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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘irans’

Obama’s UN Legacy: Whitewashing Iran’s Nuclear Cheating; Outlawing Jewish History

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Legal Insurrection website}

The year was bookmarked by the passage of UN Security Council resolution 2231 in January, giving U.N. authority to the Iran Nuclear Deal, and resolution 2334 last week, purporting to declare illegal the presence of Jews in areas in which form a key part of Jewish history.

In the case of the Iran deal, the United States led the Security Council and voted for the resolution enshrining the nuclear deal into what passes for international law. In the case of the more recent resolution, the United States abstained, according to some incoherent reasons spouted by US Ambassador Samantha Power, but it looks like, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charges, that Obama orchestrated it. (Yesterday, Netanyahu spokesman David Keyes charged that Israel had “ironclad information” that Obama was indeed behind the maneuver}.

In the case of 2231, the Security Council reversed a decade of policy and undermined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by removing nuclear-related sanctions from Iran without insisting that Iran stop enriching uranium first. Obama, of course, obfuscated this by saying that sanctions brought Iran to the table. That’s incredibly misleading. Iran was sanctioned because it was a nuclear outlaw. Not only a nuclear outlaw, but a nuclear outlaw that had threatened and continues the destruction of another member state.

But administration officials insisted that Iran had, during sanctions, neglected too many civilian needs, so it would use the billions to shore up its crumbling infrastructure. Iran said it would use the billions to further its destabilizing activities and has done so. The destruction of eastern Aleppo, is the latest sign that Iran was emboldened by the deal that whitewashed its crimes and convinced its leaders that they could get away with mass murder. (Amb. Power telling Iran, Russia and Syria that they should be ashamed of themselves is not any sort of punishment.)

Eleven months after exonerating Iran, Obama put Israel in the penalty box by allowing a resolution that stated, “that Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law,” meaning of course that the Jewish presence in the Old City of Jerusalem, (which Jews were illegally ethnically cleansed from by Jordan in 1948) is against international law.

This is just a secularized version of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s September 2015 declaration that the PA “won’t allow Jew’s filthy feet” to defile the holy places in Jerusalem. Just as Abbas statement served as a call to arms beginning last year’s “knife intifada,” resolution 2334 has become a call for more terror. That call hasn’t just been made by Hamas, but also by Abbas’s “moderate” Fatah movement.

In other words with its support of these two resolutions it has given Israel’s enemies a license to kill, while limiting what Israel can do to defend itself.

There are other aspects to these twin betrayals that are worth mentioning.

Both show that international outlaws can get what they want by simply waiting. As noted above, Iran hated sanctions and hated being branded an outlaw. With Obama eager to make a deal they saw an opportunity to get their crimes expunged AND keep their illicit uranium enrichment program. Obama said simply that Iran would never agree to scrap its enrichment program if there was to be a deal. (This of course contradicted the common administration refrain that no deal was better than a bad deal.)

But Abbas, too, has benefited from changing circumstances. The Washington Post, which has spent most of the past two months warning that Donald Trump would break with traditional foreign policy, woke up to the fact that Obama has already done that regarding Israel. An editorial Friday observed that Obama had “[reversed] decades of practice by both Democratic and Republican presidents,” of “[vetoing] past resolutions on the grounds that they unreasonably singled out Jewish communities in occupied territories as an obstacle to Middle East peace.”

The editorial also correctly noted, “The Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas proved unwilling to negotiate seriously even during the [2010] settlement freeze, and it refused to accept a framework for negotiations painstakingly drawn up by Secretary of State John F. Kerry in 2014.” In other words the failure of the Obama administration to make peace can be traced to Palestinian intransigence.

But as Post editor Jackson Diehl noted back in 2009, Abbas had been reassured by his early meeting with Obama that “the United States will simply force Israel to make critical concessions, whether or not its democratic government agrees, while Arabs passively watch and applaud.” And as Prof. Jacobson noted back in 2011, that Obama sought to make peace based on the so-called 1967 borders.

This was a change in U.S. policy. First of all, the 1967 borders, prior to the Six-Day-War were the never-meant-to-be-permanent 1949 armistice lines. In fact President Lyndon Johnson, during whose administration the war occurred, believed the armistice lines to be a prescription for renewed war.

