Widget Image
Follow PPD Social Media
Follow Us:
People's Pundit Locals Community
Thursday, January 20, 2022
HomeNewsPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu To Give Obama Dose Of Reality On Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu To Give Obama Dose Of Reality On Iran

File – In this Sept. 27, 2012 file photo, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel shows an illustration as he describes his concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions during his address to the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

A few days after the first conversation between the leaders of the U.S. and Iran in 34 years was described as a “breakthrough” in relations between the two countries, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to bring a dose of reality to the White House and the United Nations.

He will warn President Obama and the world not to be fooled by Tehran’s “sweet talk.”

Netanyahu will stress that Iran is using conciliatory gestures as a smoke screen to conceal an unabated march toward a nuclear bomb.

“I will tell the truth in the face of the sweet talk and the onslaught of smiles,” Netanyahu said before getting on his flight to the U.S. on Sunday. “Telling the truth today is vital for the security and peace of the world and, of course, it is vital for the security of the state of Israel.”

Netanyahu also plans to provide President Obama new intelligence in his attempt to persuade the U.S. to maintain tough economic sanctions and not allow the Islamic republic to develop a bomb, or even move closer to becoming a nuclear threshold state. Last August, the IAEA report claimed Iran was in the home stretch on obtaining the amount of enriched material necessary to weaponize.

Israeli leaders watched in horror what they refer to as the “smiley campaign” by Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani, last week. Rouhani delivered a speech at the United Nations, in which he stresses Iran’s official – yet contracted by facts – position that it has no intention of building a nuclear weapon and declared his readiness for new negotiations with the West.

Rouhani and Obama later held a 15-minute phone call just as the Iranian leader was traveling to the airport to head back to Tehran. By the end of the call, Obama was claiming that a “breakthrough” on the nuclear issue could construct deeper ties between the U.S. and Iran. U.S. and European diplomats hailed a “very significant shift” in Iran’s attitude and tone.

After the week’s developments, Secretary of State John Kerry said an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program could come in a matter of months if Iran came to the table in good faith.

“If it is a peaceful program, and we can all see that, the whole world sees that, the relationship with Iran can change dramatically for the better and it can change fast,” Kerry said on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday.

For Netanyahu, such sentiments are nothing short of a nightmare, completely unfounded in reality. Obamas move has isolated Israel on the world stage.

For years, Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that Iran is steadily marching toward development of nuclear weapons, an assessment that is widely shared by the West because of Iran’s continued enrichment of uranium and its run-ins with international nuclear inspectors.

The Israeli prime minister understands that Rouhani’s outreach is a farce to ease international sanctions and buy time to wrap up enrichment. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Israel considers a nuclear-armed Iran an unacceptable threat, given repeated Iranian threats that the Jewish state should not exist. Israel has a long list of other grievances against Iran, citing its support for hostile Arab militant groups, its development of long-range missiles, and Iranian involvement in attacks on Israeli targets in Europe and Asia.

This Sunday, Israel announced the arrest of a Belgian-Iranian businessman on espionage charges.

Netanyahu says the new Iranian leader must be judged on his actions, not his words. In the meantime, he says sanctions and other international pressure, including the threat of military action, must be increased. He has frequently compared Iran to North Korea, which used the guise of international negotiations to secretly develop a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu has strong, widespread domestic support for his approach to Iran. Israel’s Channel 10 TV released the results of a poll conducted just this Sunday night showing that 78 percent of respondents don’t believe Iran wants to resolve the nuclear problem, 59 percent said they do not think the U.S. will reach an agreement with Iran. A decreasing minority, just 29 percent, said they expect a resolution.

Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. who now serves as an adviser to Netanyahu, said the prime minister would present Obama with “some very hard facts” based on new, unseen intelligence showing that Iranians’ action are in no way near their words.

Benjamin Netanyahu will also echo the message in his speech at the U.N., “he will make it very clear that Israel and the world at large should continue to be on guard,” he said.

During his last speech at the U.N, Netanyahu presented a cartoon diagram to the U.N. showing that Iran would enter the final phase of weapons production by mid-2013. Israel has since backed off that assessment.

Netanyahu’s intelligence minister, Yuval Steinitz, said international pressure forced Iran to slow production. While American officials are well aware of Israel’s concerns, they say there are no plans to reverse the latest diplomatic push.

Two senior Obama administration officials said that the U.S. expects Israel to be skeptical about Iran’s overture, and that the U.S. is similarly skeptical. But that has been the vocal postion of the Obama administration throughout both terms thus far, with no real action or threat of military force. Last year, a prospect of an U.S.-backed Israeli strike was not met with general acceptance.

Many U.S. lawmakers – on both sides of the aisle – have urged Obama to keep the pressure of sanctions on Iran and stand by the administration’s promise to prevent the country from developing a nuclear weapon. Sen. Marco Rubio R-FL, and several other senators sent a letter to Obama on Tuesday casting doubts on the intentions of Iran’s new leader.

Israel wants the U.S. to establish a solid “red line” to prevent Iran from pressing forward with its nuclear program and gaining the capability to build a nuclear weapon, even without actually possessing one. That is simply unacceptable to Israel.

Netanyahu has laid out four demands:

  1. that Iran stop enriching uranium;
  2. that its stockpiles of enriched uranium be removed from the country;
  3. that a fortified underground enrichment facility be closed;
  4. and, that Iran not enrich plutonium, which represents another path toward nuclear weapons.

Eytan Gilboa, an expert on U.S.-Israel relations at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, predicted a “very difficult conversation” on Monday.

Some Americans “like Rouhani. They think he represents a new policy, a new approach and therefore should be given at least a chance. Netanyahu’s strategy is to say that this whole thing is a big hoax,” Gilboa said. “There are no buyers for his message.”

That is a scary prospect for Israel, and reality.

Below is an AP clip on Netanyahu’s scheduled U.S. visit:

Written by
Data Journalism Editor

Rich, the People's Pundit, is the Data Journalism Editor at PPD and Director of the PPD Election Projection Model. He is also the Director of Big Data Poll, and author of "Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract."

No comments

leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

People's Pundit Daily
You have %%pigeonMeterAvailable%% free %%pigeonCopyPage%% remaining this month. Get unlimited access and support reader-funded, independent data journalism.

Start a 14-day free trial now. Pay later!

Start Trial