U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC that Iran’s failure to negotiate makes “confrontation more possible,” and hours later, the American delegate to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) accused Iran of “deception, defiance and delay” while it enriches uranium.
Kerry has jumped into his new position with the full character of the State Dept. to solve the world’s problems with talk, but the unusually harsh comments from Joseph Macmanus, the chief U.S. delegate to the IAEA, indicates that the noose is tightening around Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
So far, he seems to believe that the United States is bluffing about a military strike and is making a show to keep Israel quiet.
However, the more the Obama administration, sees Iranian nuclear capability as a threat to the United States, the closer everyone gets to the red line to talk with action and not words.
“I’m not going to get into red lines and timing publicly except to reiterate what the president has said again and again, which is he prefers to have a diplomatic solution,” Kerry told ABC News in Qatar.
“If they keep pushing the limits and not coming with a serious set of proposals or are prepared to actually resolve this, obviously, the risks get higher and confrontation becomes more possible,” he said.
Joseph Macmanus’ comment blew holes into the recent complacency of the international community, which was soothed by Iran’s expression of being interested in proposals by the world’s six powers.
Even the European Union appears to be getting fed up with Iran.
The EU told the IAEA board in Vienna Wednesday that it “considers … Iran’s procrastination to be unacceptable.”
Iran has refused IAEA requests to visit the Parchin military site, where satellite pictures have shown explosive tests probably were carried out for nuclear weapons capability.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said this week, not for the first time, that Iran is using the negotiations and talks of negotiations as a camouflage for its nuclear weapons program.
Tehran, of course, insists its nuclear development is only for peace and is counting on more talks to erase any American red lines.
“We are committed to continue our dialogue with the IAEA but at the same time we can’t give a blank check” because of Iran’s national security concerns, Iranian Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh told reporters in Vienna.
Kerry notwithstanding, louder voices are being increasingly heard from the most senior American officials.
Gen. James Mattis, head of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate committee on Tuesday, “I’m paid to take a rather dim view of the Iranians, frankly.”
Looking at the future of a military strike, he stated, “There are number of means to do that, perhaps even short of open conflict. But certainly that’s one of the options that I have to have prepared for the president.”