Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Obama asks Bibi not to attack Iran until after election

Obama asks Bibi not to attack Iran until after election

Rick Moran

Apparently, Netanyahu consented, although he probably agreed because Israel wasn't planning an attack before then anyway.
YNet News:
Israel will only strike Iranian nuclear facilities in September or after the United States presidential elections in November, a White House official told the British Sunday Times newspaper after a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama last week.

According to the report, Obama has taken Israel's warnings about a possible strike in Iran very seriously. The Washington source added that the president "might visit in the summer to reassure the Israelis that the US commitment to defend Israel is unshakable and thus thwart a possible autumn attack."

Obama insisted that any attack on Iran should be postponed until after the US presidential elections in November, possibly even until next spring. The source revealed that Netanyahu consented to delaying a strike, but wished to know until when. "The question is how much time," he reportedly said.

The White House source added that Netanyahu presented a number of demands Iran must fulfill in order to avoid an Israeli attack, including transferring 150 kilograms (330 pounds) of enriched uranium to a third party, stopping the enrichment process at the Fordow site near Qom and ceasing any further enrichment beyond the 3.5% required for power generation.

The source reported that Israel's National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror presented US administration and military officials with new intelligence data about Iran's nuclear program. The findings included "Project 111," a project to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile warhead and conduct large-scale high-explosive experiments, the Sunday Times reported. Amidror also noted that a Russian expert in Tehran had been involved for the past six years in helping develop Iran's nuclear program.
Iran will never agree to any of those stipulations which should make Bibi's decision a little easier.
Meanwhile, the gap between the US and Israel grows over the definitions of the Iranian threat. Obama won't allow Iran to possess a bomb. Israel won't allow Iran to have the capability to build one. The differences between the two sides are that if Israel agrees to the American formulation, it will be too late to stop Iran from actually constructing a bomb.

That is unacceptable to Netanyahu, while Israel's red line is unacceptable to Washington. There appears to be little Obama can do to deter the Israelis from attacking while Israel can do nothing to satisfy Washington.

The standoff will continue as long as Obama is president.