Second of all, the basis for calling the territory won by Israel in 1967 “occupied” requires a fraudulent reading of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The Fourth Geneva Convention is a point of convergence for both shameful UNSC resolutions as Dore Gold, former Director-General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a conference call last week, “And we are seeing the Iranians using the Shi’ite population from Iraq and as far away as Afghanistan and Pakistan and moving them into these areas to alter the demographic balance of the Levant. That is exactly what the Fourth Geneva Convention wanted to address, and that is exactly what is being ignored today by the UN.”

Hypocritically, the Obama administration is refusing to apply the Fourth Geneva Convention to rein in Iranian aggression resulting from the nuclear deal, but using it to vilify Israel.

In short, what Obama has done is used the U.N. to give every benefit of the doubt to Israel’s enemies and to criminalize Israel for existing. This is Obama’s shameful Middle East legacy done with the connivance of the United Nations.

 

David Gerstman

Why Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei Is Supremely Confident

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

One year after they signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, popularly known as the Iran deal, the Iranians are secretly attempting to procure illicit nuclear technology and equipment. So says Germany’s domestic intelligence agency.

It appears the mullahs are supremely confident that America and the West will do nothing to enforce the agreement.

Looking back on the Iran nuclear deal and the singular role Iran’s American lobby, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), played in the formulation and promotion of the agreement, it’s clear that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s past experience with President Obama has given him good reason to believe the current U.S. administration will continue to play ball.

Iran designated NIAC as the Iranian lobby in the U.S. and coordinated its efforts with government agencies in Tehran. To its American audience, NIAC, founded in 2002 by Iranian Trita Parsi, presented itself as “the largest grassroots Iranian-American organization advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community.” But only our government seemed to believe this. When polled, Iranian Americans felt that NIAC was a lobby for the ayatollah’s Islamic Republic.

From its inception, years before the Obama presidency, DC-based NIAC and its allies advocated that the U.S. offer broad “economic, security, and diplomatic concessions” to Iran; “embark on a policy of unconditional dialogue and sanctions relief” to normalize relations; and in the interest of regional stability, encourage an Iranian “sphere of influence.”

Much of what we know about NIAC’s activities comes from internal documents of a 2008 defamation lawsuit NIAC filed against an Iranian U.S. journalist who had called NIAC and Parsi “key players in the lobby enterprise of Tehran’s ayatollahs in the United States.”

Court evidence exposed NIAC’s central role in promoting Iran’s geopolitical interests. Parsi, NIAC’s first and only president, has ties to Tehran and maintains a long-term working relationship with Iranian Foreign Minister and chief nuclear negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif. The court dismissed the case in 2013 and found that Parsi’s work for NIAC was “not inconsistent with the idea that he was first and foremost an advocate for the [Iranian] regime.”

Parsi dangled “access to Iranian markets” before various business interests. Perhaps Boeing was one of them? He advocated “respecting” the Islamic Republic, insisting that Iran and the U.S. shared common goals. A 2008 NIAC document stated that, in one month, NIAC met with more than 50 Democratic and Republican members of Congress.

In articles and a book, Parsi urged the U.S. to distance itself from Israel, “the sole force behind…the sanctions against Iran,” and launched a campaign to minimize the importance of Iran’s systemic anti-Semitism, which he called irrelevant.

The 2008 election of Obama gave the Iranian lobby an ally in the White House. Had Khamenei been able to personally select a U.S. president, he could not have chosen one more aligned with his goals than Obama. Both were convinced that the U.S. was the source of problems around the globe and both were committed to U.S. disengagement from the Middle East.

During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran via William Miller, former U.S. ambassador to Iran, to assure Khamenei that he would like Obama’s policies.

Throughout his first term, Obama displayed his eagerness to engage with Iran, sending letters to Khamenei and repeating NIAC’s talking points regarding Iran’s important potential leadership role and the need for rapprochement.

