Monday, February 11, 2013

Israeli officials say Obama is coming to tell Netanyahu not to attack Iran

(WJD) In spite of appearances, Israeli officials have told the media that President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Israel will not be a friendly one.

In fact, they told Israel's Army Radio on Sunday, Obama is coming to personally tell Netanyahu not to attack Iran. This would constitute a definitive "red light" from the U.S. on such an operation.

The Times of Israel quotes the report as saying,
Obama decided to come himself and deliver to Netanyahu the direct message, "Don’t strike at Iran. Let me oversee the contacts with Iran as I see fit. If necessary I’ll take action against them. We have capacities that you do not have."
The president reportedly sees the situation as urgent because Netanyahu set spring 2013 as one of Israel's "red lines" on Iran, because analysts believe that Iran will have enriched enough uranium to build a nuclear weapon by that time.

In addition, the election of a new Israeli government, whose composition is still uncertain, has raised concerns that Netanyahu may have broader support for a strike on Iran than he previously did, given that his government will likely include parties from the Center-Left. Netanyahu's previous government was composed entirely of Center-Right and religious parties.

It would seem, then, that the success or failure of Obama's trip will hinge on whether Israelis trust him on the Iran issue.