The recently held negotiations of the P5+1 (U.S., Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany) and the Islamic Republic of Iran in Baghdad followed similar talks that took place last month in Istanbul – both of which produced one clear result – the enabling of Iran to buy more time in its pursuit of nuclear arms.
The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) reportedly found traces of enriched uranium at a 27% level in Iran’s Fordow facility. According to the Center for American Progress, which reflects the views of President Obama, “The United States and the International community have time to continue negotiations with Iran and let sanctions pressure the Tehran regime to come clean about its program.”
These kinds of statements and the West’s squandering of time as Iran’s centrifuges spin, has led the Netanyahu government to believe that the West is about to give in to Iran.
For Israel, time is of the essence. Israelis are not only worried about the lack of concrete results from the talks with Iran; they are deeply concerned about Obama’s habitual appeasement of Iran. Obama has tried his best to avoid imposing hard hitting sanctions (he had to be publicly rebuked by Senator Menendez (NJ) to sign the latest piece of legislation) and has been obvious in his avoidance of a military confrontation with Iran – thereby empowering the Islamic Republic, which also wants to avoid a conflict – so that it can complete its nuclear program.
The New York Daily News reported on May 30, 2012 that, “As a candidate Obama pledged to meet personally with Iranian leaders and predicted that Iranians would start changing their behavior if they started seeing that they had some incentives to do so.” As president, Obama declared in his June 4, 2009 speech in Cairo, Egypt of the need to “overcome decades of mistrust.” In this narrative, according to the Daily News, “Talks are successful insofar as they end not in collapse but in a sustained negotiating process…”
Earlier, on March 20, 2009, Obama videotaped a message to the Iranian people and leaders in honor of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. In the message he declared that, “My administration is now committed to diplomacy that addresses the full range of issues before us, and to pursuing constructive ties…this process will not be advanced by threats, we seek instead engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.” There was no mention in Obama’s message of Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons.
Commenting on Obama’s gesture to Iran, the liberal New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote (March 23, 2009), “President Obama achieved four things essential to any rapprochement. He abandoned regime change, as an American goal. He shelved the so-called military option. He buried a carrot-and-stick approach viewed with contempt by Iranian as fit only for donkeys. And he placed Iran’s nuclear program within the full range of issues before us.”
The Iranian response was to mock Obama as a hypocrite. Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, said, “They [Obama and his administration] say we have stretched a hand towards Iran …If a hand is stretched covered with a velvet glove but it is cast iron inside that makes no sense.” Ayatollah Khamenei furthermore asked Obama, “Have you released Iranian assets? Have you lifted oppressive sanctions? Have you given up mudslinging and making accusations against the great Iranian nation and its officials?
It is becoming apparent that Obama is not inclined to use the military option, unless, in desperation, he does so in order to win the U.S. presidential election. For Israel, however, time is running out for a viable military solution to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Israelis must consider several difficult questions. First and foremost is the question of how the Obama administration will react to an Israeli attack. At best, a successful Israeli attack will delay the production of an Iranian nuclear weapon. If the U.S. would then tighten sanctions on Iran and mobilize the international community to deny the Iranian regime the materials to rebuild what an Israeli attack destroyed, then it would be worthwhile for Israel to risk the lives of its pilots in order to end the threat to Israel and the Western world from the fanatical theocracy of Iran.
In the absence of a solid U.S. commitment to support Israel in the days after such an attack has taken place, it would be sheer madness for Israel to risk Iranian as well as Hezbollah missile attacks on Tel Aviv. It is understood that the Iranians would be able to rebuild their nuclear facilities within a year or two, and that an Israeli attack would unite all Iranians behind the regime with a renewed focus on manufacturing a nuclear bomb immediately. Conversely, strong U.S. backing of Israeli military action, and continued international vigilance that would prevent Iran from obtaining materials for a nuclear bomb, would shake up the regime, strengthen the opposition and empower the Sunni minorities (Kurds, Baluchis, and Ahwazi-Arabs) to increase their military pressure on the Ayatollahs’ regime.
U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman flew to Israel immediately following the conclusion of the Baghdad talks to brief the Israeli leadership on the results. It seems that the pressure put on the Obama administration by the Israeli government to refrain from making any concessions to the Iranians unless they stop their uranium enrichment is being carefully debated in Washington. Obama does not much care whether the Iranian regime acquires the bomb. What makes Obama jittery is an Israeli attack that might impact negatively on his reelection campaign.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the international community “would keep tightening tough economic sanctions on Iran.” He added, “We will continue to pressure Tehran, continue to move forward with sanctions that will be coming online as the year progresses, and we expect those to have the kind of effect on Iran in terms of making it clear to the regime what the price of a continued failure to meet its obligations will mean for the country and for its economy.”
To frustrate Obama even further, and prove Israel’s assertion that Iran is simply seeking to buy time, Iran’s President Ahmadinejad declared on Wednesday May 30, 2012 that he does not expect talks this month in Moscow (June 18-19) on Iran’s nuclear program to yield any breakthroughs. Reuters reported that Ahmadinejad reiterated “Iran’s legal right to enrich uranium to 20% (level).”
Iran is, of course, lying to the world in the best tradition of taqiyya and kitman, which in the Quran (16:106) notes that under certain circumstances lying is permitted to gain the trust of non-believers in order to defeat them. The IAEA already established that Iran’s uranium enrichment is at 27%, and that precludes nuclear sites yet unknown to the world. But for President Obama “talking” with the Iranians is a way of avoiding action. And if President Jimmy Carter “lost” pro-Western Iran to the staunchly anti-American Ayatollahs, President Obama’s legacy is to be the president who enabled Iran to acquire a nuclear bomb, and thus strengthen the hold of the oppressive Islamic regime over Iran.