In his second term, no longer restrained by reelection realities, the American president pushed detente with the terror state and a nuclear deal in keeping with NIAC’s lobbying goals. The Obama administration defined the Iran situation as a choice between “a nuclear deal or war,” a dichotomy straight out of NIAC’s (and Iran’s) playbook.

In December 2014, Obama told National Public Radio that Iran’s “legitimate aspirations” should be respected. He speculated that the Islamic Republic “could be a very successful regional power.” Interviewed in The Atlantic, Obama claimed the regime’s anti-Semitism is just an “organizing tool” used “at the margins” and didn’t override Tehran’s other strategic interests. Again, NIAC messaging. Convinced that Israel was an impediment to rapprochement with Iran, Obama put “daylight” between Washington and Jerusalem, a recommendation promoted by Parsi.

Throughout the Obama presidency, NIAC continued to proselytize State Department, Department of Defense, White House, and CIA personnel; briefed former secretary of state Hillary Clinton; and met with Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Two former NIAC staffers are important advisers to the president and the State Department on Iran policy.

The Iranians used their influence to manipulate a malleable, inexperienced American president – a man predisposed to the idea of Iranian Middle East hegemony – to capitulate to the world’s most prolific state sponsor of terror. They realized Obama was desperate for a nuclear deal to jump-start his transformative foreign policy legacy, and used this vulnerability.

In David Samuels’s New York Times Magazine interview in May, Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, bragged about creating an “echo chamber” within the media and organizations outside of the White House to sell the Iran nuclear deal to the public. He failed to mention that it was Iran – through NIAC – that created an “echo chamber” within the Obama administration to promote the deal in the first place.

Khamenei took the measure of our president and played Obama like a fiddle, with NIAC as its bow. He’s now reaping the benefits of this sophisticated shell game.

JNS

Ziva Dahl

Iran’s Holocaust Cartoon Contest is no Caricature of Regime’s Identity

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

{Originally posted to the JNS.org website}

A haredi Jew looks into a mirror and sees the face of Adolf Hitler gazing back at him. The walls and guard towers of Auschwitz are squeezed into a snow shaker, with flying dollar bills replacing the fake snowflakes. Another haredi Jew waves a swastika-shaped fan at an Israeli flag, which blows furiously atop a corpse draped in a Palestinian flag.

Not enough? There’s more. The gates of Auschwitz, adorned with the deadly motto “Arbeit Macht Frei,” swing open to reveal the Al-Aqsa mosque, which sits on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, devils’ horns jutting from his forehead, gives a Nazi salute; instead of his usual business suit, he wears a bloodstained brown uniform, with a Star of David rendered as a swastika decorating the sleeve.

These are just a selection of the entries submitted to Iran’s latest Holocaust cartoon contest, currently on display in Tehran at the none-too-subtly named Islamic Propaganda Organization. By and large, the cartoons are crudely drawn, in keeping with the themes that they promote.

Yet I have to confess to being more bored than shocked. Such imagery is hardly new, after all. The depictions of Jews in this exhibit are straight out of Nazi propaganda, while the depiction of the State of Israel as Hitler’s inheritor was pushed by the Soviet Union for almost half a century. The Islamist barbarians who run Iran may be many things, but creators of pathbreaking art they are definitely not.

As fashionable as it is in President Barack Obama’s circle to pretend that the Iranian regime is in the throes of dramatic change, with a surging “moderate” wing that wants to engage the West, this latest cartoon contest—like last year’s contest, like the first cartoon contest in 2005, and like the conference of Holocaust deniers convened in 2006—demonstrates that the mullahs’ cannot kick their enduring pathology: striking a blow at the global Jewish conspiracy by wiping Israel off the map.

Even if we accept for the sake of argument that the regime can be simply bifurcated into “moderates” and “hardliners,” those Iranian leaders identified in the West as “moderates” come out of this latest cartoon scandal looking far shabbier than their “hardline” rivals. Recall that Iran’s “hardline” supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, chose Holocaust Remembrance Day to question whether the slaughter of 6 million Jews had in fact occurred. The cartoon contest, backed to the hilt by the regime, is the natural outgrowth of Iran’s state policy of anti-Semitism, which holds that the Holocaust is a myth shamelessly used by the Jewish state to garner world sympathy. Khamenei and his cohorts, who are structurally and politically at the center of power in Iran, are quite open about all this and don’t feel the need to rationalize or excuse the state-sponsored mockery of the genocide of Jews.

