Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak have sketched out in unprecedented detail the outlines of a diplomatic outcome with Iran which would be acceptable to Israel.
(Haaretz) – In two of his Pesach interviews, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlined in unprecedented detail the diplomatic outcome with Iran that Israel could live with. Maariv’s interviewers asked him specifically what would satisfy him in next week’s P5+1 talks with the Iranians to which he answered –
“First of all, that there will be a real reversal of the Iranian nuclear program. That means ending the enrichment of uranium and removing the enriched material out of Iran. Iran can receive uranium for non-military purposes. I would mention also reversing that bunker at Qom, what do they need it for? If Iran does these things, it will really look as if it intends to stop its nuclear program.”
Netanyahu’s fawning interview with Israel Hayom was much more bullish, but there too he repeated the same principles for a deal: “to explicitly order a halt to all uranium enrichment, a removal of all enriched uranium from the country, replacing it with material that cannot be used to develop a nuclear weapon, and, of course, converting the underground facility in Qom.”
These conditions being made by the two men who call the shots on Israel’s Iranian strategy neatly dovetail with the report on President Barack Obama’s proposal to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei detailed in David Ignatius’ Washington Post op-ed piece on Friday. Ignatius wrote that the message Obama relayed through Turkish Prime Minister Reccep Tayip Erdogan was that the U.S. “would accept an Iranian civilian nuclear program if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei can back up his recent public claim that his nation ‘will never pursue nuclear weapons.'”
Whether or not Khamenei is to be believed when he says that his country does not seek nuclear weapons, publicly relinquishing Iran’s right to enrich uranium would be a hugely embarrassing concession for the Iranian leadership – which they would certainly feel would weaken them both internally and around the region. This report today from FARS news agency indicates that the regime has overcome its previous misgivings and now agrees to hold the talks in six days in Istanbul.
Rather strange to see new developments coincide with my earlier remarks on bilateral issues. I believe Obama and Netanyahu are in a high-level tactical stand-off.
That’s behind my reasoning written in these diaries:
- Timeline of Curious Events US-Israel and Tactical Stand-off
- Optimistic? Believe Obama’s Grand ME Bargain
Israel’s Right Wingers Whining Over Obama. Continue below the fold >>>
A must read my companion diary – Obama to Pardon Israeli Spy Pollard?
(Haaretz) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who was hospitalized over the weekend following deterioration in his medical condition.
“The Jewish holiday of freedom should become Pollard’s private holiday of freedom. I will continue working toward his release.”
President Shimon Peres met with Pollard’s wife, Esther, in Jerusalem and promised her that he will urge President Obama to release him due to his medical condition.
(Ynet News) – in recent weeks the Administration shifted from persuasion efforts vis-à-vis decision-makers and Israel’s public opinion to a practical, targeted assassination of potential Israeli operations in Iran. This “surgical strike” is undertaken via reports in the American and British media, but the campaign’s aims are fully operational: To make it more difficult for Israeli decision-makers to order the IDF to carry out a strike, and what’s even graver, to erode the IDF’s capacity to launch such strike with minimal casualties.