Senior Israeli Official Lists 5 Steps for Washington to Assuage Israel on Iran
A senior Israeli official has laid out a list of 5 items which would convince Jerusalem that the United States is committed to preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon, and in turn, would keep Israeli jets on the ground and out of Iranian airspace.
Speaking to Israel’s Ynet newspaper, the source said Iranian officials are confident that they’re safe from an Israeli or American strike on their nuclear facilities in 2012 due to rising oil prices and the U.S. election in November.
The first item cited by Ynet is a public statement from President Obama, affirming that the U.S. will not allow Iran to possess a nuclear weapon and that Israel has the right to defend itself against any threat.
International negotiations between Iran and the p5+1 nations (China, France, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Germany) should also be used as leverage against the Islamic Republic, according to the Ynet report. If Iran continues to enrich uranium near levels of 20% and no breakthroughs are made in the negotiations soon, the p5+1 nations should pull the plug on diplomatic discussions. The source stated that as long as these negotiations continue, Iran feels immune from an attack and therefore it will continue enriching uranium at unacceptable levels to Israel.
Financial sanctions should be tightened, as the third item of note according to the paper’s report, to include an American and European Union ban on dealing with any country that interacts with Iran’s central bank.
The fourth action the White House should take, according to Ynet’s report, should be an increased U.S. military presence in the gulf region in order to convince the Iranians that American threats of action are real.
Finally, the so called “red line” should be in sync between Washington and Jerusalem. This refers to the point in which U.S. and Israeli officials believe they have no choice but to act militarily against Iran’s facilities. For the Obama administration, that point is when intelligence suggests Iran has made a hard decision to move forward with producing a nuclear weapon. The Israelis argue it won’t be clear when or if Iran decides to produce a nuclear weapon, and even if it were, Iran’s facilities may be immune from a military strike at that time.