Kerry & Netanyahu Spar in Rome

BFD8291D-E3C2-4210-BE9A-1B2F7F47908E_mw1024_n_sAP reported this week that Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi “predicted…the nuclear talks could take as long as a year…with the first milestone coming in three to six months and negotiations concluding within the year.”

That “prediction” should come as no surprise. The same report says “significant gaps remain between what the Iranians offered” in last week’s first round of talks and what the P5+1 countries are seeking “to reduce fears Iran wants to build nuclear weapons.”

In other words, Iran’s strategy is to make an offer it knows even its eagerly “peace”-seeking interlocutors are quite capable of refusing—and then take lots of time seemingly whittling down that offer toward something more acceptable. Meanwhile Israel—if this goes according to plan—gets diplomatically closed out of taking military action and incurring universal wrath by wrecking “peace” and “progress.”

Also this week The New Republic posted a long interview with Amos Yadlin, Israel’s previous chief of military intelligence and current head of its leading security think tank.

Interviewer Ben Birnbaum notes that in September 2012, when many thought an Israeli strike on Iran was imminent, Yadlin told an Israeli journalist: “They say that time has almost run out, but I say there is still time. The decisive year is not 2012 but 2013. Maybe even early 2014.”

That is, a direct clash with Araghchi’s assessment of another leisurely year for talks.

Does Yadlin still see it the same way? It emerges that he does:

…I think 2012 was the wrong year to do it, because in 2012, it was a bright red light from Washington. I would like to emphasize, Israel is not asking for a green light. Israel only doesn’t want to do something that is going 180 degrees against American vital interests as long as it is not a response to a threat that is almost an existential threat. I think in late 2013 or early 2014, especially if America sees that Iran is not serious about reaching an acceptable agreement and only continues to buy time, the U.S. will accept an Israeli attack because a nuclear Iran is absolutely against American vital national security interests.

Yadlin adds later:

The most problematic issue has nothing to do with Israel. It’s nonproliferation in the Middle East. It’s the fact that the Saudis, the Egyptians, and the Turks will go for nuclear weapons if Iran gets them, and…miscalculations, unintended escalations, nuclear weapons to terrorists will be multiplied tenfold—it will be a nuclear nightmare.

Meanwhile, in a tour of European capitals this week Secretary of State John Kerry tried to assuage, in particular, Israeli and Saudi concerns about Washington’s Iran policy. According to a New York Times report on Thursday, Kerry had little success.

The Times notes that “Saudi officials have made it clear they are frustrated with the Obama administration,” which is viewed in the region at large as simply seeking to avoid confrontations and hence quite amenable to Iran’s approach of drawing out the talks and playing for time.

And as for Kerry’s seven-hour-long meeting in Rome on Wednesday with Binyamin Netanyahu, the Times says “Kerry’s comments appeared to do little to persuade” the Israeli prime minister, with “the United States and other world powers…willing to explore a deal that is far less stringent” than any Netanyahu would consider acceptable.

In other words, the picture that emerges is less optimistic than former intelligence chief Yadlin’s expectation of U.S. understanding for a possible Israeli attack in a matter of months.

The next round of talks with Iran on November 7-8 should help clarify whether the U.S. and its European allies are capable, even at this late date, of relating to the danger with a modicum of seriousness.

Israel, for its part, should be thinking about forestalling the nuclear nightmare without even an amber light from Washington.

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  • Mladen_Andrijasevic

    With regards to the Iranian nuclear threat nobody wants to explain the Shi’a Twelver eschatology behind the Iranian threat, the ineffectiveness of the mutually assured destruction doctrine, MAD. Until it is recognized that MAD is dead, the Iranian threat will be treated as a threat only to Israel and not as the global threat which it in fact is.

    Unfortunately, even Amos Yadlin does not get it!

    Ben Birbaum : Why, for the sake of argument, can’t Israel live with a nuclear Iran? What’s wrong with Mutually Assured Destruction?

    Amos Yadlin: It’s not an issue of MAD.

