web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Administration Presses Israel to Give Tougher Iran Sanctions a Chance


Obama-010612

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is engaged in a full-court press to persuade Israel that Iran’s nuclear threat can be contained short of war.

The U.S. lobbying has received a mixed reception from Israel, where the Netanyahu government has not ruled out a unilateral strike on Iran.

Iran, meanwhile, is taking an aggressive stance in response to mounting sanctions. Last week the Iranian naval chief, Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if Western sanctions intensified. The threat to close the strait – the passageway for oil from the Persian Gulf states – could presage a war, experts said.

“We may be further along the road to war than most people believe,” said Michael Adler, an Iran scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Experts are divided as to the seriousness of the threat to cut off the strait and whether it will lead to war.

Adler said a direct confrontation between the U.S. and Iran may be inevitable, and that the two countries are headed down that road in “slow motion.”

“Don’t underestimate what the Americans have been saying,” he said, referring to the longstanding U.S. line that all options for dealing with Iran are on the table.

Stephen Rademaker, a former top nuclear arms negotiator in the administration of President George W. Bush, said the blowback Iran would suffer for shutting down the strait suggests that Sayyari was bluffing.

“It would be extremely difficult for them to close the strait for more than a brief period of time,” said Rademaker, now a principal at the Podesta Group, a lobbying shop and think tank. “The U.S. Navy knows how to keep waterways open.”

The resultant war also would give the U.S. a pretext to attack suspected Iranian nuclear sites, he said.

Anthony Cordesman, a former senior U.S. defense intelligence analyst who is now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, wrote that the real threat was not the shutting of the strait – itself an act of war – but of “much lower level attacks which could sharply raise the risk to Gulf shipping.”

Iran also is flexing its military muscles, with an announcement last week that it would fire long-range missiles during a naval drill in the Gulf.

The aggressive posture from Iran comes in the wake of the Obama administration’s increased determination to cut off Iran’s economy as a means of shutting down its nuclear program – and its strenuous efforts to convince Israel’s government that it is serious about doing so.

At the most recent U.S.-Israel strategic dialogue on Dec. 1, the U.S. side, led by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, laid out a detailed plan to accumulate international sanctions against Iran over the next few months. The Americans said their efforts could force Iran to back down from progressing on its suspected nuclear weapons plan or even precipitate regime change.

The plan involves two tracks: aggressive diplomacy engaging states that buy Iranian oil to stop doing so along with lining up other nations – Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iraq were named – to compensate for the estimated 2 million barrels a day that Iran’s isolation would cost the world’s oil markets.

The plan targets, among others, Iran’s Central Bank and its energy sector, and is aimed at squeezing the economy of Iran full force by March, when the International Atomic Energy Agency board next meets and when a new report on Iran’s nuclear weapons capacity is expected to be more damning than ever. Such reports in the past have triggered intensified international sanctions.

The Israelis at the meeting, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, seemed persuaded that the plan had a strong chance of rolling back Iran’s nuclear plans, according to officials who attended. They agreed with American caveats that sanctions must not be rushed.

“The worst thing would be to impose sanctions too soon, and then to have the price of oil go up and Iran profits,” one Israeli at the meeting was quoted as saying.

That reaction would have been a political and diplomatic triumph for the Obama administration – Israeli officials effectively were embracing a more moderate line than Congress, which in the following days passed a law calling for sanctions on the Central Bank to kick in almost immediately – except it apparently didn’t “take” in Jerusalem as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued to press for a more immediate ratcheting-up of pressure on Iran, in part by hinting that Israel might take action alone.

Likening himself to Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, who declared statehood against the counsel of some allies, Netanyahu said in a speech – just days after the strategic dialogue – that he would “make the right decision at the right moment,” whatever allies counseled.

That was seen as a rebuke to Leon Panetta, the U.S. defense secretary, who a week earlier had warned that striking Iran could envelop the region in a conflagration. In subsequent weeks, the Obama administration took steps to reassure Israel that the option of a U.S. military strike was still very much on the table. Panetta said in an interview on CBS that for both Israel and the United States, an Iranian nuclear weapon was a “red line.”

Last week, plans for Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, to visit Israel in January were leaked to Israeli media; his visit likely will coincide with the largest-ever joint U.S.-Israel anti-missile exercise.

The actions have yet to sway Netanyahu into fully cooperating, according to a report in Newsweek. Netanyahu will not agree to give the United States advance warning of a strike, the report said, citing three U.S. officials.

(JTA)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Administration Presses Israel to Give Tougher Iran Sanctions a Chance”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A Muslim social media campaign against ISIS was begun by the British Active Change Foundation.
Muslims Tell ISIS: #NotInMyName [video]
Latest News Stories
A Muslim social media campaign against ISIS was begun by the British Active Change Foundation.

British Muslims launch social media campaign against ISIS, called #NotInMyName.

A seniors’ tennis team from New York is going to a court of law to keep from playing a tournament on Shabbat.

Hamas terrorists prepare their version of the cease-fire.

The cease-fire does not mean Hamas can’t prepare to end it.

Ex-KKK Wizard David Duke.

“How can you separate politics and health? The two go hand-in-hand.” – editor of Lancet medical journal.

7:30 pm From the Ginot Shomron CTU Commander: Official Announcement regarding the security incident in Ginot Shomron today: There was a reported sighting of a suspect in Ginot this afternoon. The suspect was most probably a teenager with a paintball rifle. There were no injuries, no arrests and there are no suspects. The entire incident […]

For the record, Jewish law allows you only to hear on shofar at a time on Rosh HaShanah.

Add BDS to the long list of those who never will forgive Obama.

The Mossad international intelligence agency has launched a new website to recruit potentially qualified candidates.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces that any citizen who went abroad to fight with jihad groups may as well stay there.

Kurdish fighters in Syria say they have stopped the advance of ISIS towards the town of Kobani near the Turkish border.

The US has allegedly sent military aid and intelligence to the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist organization, according to the NYT.

ISIS terrorists are preparing to defend captured territory and using human shields to do it, but they’re also living the high life with chocolate.

For the first time, Hezbollah has used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to bomb its enemies in Syria.

Turkey’s President Erdogan is meeting with Jewish and Armenian leaders in New York — but so what?

Hareidim in Meah Shearim are wasting no time to prepare for the Sukkot holiday, even if we have to still have to first celebrate Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

The infighting between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is starting to get ugly. Good. Maybe that will keep them busy.

More Articles from Ron Kampeas

It’s not yet clear if Nemmouche was acting on orders and, if so, whether the orders came from ISIS.

Capital-Bldg-091214

“The Jewish community is going to have to work harder,” said one veteran official who has worked both as a professional in the Jewish community and a staffer for a Jewish lawmaker.

President Obama in an April 25 press conference seemed ready to take a break. “There may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” he said.

Obama himself suggested that a break from the process may be necessary.

But Israel’s stance is not sufficiently consequential to set off a fight between friends, neoconservative scholars said.

Tensions between Russia and the West are mounting over the Russian military takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, with the United States and European countries threatening to impose sanctions.

Expansive outreach, of course, is nothing new for AIPAC. But in the wake of battles over Iran sanctions legislation that pitted the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse against the White House, many congressional Democrats and liberals more generally, AIPAC’s traditional emphasis on Israel as a bipartisan issue has taken on added urgency.

Administration officials and Jewish groups sympathetic to Kerry’s initiative say there is a longer-term agenda in preempting attacks on the framework peace agreement the Obama administration is expected to propose soon.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/administration-presses-israel-to-give-tougher-iran-sanctions-a-chance/2012/01/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: