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Yadlin’s words—and the fact that Israel’s ranks are actually much more united than Dagan and Diskin have tried to suggest—are also of special significance as the P5+1 governments prepare for Wednesday’s second round of nuclear talks with the Iranians in Baghdad.
Over the weekend the New York Times reported that U.S. negotiators now feel “hope” about the talks, and that
[a] successful meeting could prolong the diplomatic dance with Tehran, delaying any possible military confrontation…until after the presidential election. It could also keep a lid on oil prices…. Lower gasoline prices would aid the economic recovery in the United States, and Mr. Obama’s electoral prospects.
The unfortunate impression continues to be—just as it was after last month’s first round of talks in Istanbul—that for the P5+1 Iran’s nuclear program is a much less serious matter than it should be, or than it is for Israel—which sees much more at stake than oil prices or a particular leader’s political fortunes. As Israeli commentator Boaz Bismuth notes,
It’s safe to assume that, like the talks in Istanbul before it, this [week’s] encounter will end with positive declarations from all parties…. We must understand that the challenge for Western powers today is, essentially, how to prevent an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.
Those who think that can be achieved with positive declarations and an ongoing “diplomatic dance” would probably be well advised to stop listening to the likes of Meir Dagan and Yuval Diskin.
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