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A senior Israeli government official has told Kol Israel this morning that he doubts the Obama Administration’s commitment to prevent Iran “at any cost” from attainting a nuclear weapon.

The official explained that the Administration’s behavior in Syria, in complete contradiction of President Obama’s declarations, shows Israel that it cannot rely on American promises.

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The senior official added that Israel could execute a strike against Iran without American operational support, but such an attack would be less effective than an American operation.

Israel is extremely concerned that the U.S. might be seeking direct negotiations between Washington and Tehran, leading to easing the sanctions against Iran in return for Iranian concessions that would fall short of Israel’s demands.

It’s likely that the high level official’s statement is an expression of the Netanyahu government’s anxiety over the glee with which the Obama Administration has welcomed the election of a new Iranian president. A White House statement following the inauguration of President Hasan Rouhani Sunday read:

“We congratulate the Iranian people for making their voices heard during the election. We note that President Rouhani recognized that his election represented a call by the Iranian people for change, and we hope that the new Iranian Government will heed the will of the voters by making choices that will lead to a better life for the Iranian people. We do believe that his inauguration presents an opportunity for Iran to act quickly to resolve the international community’s deep concerns over Iran’s nuclear program. And, as we’ve said all along, should the new government choose to engage substantively and seriously to meet its international obligations, we are ready to talk to them when they are ready to do so.”

Direct talks, as suggested by the White House statement, always begin with “confidence building measures,” and the Netanyahu government must be worried that it would be picking up the tab on the new couple’s honeymoon.

In the State Dept. daily press briefing yesterday, Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf was asked: “The Israeli Government said over the weekend it does not trust Rouhani because of statements which they say indicate, again, an existential threat to Israel’s existence. Is the U.S. taking that concern under consideration when it looks at how it might want to engage with Rouhani?”

Harf answered that the U.S. will take “the whole range of security concerns, the security problems Iran has presented for the region into account,” when it decides how to deal with the new Iranian Government. She reiterated that it’s important “to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon because of the threat they could pose to Israel, to the region, and indeed to us as well.” But, finally, hope sprang eternal, and Harf acknowledged that the U.S. is “waiting to talk to them when they are ready to engage substantively.” Meaning – one on one.

Harf was next asked “What’s the first step that you would want to see Rouhani take on the nuclear issue?”

“We have a proposal on the table,” she said. “We’ve had it on the table for some time and we’re waiting for a substantive response from the Iranian side on how to move forward. And we’ve been clear that that’s what needs to happen next.”

All of which suggests that the Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei has played a brilliant game in picking his new “moderate” president.

Khamenei made Rouhani chief of Iran’s nuclear negotiations in 2003, for the same reason he made him president this time around – the man can talk a candy out of the western babies’ hands. Rouhani ran the negotiations between Iran and three European states in Tehran and continued later in Brussels, Geneva and Paris.

Rouhani’s team back then was described as “the best diplomats in the Iranian Foreign Ministry.” They prevented further escalation of accusations against Iran, and so prevented Iran’s nuclear case from going to the UN Security Council. They figured out how to temporarily suspend parts of Iran’s nuclear activities to appease the West.

And so, while building confidence, insisting on Iran’s rights, reducing international pressures and the possibility of war, and preventing Iran’s case from being reported to the UN Security Council, Iran succeeded in completing its nuclear fuel cycle and took groundbreaking steps to produce a nuclear weapon.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. NO ONE SHOULD BE ANXIOUS TO ATTACK IRAN. WHATEVER ONE THINKS IRAN IS NO MEAN MILITARY POWER AND IF THE U S OR ISRAEL ATTACKS IRAN THE REPERCUSSIONS FOR ISRAEL WOULD BE DEVASTATING. MANY JEWS AND ISRAELIS.
    WOULD BE ATTACKED WHEREVER THEY ARE AND NO DOUBT ISRAEL WOULD SUFFER SEVERE BOMBING. THE SANCTIONS THOUGH SLOW TO SHOW EFFECT WILL EVENTUALLY CONVINCE IRAN TO COME TO ITS SENSES…WILL THEY GET NUCLEAR WEAPONS? NO MATTER WHAT.. BOMBING THEM OR NO.. THEY WILL GET THEM SOMEDAY AND SO WILL EVERYONE ELSE…THAT IS AN EVENTUAL REALITY.

  2. Barak Obama is the perfect leader for a nation … a people …. who have lost the will … lost the strength …. to be a world power.
    I t is sad to see the end of America …. it is even sadder to see the American people embrace their own decline into third world status.

  3. Why did Nevill chamberlain netanyahu cave in to Hussein Obama's.
    pressure and cave in to the precondition of releaing murderes in.
    order to have talks with Abbas.

  4. Obama never had any intention of using force to stop Iran from getting nukes. I don't think he'd even lift a finger if they attacked Israel. He'd blame it on Israel not willing to make enough concessions to the Palestinians. I remember during the 2008 Democratic candidate debates, the question was asked what he would do if Iran attacked Israel, and he hesitated, he froze before answering, and only after Hillary said without missing a beat that she'd retaliate against Iran immediately, he mumbled something about also retaliating against Iran. Not that I think Hillary would really have been much better with Israel than Obama, but there was never any question that Obama would betray Israel. I am still amazed any Jew supports him. I am disgusted that so many voted for him in the first place.

  5. I don't belive that Netanyahu is anxius to attack Iran, allways Israel never will make a announcement before a attack, also after sometimes say nothing, so I think that Netananyahu will take so a big risk, and is to light if it was a idea, Iran will have such nuke, we ha have tolive with that, that is the reality.

  6. When you lie with vipers, you're going to get bit. I was trying to figure out why Netanyahu was being such a wimp. The only thing I could come up with is Obama might have been promised if he does what he was told, the U.S. will help Israel in dealing with Iran. Let this be an important lesson for Netanyahu. APPEASEMENT DOES NOT WORK. In the end, Israel will have to do what it has always done, go it alone. However, nobody should be naive enough to think that just because Iran has another President, they will somehow become a bastion of freedom. Iran is the same as it always was corrupt, evil, and bent on Israel's destruction. Israel will go through the same thing it did in 1981, when it conducted a preemptive strike against Iraq in order to dismantle their nuclear program. Likewise, Israel will face the same scrutiny and criticism as well. The only question is, will the international community understand and admit they were wrong and Israel was right or will they stew in their own juices.

  7. I don't believe that was it. I do not believe Netanyahu is so stupid by now as to take any promises made by Obama on Iran seriuosly, and Obama must know this. Instead, what happened was this: Remember how back in September of '11, Abbas submitted his formal application for statehood to the UNSC? IT HAS NEVER BEEN BROUGHT UP TO A VOTE. And that is what Obama is holding over Netanyahu's head. Either go along with Obama, or that application IS brought up for a vote, and Obama obstains or even votes for it, an imposed solution that instantly turns Israel into a Rhodesia-style pariah state. No, there were no "promises" here, only threats. And, Netanyahu should stand up to this, as hard as it would be. He's afraid to alienate the U.S., and is looking post-Obama in that regard. This is the only way I can explain his behavior, but this does not excuse him. He MUST stand up to Obama. Three and a half years is way too long to keep making concessions.

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