Not so with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, whose detestation of Israel doesn’t blind him to the fact that the countries he flirts with, like Germany, take a dim view of Iran’s Holocaust denial antics. But unlike the “hardliners,” who are disarmingly honest about their views on the Jewish people and their desire to eliminate Israel, Zarif speaks with a forked tongue.

That shouldn’t mask the fact that Zarif is both a coward, since he refuses to condemn the cartoon contest, and a liar, since he insists that the regime he represents has nothing to do with it. Speaking to The New Yorker, Zarif clucked, “Don’t consider Iran a monolith. The Iranian government does not support, nor does it organize, any cartoon festival of the nature that you’re talking about.” That claim is about as truthful as the Obama administration’s reassurance that the nuclear deal struck with Tehran will prevent the regime from developing nuclear weapons. In other words, it isn’t at all.

No doubt, there are those who will take Zarif at face value, and perhaps even laud the fact that, by his account, artists exhibiting in Iran have creative license unfettered by government restrictions—so long, that is, as their subject is the Holocaust. For those not seduced by wishful thinking, there is the cold reality that the cartoon exhibit is completely dependent upon regime support. As the Iranian writer Majid Mohammadipointed out in a detailed briefing published by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the institutions involved in the exhibit are “all organized, financed, and managed under the supreme leader’s office, his appointed bodies, and the executive branch headed by the president. There are no private or independent nongovernmental institutions active in this area. The government and its varied set of institutions are the only ones that pay for these types of ideologically oriented activities. There is no channel for private funds, and no provision in Iran’s tax code, to support these activities.”

Why engage in such an activity in the first place? “The Islamic Republic seeks to be the most prominent global voice of antisemitic and anti-Israel sentiment and in doing so has made connections with and promoted individuals espousing these views from across the world,” Mohammadi says. “The Holocaust is just a subject of a set of cartoons in this effort.”

This is not a recent development, nor is it related to Israeli policy or anything Israel actually does. Anti-Semitism among Iran’s Islamists in fact precedes the creation of the State of Israel. In his excellent book “Germany and Iran: From the Aryan Axis to the Nuclear Threshold,” German historian Matthias Kuentzel described the massive audience in Iran for Radio Zeesen, a Nazi propaganda outlet that broadcasted programming in Farsi. Among the listeners was the figurehead of Iranian Islamism, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. According to Kuentzel, Khomeini was an enthusiastic “connoisseur” of European anti-Semitism. “They are liars and determined,” Khomeini wrote in a tract entitled “The Islamic State.” There was also the following claim, based on the same wretched fantasies that lead to Holocaust denial: “We see today that the Jews (may God curse them) have meddled with the text of the Qur’an and have made certain changes in the Qur’ans they have printed in the occupied territories.”

These same views prevail among Iran’s leaders today, no matter what Zarif says. Indeed, to disavow Khomeini would be unthinkable in the current context, as demonstrated by the recent election of Ayatollah Ahmed Jannati as head of the “Assembly of Experts,” a key ruling body that chooses the supreme leader.

Jannati is a boilerplate fanatic who leads chants of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” at Friday prayers. It was Jannati who, in 2009, backed then president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s blood-drenched crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrators. The regime that existed in 2009 still exists today, with the same mechanisms of fearsome repression at its disposal. It cannot be reformed, and certainly not from within. But—heretical as it is to say this—it can, and should, be overthrown.

cart 2

Ben Cohen

150 Holocaust Cartoons from 50 Countries in Iran’s Latest Attempt at Humor

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

150 Artists from 50 countries are taking part in the Third International Holocaust Cartoons Competition that began on Saturday on the premises of Iran’s Arts Bureau in Tehran. The curator of the competition, one Masuod Shojai-Tabatabai, claimed it had nothing to do with denying the Holocaust, but that it was meant to highlight the plight of Muslims currently being “massacred by the Zionist regime in Gaza and Palestine.”

