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Friday, January 01, 2010

The US wimps out on Iran

December 31 has come and gone, and for those of you who were hoping for forceful action from the Obama administration on Iran, you can hurry up and wait. The 'crippling sanctions' we were promised - which weren't expected to have much effect anyway - aren't even going to be imposed.
The next step, according to Ambassador to the US Michael Oren, should be "imposing crippling sanctions" on the Teheran regime, which is in keeping with the pledge Oren said Obama made to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in May that the US would end the engagement phase toward Iran if it were unsuccessful by year's end.

Oren told The Jerusalem Post that "there isn't an Israeli view and an American view" on the Iranian question, but rather "one view."

However, the Obama administration is showing signs that its approach to sanctions might not be in line with the "crippling" measures that Israel is expecting. Instead, a more calibrated approach has been emerging in which the US would press for another UN Security Council resolution this month and look at targeted sanctions rather than at disrupting Iran's energy markets and other more broad-based moves.

In addition, the US has repeatedly stressed that the door to diplomatic engagement remains open, notwithstanding Obama's pledge to review the process at the end of the year.

"The United States remains committed to a diplomatic resolution to the international community's concerns regarding Iran's nuclear program," a State Department official told the Post Thursday, though he added, "Unfortunately, thus far, our efforts have been rebuffed."

He also said, "We would welcome Iran taking concrete steps to build confidence in the peaceful nature of its nuclear program," particularly by "Iranian acceptance of the IAEA's standing Teheran Research Reactor refueling proposal."
If nothing that's put on the table ever gets taken off, why shouldn't Iran continue to stall for more time to enrich?

At some point, Netanyahu is going to have to decide that enough is enough and that he's going to do something about it, or God forbid, we will all be irradiated. There's a saying in Pirkei Avoth (Ethics of the Fathers), which ought to be on Netanyahu's desk this year: "B'Makom she'ain anashim, hishtadel lihyoth ish" (In a place where there are no men, try to be a man). It is clear that there are no men trying to stop Iran. Prime Minister Netanyahu is going to have to be the one.


At 9:41 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - Netanyahu will have to do what Churchill did in World War II. No one else can make the decision for Israel. Time has run out.


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