Netanyahu: Iran nuclear deal paved way for nuclearization of entire Mideast

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the AIPAC policy conference in Washington on March 6. / Reuters

 

The signing of the Iran nuclear deal in 2015 opened the floodgates for all Mideast regional powers to pursue their own nuclear programs, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. Continue reading

Iran could nuke New York, Bennett warns Americans

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett warned American TV viewers Sunday that Iranian nuclear ambitions were a direct threat to the West, and that the regime in Tehran was developing its missile program abilities with an eye to launching nuclear attacks on major Western cities.

Bennett, who is Israel’s economy minister, told Fox News in an interview that Iran, “the biggest exporter of terror in the world,” was developing nuclear warheads and intercontinental missiles capable of reaching New York, London and Paris. Continue reading

Netanyahu: US-Iran deal is death for Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States on Monday that the nuclear deal it is negotiating with Iran could threaten Israel’s survival and insisted he had a “moral obligation” to speak up about deep differences with President Barack Obama on the issue.

Even as he set the stage for a Washington visit that has strained U.S.-Israeli relations, Netanyahu sought to lower the temperature ahead of his controversial address to Congress on Tuesday, saying he meant no disrespect for Obama and appreciated U.S. military and diplomatic support for Israel. Continue reading

Khamenei Preparing for a Deal?

There are unmistakable signs coming out of Iran that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei is laying the groundwork for a possible deal with the United States. This shift began in February, when Khamenei reaffirmedhis opposition to nuclear weapons on both religious and strategic grounds. The following month, Khamenei praisedPresident Barack Obama’s “good and wise statement” at AIPAC that time for diplomacy still existed, conveniently ignoring that the U.S. leader had also indicated his willingness to undertake military action if necessary. As negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 got underway, Khamenei’s appointees in the clergyjudiciary, and media all sounded a note of optimism. It’s now being reported that Iran is willing to limit the scope of its uranium enrichment.

Most have speculated that Khamenei’s sudden willingness to compromise is the result of his desire to avoid the looming sanctions against Iran’s oil exports. Although there may be some truth to this, at least as important is surely Khamenei’s recent consolidation of power at home. By purging his political competitors, the Supreme Leader has eliminated a significant source of his past opposition to a deal – his fear that his internal opponents would most benefit from it.

The aging Khamenei is also likely thinking of his legacy. Whereas Imam Khomeini is revered for toppling the Shah, creating the Islamic Republic system, and repelling Saddam Hussein’s invasion in 1980, Khamenei’s tenure as Supreme Leader has been rather forgettable. While curbing some of the excesses of the Khomeini era, social and political rights remain restricted, the economy underperforms, and Iran is viewed with suspicion if not hostility abroad. As it stands today, Khamenei’s tenure as Supreme Leader is easily forgotten. By achieving a rapprochement with the United States, Khamenei would ensure himself an eternal spot in Iranian history.

Full article: Khamenei Preparing for a Deal? (The Diplomat)

Netanyahu to Obama: We can’t wait much longer, Iran has not one but ten Fordows

Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu brought 14,000 pro-Israel lobby cheering delegates to their feet repeatedly – especially when he pledged Monday night, March 5, “Never again will our people have to live in the shadow of annihilation.”

While publicly reiterating that there is still a window that allows for a diplomatic resolution of the issue, Obama admitted privately to Netanyahu that the Fordow underground uranium enrichment plant can no longer be destroyed by bombs and missiles; American commanders say all that can be done is to block the vents of this underground facility and slowly stifle the personnel inside. Time and several strikes would be needed to accomplish this.

Then, in his speech to AIPAC, he set the record straight by declaring Israel can’t afford to wait much longer” and lauded the president for affirming Israel was entitled to “defend itself, by itself.”

How much is “much longer” is the subject of debate, but one thing is clear:  Israel won’t wait beyond 2012 or until after the US presidential election in November.

“Israel has waited six years for sanctions to stop Iran,” he told the AIPAC audience, but they have failed.

Full article: Netanyahu to Obama: We can’t wait much longer, Iran has not one but ten Fordows (DEBKAfile)

Israel’s Channel 2: U.S. Officials Believe Netanyahu Has Already Decided to Strike Iran

Channel 2 in Israel, sourcing a “senior American official”, says that the decision has already been made by the Israeli government to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“All U.S. intelligence officials are confident the Israeli leadership has already decided to attack Iran, unless a significant change happens in the coming weeks or months with  the Iranian nuclear program,” Channel 2 reports.

The report comes just hours ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC in Washington.

Full article: Israel’s Channel 2: U.S. Officials Believe Netanyahu Has Already Decided to Strike Iran (The Algemeiner)