    Unfortunately, it is very much an issue of MAD, or more precisely, its ineffectiveness when it comes to Iran. If leading scholars of Islam like Bernard Lewis and Raphael Israeli, former CIA director James Woolsey , former CIA spy who spent 10 years among the Revolutionary Guards, Reza Kahlili and German scholar Matthias Kuntzel all believe that Iran cannot be deterred and that MAD does not work with Iran, why is everyone else ducking the issue? Until one recognizes that MAD is dead the Iranian threat will primarily be treated as a threat to Israel and not a global threat which it is.

    What’s wrong with Mutually Assured Destruction? – asks the journalist
    http://www.madisdead.blogspot.co.il/2013/10/whats-wrong-with-mutually-assured.html

    • A Z

      At a cocktail party, someone should in an offhand way ask Mr Kerry, Obama et al what eschatology they believe.

      If you get a blank look, we”ll know what part of the problem is.

    • A Z

      Obama and company may know some of the twelver end times belief. they simply have made a judgment call that the Iranian leadership are only talking the talk for domestic consumption. They suffer from normalcy bias.

      • Softly Bob

        Obama knows the Twelver belief but is banking on the Twelvers to destroy Israel for him. Obama was raised as Sunni and secretly despises Shias, but after Israel has been nuked, he’s hoping for a Middle Eastern domination by Sunnis and that’s why he assisted in the Arab Spring and why he supports the MB and other Sunni terrorists.

        He is no friend of Iran but is delaying their advancement of nukes because he wants Israel destroyed.and they can do the dirty work.

        • buhyah

          hey softy
          the MB is Shia NOT Sunni
          Saudi Arabia which is Sunni hates the MB ‘s Guts in Egypt and elsewhere.
          Get your facts right and straight

          • Softly Bob

            MB is Sunni. Saudi’s hate the MB because the Saudi Royals are afraid of them. Devout Muslims, both Sunni and Shia despise the Saudi royals.
            You need to get your facts right.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      M.A.D. Needs to be defined as MECCA ASSURED DESTRUCTION – for starters..
      Assured Destruction doesn’t deter members of a death cult which believes in a paradise where the dead are entertained by 72 virgin boysraisins.
      I believe that one day Israel will have to detonate a nuke, underground, to demonstrate that it has the ability to devastate any Sand Nazi entity – in retaliation – including Hajj Central AKA Mecca.
      This can all be avoided by toppling and executing the ayatollahs/mullahs of Fascist iran.
      Persia would be one place where American liberators would be welcomed with flowers. The ayatollahs are worse than anything the Shah ever did.

  • larrythejerk

    Israel has forced the region to live with secret Israeli nuclear threat, now Israel must live with a regional nuclear deterrent. Israel introduced nukes to the Middeast, now Israel reaps what it has sown.

    • Silver Gonzales

      Yes you are a Jerk and a big one. If you are an American I can say the same for you in addition to the fact that your ancestors stole land from the natives after moving them to open up what are now gay dens and crack houses. If you are a Muslim I will say that Israel designed and built them in order to prevent Muslim savages from attacking.

    • StanleyT

      When has Israel ever threatened to destroy another state? Even at its most vulnerable time – the 1973 Yom Kippur war – when everything seemed lost, Israel did not use any nuclear weapons it might have had at the time.

      Clearly, you cannot stand the idea of Jews defending themselves. Which tells us everything we need to know about who and what you are.

    • iluvisrael

      You sure gave your pathetic self the right name!

    • victoryman

      You are well named, sir. You give credence to Goethe’s famous statement that, “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”

    • Demetrius Minneapolis

      Yeah, there is absolutely no difference in posturing, policy and societal conditions between the Islamic Republic and Israel. None whatsoever. Boy, you sure have a schoolboy politics mentality don’t you? Or you simply hate Jews.

    • JVictor

      Let’s see. Israel’s leaders have regularly threatened to use all of their arsenal, including nuclear weapons, to destroy all of their Arab neighbors whom they deem to be apes, pigs, dogs, and deserving of death simply for existing. Oh, wait. My mistake. It’s Egypt and Iran and Iraq and Saudi Arabia and Syria and Lebanon and Jordan and Libya, just to name a few, that have and have had leaders who have said those things about Israel.

