U.S. and world powers gave Tehran a “freebie” by agreeing to hold more talks next month.
Obama shot back: “The notion that somehow we’ve given something away or a ‘freebie’ would indicate Iran has gotten something. In fact, they’ve got some of the toughest sanctions that they’re going to be facing coming up in just a few months if they don’t take advantage of these talks.”
Still, in a news conference here, Obama warned to Iran, “The clock is ticking.”
A major Israel TV station on Sunday night broadcast a detailed report on how Israel will go about attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities in the event that diplomacy and sanctions fail and Israel decides to carry out a military strike.
The report, screened on the main evening news of Channel 10, was remarkable both in terms of the access granted to the reporter, who said he had spent weeks with the pilots and other personnel he interviewed, and in the fact that his assessments on a strike were cleared by the military censor.
No order to strike is likely to be given before the P5+1 talks with Iran resume in May, the reporter, Alon Ben-David, said. “But the coming summer will not only be hot but tense.”
[. . .]
Ben-David said that if negotiations break down, and Iran moves key parts of its nuclear program underground to its Qom facility, the IAF “is likely to get the order and to set out on the long journey to Iran.”
“Years of preparations are likely to come to realization,” he said, adding that “the moment of truth is near.”
The Bloomberg article cited earlier by Timmerman in his comment made reference to the possibility that tough EU sanctions to be implemented by July 1st, might be relaxed in furtherance of these discussions:
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the European Union should delay its July 1 ban on Iran’s oil imports to help the talks.
Of course Iran’s delegate to the parlay agreed with the Russian delegate’s suggestion:
Iran’s nuclear envoy, Saeed Jalili, said “we witnessed progress” in yesterday’s talks. “We said before that pressure doesn’t work, we believe that cooperation is fruitful,” Jalili said. “Today we experienced that.”
Obama has yet to implement the toughest authorized sanctions -a moratorium on delivery of refined gasoline and diesel fuel from offshore refineries authorized under PL111-195. That would cause further mayhem in the Iranian economy already alleged by experts to have a consumer inflation rate well in excess of 20%. Obama is out on a limb having postured about engaging Iran in the fruitless P5+1 talks, giving prevailing sanctions more time. Meanwhile those centrifuges in Natanz and Fordo whirl away for another five weeks allowing the Iranians to get closer to sufficient weapons grade fissile uranium to make bombs. If this pattern keeps up, then Iran has indeed entered the 'zone of immunity' for weapons development. Israel, thus, inches closer to 'en brera' - one option- to take out as many of the vulnerable nuclear development centers in Iran as is feasible. Obama and his West Wing NSC contingent believe that would be a US and world economic disaster because of likely closure of the Straits of Hormus in the Persian Gulf, retaliatory attacks against the US Fifth Fleet with resulting spikes in the oil commodity and distillate petroleum products markets. I think it behooves everyone to recall what the international oil markets were like during the covert Tanker Wars of 1987-1988 and what caused the Islamic Republic to capitulate.
You may recall Obama’s comment that he was “watching Israel’s back” when he spoke at the AIPAC Washington Policy Conference last month. One observer, Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, author of Jihad and Genocide doesn’t put much stock in that promise. He commented:
I remain convinced that pro-Muslim, anti-colonialist Obama would not be too upset with the destruction of Israel (as indeed I wrote in Jihad and Genocide) and, if he can get away with it, he will stall until Iran has the bomb. Nor would the destruction of Israel sadden the Europeans. Whether or not stated publicly, their attitude would be “problem solved.” However, I have told my classes that the real measure of a nation is something Ghaddafi forgot, its potential for doing harm, e.g. North Korea. At present, Israel has the potential to do enormous harm. I hope it knows how to use it wisely.
The Israelis and the Iranians know the clock is ticking, we are not sure that the P5+1 delegates know what time it is on Iran’s nuclear clock.
As an American, of Catholic upbringing, though I would consider myself spiritual not religious, I find I have a great deal of respect for the Isreali Jew Netanyahu, but none for my own supposedly fellow American and the President of my own country, Barac Hussein Obama.
I consider Obama to be the anti American, pro socialist, pro Islamic Messiahnic POTUS. I see him as a wrecking ball, smashing into the great ediface America and humanity itself.
He is so destructive to the positves of life his re-election is tantamount to the begining of the end of the world.
I hope liberal dolts think honestly about their choice for POTUS, but then I remind myself the immature can be lead to water, but they cannot be forced to drink.
If I were a Priest, it is here I would begin with, " let us pray ".
One and done. Nobama 2012, vote republican. Thank you.
As I contemplate the current situation vis a vis Islamic Iran, I find myself at odd moments simply saying over and over the Trishagion, the 'thrice-said Holy' -
"Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us."
The God so addressed being, of course, YHWH, He Who Is, the True and Living God, the Holy One of Israel; God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and confessed by Christians also to be 'the God and Father of Jesus (that is, Yeshua) the Messiah'.
As a citizen of a small country a long, long way from the immediate theatre of war, with no means of projecting power beyond our immediate neighbourhood - no long-range missiles, no arsenal worth mentioning - there is nothing else I can do. Though if and when Israel does act, I am fully prepared to step out onto the streets and physically, visibly declare my unconditional support for the Jews' and the Jewish state's right of self-defence against the genocidal Jihad, which includes their right to act in order to avert a second - and atomic - Shoah.