He had nothing to say about the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who actually have been massacred by Iran’s satellite tyrant Bashar al-Assad in Syria, in full collaboration with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. (Only yesterday, the Independent reported about thousands of children who were trapped in a Palestinian refugee camp that had been bombed by Syrian government, with full Iranian support).

“We do not mean to approve or deny the Holocaust; however, the main question is why is there no permission to talk about the Holocaust despite their (the West) belief in freedom of speech,” Shojaei-Tabatabai inquired. “Moreover, why should the oppressed people of Palestine pay the price for the Holocaust?”

The contest includes two sections of cartoon and caricature, Shojaei-Tabatabai said, adding that the portraits of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Adolf Hitler have been highlighted in the caricature section.

Good to know.

One of the exhibition's walls / Photo credit: Mehr

One of the exhibition’s walls / Photo credit: Mehr

The first place winner in the cartoon section will receive a cash prize of $12,000, with those in second and third place taking home $8,000 and $5,000 respectively.

In the caricature section, the first place winner will have a cash prize of $7,000, the second $5,000 and the third $3,000.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif insisted in a recent interview with the New Yorker that there are no ties between the Iranian government and the cartoon contest. “It’s not Iran,” he said. “It’s an NGO that is not controlled by the Iranian government. Nor is it endorsed by the Iranian government.”

But Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Conference, said everybody knows NGO running the vile competition is directly linked to and funded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the same Revolutionary Guards who are massacring Syrian civilians even as we speak.

“It has always been clear who runs Iran: the fundamentalist radicals seeking Israel’s destruction,” Lauder said in a statement. “The fact that Iran is once again providing a platform for this competition proves that it has still not changed its colors and if given the chance, could still be as dangerous as ever.”

JNi.Media

Obama Negotiates Amid Iranian Genocidal Intent

Monday, October 7th, 2013

President Obama’s overtures to Iran are troubling and dangerous, and I find it astonishing that the leader of the free world would reestablish communication with the world’s foremost sponsor of international terror at the Presidential level without any preconditions.

First, there is Iran’s funding of Hamas and Hezbollah, murderous organizations with declared genocidal intent against Israel and Jews worldwide. How could the President of a nation that experienced the horrors of 9/11 pick up the phone to the leader of a country which pays for the maiming and murder of Jewish and Arab children? In Syria, Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy army, has become the private militia of Bashar Assad to help slaughter the Syrian people. President Obama has unfortunately chosen not to punish Assad for the chemical gassing of children, rendering his own red line less than useless. But can he not at least demand that Iran cease funding and supplying Assad’s butchers in Syria before they can rejoin the community of nations? Is outreach to mass murderers consistent with American values?

In Israel, Hamas, which until recently received a river of funding from Iran, just a month ago tried to plant a bomb in the Mamilla mall – just a few minutes walk from the kotel – that is at all times packed with people and where I often walk with my children.

Then there are the oft-repeated genocidal aspirations of the Iranian government itself to wipe the State of Israel off the map. And lest someone say that that was all Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and not President Rouhani, I remind you that the real leader of Iran is Ayatollah Ali Khameini who threatened as recently as this past March to “destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa” and last August said that “the fake Zionist (regime) will disappear from the landscape of geography,” adding that the “cancerous tumor” Israel had to be removed, expressing the hope that the Arab spring would inspire an Islamic “awakening” that would ultimately fulfill Iran’s goal of annihilating Israel.

But even if Iran’s supreme leader did not continue his vows to exterminate Israel, we have not even heard President Rouhani explicitly denounce the crazed threats of Jewish extermination that were the hallmark of his predecessor Ahmadinejad.

Is it possible that an American president would open negotiations with a country who have not renounced their intention to produce a second holocaust and who continue to enrich uranium and work on a plutonium bomb that can be used to that effect?

As for holocaust denial, when Christiane Amanpour asked Rouhani, “Does the right honorable gentleman from Tehran believe the Holocaust actually happened?,” the accurate, as opposed to the misreported, Fars news agency translation of his response was this: “I have said before that I am not a historian and historians should specify, state and explain the aspects of historical events. But generally we fully condemn any kind of crime committed against humanity throughout the history, including the crime committed by the Nazis both against the Jews and non-Jews… Therefore, what the Nazis did is condemned, (but) the aspects that you talk about, clarification of these aspects is a duty of the historians and researchers, I am not a history scholar.”