      Israel has shown a massive amount of restraint, ltjerk. I’m not so sure the rest of her neighbors, particularly Iran, will be so restrained when they have their own supply of nukes.

      The ignorance of your analysis is mind-bending. Only an anti-Semitic jerk would come to that sort of conclusion. Then again, you are a self-proclaimed jerk. I get it, now.

      • defcon 4

        The islamofascist Arab states of the Mid-East have done a lot more than threaten Israel, they invaded Israel, w/genocidal intent on no less than three occasions. I’ll bet that there are a few islam0fascist states that fund and equip the terrorists who attack Israel w/sick regularity, if not proficiency.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Israels nukes insure that Israel can never be defeated. And if Israel were to suffer a nuke attack, it has the ability to decimate, obliterate its attackers.
      That’s why Sand Nazis call it a Nakba.

      • logdon

        The Nakba/Naqba is Arabic for catastrophe and applies to the formation of that tiny little state of Israel within the Dar el Islam.

        Israel did not have nukes in 1948.

        But this reality is worse in it’s indication of the intolerance of Muslims whose whole raison detre is hate.

        • Gee

          The first Nakba the Arabs declared was in 1920 when they were no longer Syrians.

  • wildjew

    Why should we expect Obama’s handling of Iran to be any different than hia handling of Benghazi, the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious and the Obamacare roll-out?

    • victoryman

      Obama stated, in a past speech, that, “We can live with a nuclear iran.” Do not forget, Obama has four things he wishes to destroy……Our once-great country, Israel, Religion (Except for the “Religion of peace.”) and our military.

      • wildjew

        Often I think I live in a nation full of idiots. Historians will record the folly of the American people who were swindled into voting for this dangerous man.

        I could not remember who said that about Iran. It was Obama friend and supporter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser. My guess is, Obama agrees with Brzezinski. Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel, let it slip in his Senate confirmation hearings that Obama administration policy with respect to a potential nuclear Iran is “containment” before correcting himself. Truth be known, Obama sees a nuclear Iran as a balance to a nuclear Israel, notwithstanding Iran is a preeminent state sponsor of international terrorism. I don’t know what to think of PM Netanyahu’s many statements to the effect that Obama is a great friend. If Netanyahu truly believes Obama’s empty assurances that he has Israel’s back, Iran will likely join the nuclear club.

        • A Z

          “Obama sees a nuclear Iran as a balance to a nuclear Israel,”

          Before the Russian were allied with the British and the French in WWI they were not.

          Alliances shift and then what good are the balances of power that you calculated?

          • wildjew

            Why do you think I share Barack Obama’s seemingly genocidal vision for the region?

          • A Z

            You misread my comments or I wrote poorly (Probably the latter).

            Obama might think that

            Russia offsets the U.S.,
            Pakistan offsets India,
            Israel offset Iran,

            but that is foolish.

            What I meant to convey from reciting historical examples is that such calculations are temporary and it is foolish to rely on them.

            Obama may be relying on them, but he also would do so regardless of parity of any sort. He supports them because he hates others, namely Israel & the West.

          • wildjew

            You are right. I believe Obama loathes Israel and the non-Muslim west by and large with maybe a few exceptions. Obama doesn’t seem to have any sympathy for Christians who are being persecuted and murdered by their Muslim “neighbors.” We see lots of left-leaning folks use the Russian example to explain why a nuclear Iran can be contained. Rand and Ron Paul and their supporters share this view. Nuclear weapons in the hands of Islam is very dangerous. Should Pakistan’s arsenal fall into the hands of the jihadists, Pakistan will be present a mortal threat to India and to other non-Muslim nations. Iran’s Mullahs are devout Muslims; jihadists. Devout Muslims’ calculus is very different from the Russians and the the non-Muslim West. I don’t think Mutually Assured Destruction will necessarily be a deterrent when Iran is armed to the teeth with nukes any more the prospect of death deterred the September 11, 2001 hijackers.

        • A Z

          “Obama sees a nuclear Iran as a balance to a nuclear Israel,”

          Germany and Austria were allied with Italy before WWI, until Italy was induced by France to switch sides with the promise of Istria.

