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On March 8, Charles Krauthammer published a Washington Post column called “Obama vs. Israel,” worth quoting at length:
After ostensibly tough talk about preventing Iran from going nuclear, the Obama administration acquiesced this week to yet another round of talks with the mullahs….
These negotiations don’t just gain time for a nuclear program about whose military intent the International Atomic Energy Agency is issuing alarming warnings. They make it extremely difficult for Israel to do anything about it (while it still can), lest Israel be universally condemned for having aborted a diplomatic solution….
Obama garnered much AIPAC applause by saying that his is not a containment policy but a prevention policy. But what has he prevented?…Holding talks is not prevention. Imposing sanctions is not prevention.
Prevention is halting and reversing the program. Yet Iran is tripling its uranium output, moving enrichment facilities deep under a mountain near Qom and impeding IAEA inspections of weaponization facilities.
So what is Obama’s real objective? “We’re trying to make the decision to attack as hard as possible for Israel,” an administration official told the Post in the most revealing White House admission since “leading from behind.”
Revealing and shocking.…
Almost half a year later, where are we?
The U.S. and its allies have boosted sanctions on Iran—while, at the same time, Obama has handed Iran loopholes and Iran has boosted its ability to evade and circumvent the sanctions.
The renewed P5+1 talks with Iran have essentially broken down, the last two rounds having been demoted to the level of technical experts instead of diplomats—yet are still being cynically strung along. Ashton and Jalili are set to meet yet again at the end of this month in a transparent, mutual effort to keep the pretense of talks going and keep Israel boxed in.
And what has Iran been doing while the talks have been maintained on life support?
The latest U.S. National Intelligence Estimate “contends that Iran has made surprising, notable progress in the research and development of key components of its military nuclear program.”
A senior Israeli official “has said Iran has made significant progress in assembling a nuclear warhead.”
The new NIE further states, it was reported this week, that Iran has “boosted its efforts to attach a nuclear warhead to ballistic missiles.”
In other words, just as those—like Krauthammer and others—who opposed the talks predicted, Iran has exploited the gift of several months’ more time to keep surging ahead toward the bomb and the ability to deliver it.
Israel sees Iran rapidly reaching a point where its nuclear facilities will be sufficiently dispersed and shielded underground to be immune to an Israeli strike. Jerusalem’s “time is running out” talk is not a bluff. Obama wants to avoid a war, and rising gas prices, before the elections; Israel wants to survive—possibly irreconcilable goals.
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