How much real progress from Ahmadinejad is there in this convoluted, ridiculous response? Crimes were committed, but not a holocaust, against both Jews and non-Jews, and even this must still be verified by historians.

All of which leads to the question of why President Obama embarrassed the United States by practically begging the President of Iran, a terror state, to publicly shake his hand at the UN?

With Obama’s phone call to Rouhani, Netanyahu has once again been put on the defensive by the American president. Obama’s inexplicable outreach to the Iranians, amid their genocidal proclamations against Israel and deep hatred of the Great Satan America, have made Bibi appear, once again, like a war-monger.

Yet, last week an acquaintance of mine, who has connections with the Israeli government, received a phone call from an Iranian diplomat asking him to intervene with Prime Minister Netanyahu himself. “Can you tell Netanyahu to leave us alone already, to stop abusing Iran?” This phone call, as well as the many attacks by the Iranian government against Netanyahu personally, show that the Prime Minister’s message of Iran remaining unrepentant murderers is working. Rouhani’s charm offensive is not breaking completely through.

Few of us have the platform of an Israeli premiere. But when the stakes are this high, with Iran threatening a genocide of the Jews, each of us, Democrat, Republican, and Independent, as well as Jew and non-Jew, must make our voices heard and tell the President that words mean nothing and the only thing that matters is action. Demand that Rouhani defund Hezbollah, stop arming Syria, renounce all threats against Israel, and immediately stop enriching uranium before the United States engages him in further diplomacy.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

A Week after Phone Call, U.S., Iran, Exchange Doubts

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Entangled as he is, in a government shutdown in its fifth day, President Barack Obama devoted only a marginal portion of his interview with the Associated Press Saturday to his diplomatic outreach to Iran, in an attempt to bring an end to Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. A week or so after Obama’s phone conversation with President Hassan Rouhani—the first direct talk between American and Iranian leaders in more than 30 years, some of the initial excitement appears to have given way to pragmatism.

“Rouhani has staked his position on the idea that he can improve relations with the rest of the world,” Obama told the AP. “And so far he’s been saying a lot of the right things. And the question now is, can he follow through?”

Obama acknowledged that Rouhani is not Iran’s only “decision-maker. He’s not even the ultimate decision-maker,” he added, alluding to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Israel and other countries have questioned whether Rouhani’s public relations effort represents real change in Iran’s leadership.

The supreme leader Khamenei himself said on Saturday that he supports Rouhani’s attempts at moving closer to the West, but said that the U.S. leader is “untrustworthy, arrogant, illogical and a promise-breaker.”

He could probably win if he ran on a Republican ticket in most southern and mid-western states…

“We support the movement in the government’s diplomacy, including the New York visit, since we hold trust in the government and we are optimistic about it, but some of what happened in the New York visit were not proper because we believe the U.S. administration is untrustworthy, conceited, illogical and unfaithful to its pledges,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, addressing a cadets graduation ceremony in Tehran on Saturday.

Obama was careful to distance U.S. assessments of when Iran might have the capacity to build a nuclear weapon from what Israel is predicting. Israeli officials have been saying that Iran is a mere months away from building a bomb, but Obama said today that Tehran is at least a year away from having that capability.

The president used the same time frame last March, before his visit to Israel.

The Fars News agency reported that, in their phone conversation, Presidents Rouhani and Obama stressed the necessity for mutual cooperation on different regional issues. Then Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Secretary Kerry were commissioned to begin follow up talks between the two countries.

“But after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, the US president made a U-turn, and said that ‘we take no options off the table, including military options,'” Fars complained, saying this “revealed the U.S. administration’s lack of independence and decision-making power.”

Oh, Bibi, Bibi, why must you rule so harshly over poor President Obama…

Yori Yanover

Israeli Source: Obama No Longer Committed to Iran Attack Option

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

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.

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.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-source-obama-no-longer-committed-to-iran-attack-option/2013/08/06/

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