          Austria had a western front instead of France having a souther front. It made a difference.

          The communists only read history thru red tined glasses if they read much at all.

        • victoryman

          I have the greatest respect for two true world leaders on today’s world stage – Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Harper of Canada. Netanyahu is a skilled politician who will do what he needs to do to protect Israel – even if it means sitting down with Obama and the incompetent, arrogant fool, Kerry. We have Hagel, Brennan, (The Islamist) Clapper, Rice, the anti-American, anti-Semite, Samantha Power and her certifiable husband, Cass Sunstein surrounding the current occupant living in public housing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We are judged by the company we keep. Obama will sell Israel down the river in a heartbeat. His understanding of Realpolitik is zero. Meanwhile, a man with a 100% understanding of Realpolitik continues to fill the vacuum left in the Middle East by Obama’s continuing bungling, Mr. Putin. The results of the “Arab Spring” are there for all who open their eyes. Chaos where there was once order – Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, etc. Naturally, our state run media turns a blind eye to these results of what could be called a “Foreign policy,” of “What shall we do today?”

          • SCREW SOCIALISM

            G-D Bless the Canada of Stephen Harper and G-D Bless Australia.
            Both are better friends of the US than the UK United Kaliphate.

          • victoryman

            Can I hear an “Amen?” By the way, the most popular boy’s name in the U.K. today is……..mohammad.

          • Hass

            Your comment makes me proud to be an Aussie.
            We currently have a newly elected good Conservative Government.
            Thanks mate.

          • Dinah

            You and wildjew are so dead on. What is it going to take for America to get it’s head out of the sand and stop playing “Ostrich”. The fact that this yo yo hasn’t been investigated and impeached, is enough to gag a maggot, and Kerry is no more than a stupid pawn in the game. BiBi and Harper are exactly the men that have been chosen to be strong enough to endure what is coming. Blessing on you both.

          • victoryman

            And Blessings back to you. Dinah. Pray that we and the world can survive the remaining days of the Obama regime. Perhaps the repubs, with a few exceptions will get their testosterone levels raised and start doing what’s best for the country, instead of playing the go-along-to-get-along game only aimed at reelection and self enrichment. I think the only answer is a third party like the Constitution party that has a simple platform – the Constitution.

          • Gee

            Netanyahu has all the backbone of a jellyfish.

          • defcon 4

            Netanyahu has put his life on the line for Israel on more than one occasion hasn’t he?

        • Gee

          I do remember that moron – was a translator in the White House for part of 1979. He didn’t even know the difference between Mossad and Shin Bet.

          Iran should be looking at several mushroom clouds – that is the only thing Islamofascists understand

  • JVictor

    I admire Israel’s desire to move forward with her protection plans in a way that is acceptable, if not palatable, to the non-Islamic world–anything Israel does with regard to self-preservation will always be detestable to the Islamic world. That being said, the moment in time is rapidly approaching where Israel’s leaders are going to have to throw down the gauntlet and act unilaterally in her own best interests, including making sure that Iran’s nuclear program never sees the light of day, without regard to whether the Islamic world or the west approves or not.

    History being what it is, there will always be a remnant, not a majority, from the nations that condones and blesses Israel’s actions. Based upon the policies and posturing of the Barack Hussein Obama-led State Department, I don’t believe the United States can be considered one of those remnant nations at this time.

  • Bert

    There is a consistent failure of spiritual strength on the part of Jewish leaders. Obama is always putting Israel on the defensive and tying their hands. It is Israel who could reverse the process by demanding clear answers from Obama to critical questions and doing this in public. Obama gets away with endless promises claiming that he will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons but he never sets any clear red lines. Israel could thus set its own red lines but with Obama and not with Iran. Doing that would expose Obama’s duplicity and anger him but so what? Obama would be exposed before the entire world for what he really is as a duplicitous fraud who really wants Iran to get the bomb. And Israel would then be free to act on her own even without approval from Obama.

  • A Z

    ” the Obama administration,” which is viewed in the region at large as simply seeking to avoid confrontations and hence quite AMENABLEe to Iran’s approach of DRAWING OUT out the talks and playing for time.”

