Iran’s charm offensive stopped at the Israeli border Tuesday with its foreign minister calling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a “liar” who is “politically isolated.”
Regardless of nods of agreement from more than a few people in Israel who would say the same concerning domestic issues, the “call it like I see it” accusations by Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif are a bit refreshing after all of the “white lies” and charades played out by the American and Iranian presidents and Prime Minister Netanyahu.
It all started – this time around – when Iranian President Mohammed Rohani’s speech at the United Nations last week was in total contrast to the insults and arrogance of his predecessor Mohammed Ahmadinejad.
The world lost a big advantage with the end of the regime of Ahmadinejad, who at least said what he really believes, ugly or not.
Rohani’s replacing Ahmadinejad is like Mahmoud Abba’s replacing Yasser Arafat. Instead of Arafat’s hip on the holster and direct orders to carry out terrorists attacks, Abbas dresses up in a Western costume with peace-and-love dialogue in English while inciting in Arabic.
Now we have Rouhani speaking with President Barack Obama on the phone for 15 minutes, setting the foundation for “negotiations” that are going to get as far as the “peace process” while Iran continues to work its way towards nuclear capability.
Rohani sweet-talked the West, and Obama poured on the honey at the United Nations without mentioning that “all options are on the table,” meaning that military force could be used to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
He saved that comment for his chat with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who refrained from saying what he thinks by telling the president to get off his bottom and start bombing the “red line” that he drew a year ago at the United Nations.
“I believe that it’s the combination of a credible military threat and the pressure of those sanctions that has brought Iran to the negotiating table,” he said, giving up the chant that negotiations are simply a way to give Iran more time to make the red line a distant memory.
But when it comes to Iran and Israel, each country tells it as it is.
“We have seen nothing from Netanyahu but lies and actions to deceive and scare, and international public opinion will not let these lies go unanswered,” Zarif said in an interview with Iranian television broadcast on Tuesday.
“For 22 years, the Zionist regime has been lying by repeating endlessly that Iran will have the atomic bomb in six months,” Zarif added. “After all these years, the world must understand the reality of these lies and not allow them to be repeated.”
Zarif also said the Prime Minister is the “most isolated man at the UN” as he prepared to give his General Assembly.
The diplomatic deceit practiced by the United States and Iran might be a way to mark time until sanctions convince Iran to ditch its nuclear weapons program. It also might a way to mark time until Iran ditches negotiations and builds a nuclear weapon aimed at Israel.
Iran and Israel’s honest and threatening dialogue could be the prelude to war.
They also could be a healthy way to limit a confrontation to a verbal war in order to keep the peace.