In Moscow for a meeting with Vladimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told a group of Russian Jews today that Iran will not get a nuclear weapons:
It is forbidden for Iran to have nuclear weapon.And I can promise you they won’t have nuclear weapons.
At a rally in Iran on Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei called Israel an “illegitimate regime” led by “untouchable rabid dogs,” and promised never to give up its right to enrich uranium.
The New York Times reports that a deal may be near because the Obama administration is lobbying hard against congressional calls for stronger sanctions.
Whatever happens it is clear that the administration’s actions in past weeks has expanded the Israeli government’s mistrust of this President and his team that has been developing over the past five years.
“In a closed door meeting with the Senate Banking Committee last Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden, and officials from the State and Treasury departments provided a briefing on the talks to halt the Iranian nuclear program and to urge the committee to back away from any discussion of new sanctions.
After the meeting, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Il) angrily compared the administration’s appeal to Neville Chamberlain’s “appeasement” of Nazi Germany before World War II. “I do think we ought to accelerate sanctions,” said Kirk. The pitch was very unconvincing. It was fairly anti-Israeli.”
Kirk continued, “I was supposed to disbelieve everything the Israelis had just told me, and I think the Israelis probably have a pretty good intelligence service.” He said the Israelis had told him that the “total changes proposed set back the program by 24 days.”
The dispute between the two allies, normally kept under wraps is becoming more public with each passing day.
“It’s a bad deal — an exceedingly bad deal,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union program this past Sunday, in an interview which seemed to be an attempt by Bibi to go around the Administration and talk directly to the American people. White House spokesman Jay Carney countered on Monday that negotiations offer a diplomatic solution, telling reporters that “rejecting negotiations means choosing” the use of force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
In a sign of the expanding disconnect between the US and Israel, the two countries could not agree when Kerry would next visit the Jewish State. Israel announced that Kerry would be Jerusalem this Friday, but the State Department announced he would not travel to discuss the Iran deal until after Thanksgiving.
It is being falsely reported that the only objections to the deal as presently structured comes from Israel, most of the Sunni Muslim world objects to any partial deal which would not reduce the Iranian ability to enrich uranium, especially Saudi Arabia, which sees itself as the leader of the Sunni world (Iran sees itself as the leader of the Shia Muslim world).
Not trusting the Obama administration, Israel is seeking allies elsewhere
A report from the the Sunday Times of London indicated that the Mossad is working with Saudi officials on a plan for an attack on Iran just in case the current talks do not curb its nuclear program.
According to this report, as part of this growing co-operation, the Saudi’s have already given the go-ahead for Israeli planes to use its airspace in the event of an attack on Iran.
“Once the Geneva agreement is signed, the military option will be back on the table. The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs,” a diplomatic source told The Times.
Additionally there are reports that Saudi Arabia has agreed to support any Israeli raid with helicopters and drones.
Israel is also trying to strengthen its alliance with France whose objections scuttled the deal two weeks ago. French President Francois Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent, who branded the deal originally offered to Iran a “sucker’s deal,” went to Israel over the weekend to discuss alternative options in dealing with Iran.
France is considered a hard-liner in the talks with Iran, but don’t be surprised if they back down. At the end of the Second Lebanon War, France was a hard-liner in insisting that Hezbollah be disarmed but they eventually backed down.
In the short run, there’s probably no way to bridge the divide between Jerusalem and Washington unless Iran turns down the “sucker’s deal, the US is offering. The administration has flatly rejected Netanyahu’s objections the deal and have instructed congress “not to listen” to Israel. The Jewish State realizes that in the end the U.S. will enter into an agreement with or without their consent. And the way things look right now; President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry will do just that.
In the long run however America and Israel will remain close allies–but perhaps not as close has they were before January of 2008 and as they will be after January of 2016.