    In other words how you vote PRESENT, when you are in an executive position.

  • Demetrius Minneapolis

    The Iranian talks could take as long as a year? No way! Didn’t see that coming and we know it may be prolonged if they have difficulty procuring certain expensive and hard to obtain parts.

    The incompetence of the US foreign services and Europe is beyond hopeless contemplation at this point.

    • FSO

      Some people sign up because, they want to always be able to attend tea time and attend gala balls.

  • Mickey Oberman

    “Israel, for its part, should be thinking about forestalling the nuclear nightmare without even an amber light from Washington.”

    In other words you want Israel to do things Obama’s way and give Iran ever more time to construct his weapons of death.

    That statement is not only traitorous but it is, for Israel, suicidal.

    Unless you can show how I misunderstand that statement I must assume that Israel has yet another internal enemy in Front Page Mag.

    • Hass

      “Forestalling the nuclear nightmare”
      To hinder the nuclear nightmare. In other words they don’t need the green light from the US.

      • Mickey Oberman

        I misunderstood “forestall”.
        Frontpage Mag is right.
        I have deleted my message.

        • Hass

          :)

          • Mickey Oberman

            :(

            It’s good to see a smile in these threads though.

          • defcon 4

            Especially considering there’s not a lot to smile about these days.

  • benabo1machal

    I have just read that Iran could have an Operational Nuke within a month
    Any talks beyond that are a waste of time

  • retired

    There is a big factor,the biggest factor,which is being ignored by everyone commenting on this blog.the big factor is the PETRODOLLAR AGREEMENT.Obama & Kerry may think they are being cute with their dealings with Iran.James Baker & the very big international money guys,inside & out of oil,don’t feel happy about this.Obama may not care about Israel or the Jews but he most likely has a healthy fear of big international money!
    It’s like this,Saudi Arabia is the lynchpin of the PetroDollar arrangement which keeps the US Dollar as the worlds “Reserve Currency”.If Saudi Arabia,which is in mortal fear of Iran, pulls out of this deal the whole thing will unravel.If the PetroDollar agreement unravels the US economy will tank & so will the economies of the EU & Japan.The big money will be very unhappy watching their wealth & power vaporize along with the US economy!To see that this does not happen,they may be, at this very moment, explaining to his Highness Obama why it would be in his best interests to keep the Saudis happy by distancing himself from Iran!

  • Icansee4miles

    See if this feels familiar, as spoken by the Grand Ayatollah in
    Amazon Kindle’s new thriller The Bahrain Protocol, “Continue to ask for
    negotiations; invite the U.S. and European nations to the talks; sow dissention
    and split them from each other.” “The bomb is almost ready; lengthy
    negotiations will give us time to complete and test it.”

  • Peter C. Lubrano

    It has become apparent to me that Obama’s policies with respect to Iran, Egypt, Syria were not conceived in the best interests of the U.S. but rather of his narrow political ideology which would put the U.S. at a disadvantage. What will it take for the American people to understand that we are saddled with a president who’s chief objective is that of “fundamentally transforming America”, remember that?
    He has severally damaged our relations with friends and allies, diminished our strategic posture in the Middle-East all on purpose!
    I sincerely believe that president Obama is today, a “clear and present danger” to America……..all of this is based on his public actions, including his many negative pronouncements about America! If you are willing to listen and read and honestly face the issues that face us as a nation, a nation In peril you too will agree that ….WE THE PEOPLE INDEED ARE FACED WITH A VERY SERIOUS MATTER TRANSCENDING POLITICAS AS USUAL AND SELF SERVING
    PARISANSHIP!
    Thank you…
    Peter C. Lubrano

  • SoCalMike

    Obama, Kerry, Hillary and the establishmemt as well as the grass roots left are selling out the free world by refusing to let Israel do America’s job.
    And when the Israelis are finally forced to do our job, we will throw Israel under the geopolitical bus.
    Our diplomats, reporters and officials will blame Israel and help Iran.
    What creeps!

  • defcon 4

    “welcomed with flowers”. It’d be nice if you had some proof of this, because it’s really hard to believe that the huge majority of shiite muslimes don’t support their religious leaders or religion.