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November 4, 2014 6:11 pm

Report: Netanyahu Believes Obama Admin Insults Were Bid to Weaken Israel’s Hand on Iran

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his associates think slanders recently published against him in the name of a senior White House official were intended to soften public opinion toward a developing major US agreement with Iran, Israel’s NRG News reported Tuesday.

Netanyahu believes that the Obama administration wants to minimize Israel’s visibility in the United States, in order to muffle attempts to delegitimize such a deal, one that Israeli officials fear would allow Teheran a “breakout” ability to quickly assemble a nuclear weapon.

However, at this point, Netanyahu plans to work behind the scenes and is not planning an overt media campaign to block the agreement, according to the report.

“It’s too late for him to do anything,” an official quoted in the Atlantic article said, referring to Netanyahu’s options to thwart a deal he and many Israelis view as an existential threat to the Jewish State.

“Two, three years ago, this was a possibility. But ultimately he couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. It was a combination of our pressure and his own unwillingness to do anything dramatic. Now it’s too late,” the anonymous official said, according to author Jeffery Goldberg.

According to a second official, “The feeling now is that Bibi’s bluffing,” and that “he’s not Begin at Osirak” – referencing Israel’s lightning strike in 1981 that destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor.

Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes likened an Iranian nuclear deal to ObamaCare in a talk to progressive activists last January, according to audio obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The remarks, made at a since-discontinued regular meeting of White House personnel and representatives of liberal interest groups, reveal the importance of a rapprochement with Iran to President Obama, who is looking to establish his legacy as his presidency enters its lame-duck phase.

Ironically, 35 years ago, on November 4, 1979, Iranian rioters – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly among them – stormed the US Embassy in Tehran, and took dozens of Americans hostage.

The quote “reflects the Obama Administration’s policy, which has been engagement with Iran and not military preemption,” said Yoram Ettinger, retired Minister for Congressional Affairs in the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. with the rank of Ambassador. “ANY [diplomatic] deal with Iran, in Obama’s mind, is better than military preemption.”

Ettinger also believes that failing to remove the threat of a nuclear Iran is a policy mistake for Obama, more so than a threat to Israel, as the United States is Iran’s chief target. “Israel is only a tertiary, or even 4th rate target for Iran. The United States is their number one target, followed by US-friendly oil producing Gulf states, and then perhaps NATO.”

Last week, in response to the harsh epithets hurled at him by senior US officials, including that he was “chickenshit,” “a coward” and was “Aspergery,” Netanyahu said that “The attack on me was just because I’m defending the State of Israel. Our supreme interests, first and foremost the security and unity of Jerusalem, do not meet the top priority of those anonymous sources who attack us, and me personally.”

Political sources aver that Netanyahu is talking “with anyone he can,” to convince the representatives of six world powers negotiating with Tehran that the emerging agreement will make Iran a nuclear threshold state, one that will inevitably drag the Middle East into a nuclear race and impose a constant existential threat against Israel.

The Iran nuclear program's Arak heavy-water reactor. Photo: Nanking2012/Wikimedia Commons.

Israel is very worried that, by some accounts, the US, and the five other powers (Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany), plan to leave Iran with the means to build a nuclear weapon.

“We are standing before the danger of an agreement that will leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state, with thousands of centrifuges through which Iran can manufacture the material for a nuclear bomb within a short period of time,” Netanyahu said in a recent address.

In addition, the agreement ignores the emerging ballistic missile system Iran is developing. According to emerging details, Iran will agree to certain restrictions on its nuclear program in return for the West removing heavy sanctions imposed on its economy in recent years. At this stage it is unclear whether sanctions will be removed immediately or gradually.

The next round of talks between Iran and the P5+1 will be held next week simultaneously in Oman and Vienna. In Muscat, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, the outgoing European Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton (who continues to hold the Iran portfolio for the time being) will meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

This meeting will be crucial as the deadline for reaching an agreement by November 24 quickly closes in.

At the same time, there will be a routine meeting in Vienna of the negotiating teams to discuss details of the deal. While the Americans and Iranians are very interested in reaching an agreement, at this stage, it’s not clear if it’s doable. US National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, was recently quoted as saying that the odds are less than fifty percent. However, some of President Obama’s advisers are very determined to reach an agreement, so all options are open.

Secretary-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, revealed on Saturday that Iran had ceased to answer questions about military operations in the nuclear field.

In remarks at the Brookings Institution in Washington on “Iranian violation of the Interim Agreement,” Amano said that the agency has reliable information that the nuclear program had “military characteristics,” but, due to lack of Iranian cooperation, the Agency was unable to prove anything.

Iran nuke talks graphic. Image: Twitter

Iran nuke talks graphic. Image: Twitter

Meanwhile, Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, said that “Iran’s refusal to disclose its nuclear past casts a shadow on the future. Only complete exposure of nuclear tests in the past, will allow reaching an agreement that provides for the future.

Amano’s harsh words point, in fact, to the first Iranian violation of the Interim Agreement, based on an understanding assuming full Iranian cooperation with the IAEA. According to Stenitz, signing a definitive agreement under such conditions would be a reckless act by the wourld powers, and one to be avoided.

“It won’t be a good agreement,” he told Army radio Sunday. “We are doing our best to make sure it’s not a catastrophe.”

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  • shloime

    it’s not always about israel!

    clearly, the white house does not hold israel, or netanyahu, as dearly as previous administrations might have, but the timing of this latest kerfuffle would seem to indicate that it was more intended to garner votes in tuesday’s election. (they could have waited a week, if it was only about the iranian negotiations.)

    which is no less troubling, because it means that senior officials are willing to fan the flames of anti-semitism, and damage relations with an important ally, for votes.

  • Shalom-Hillel

    Why haven’t you allowed my comments? They are thoughtful and on topic.

  • about that later attack nuclear facilities in Iran does not agree. But also it would be absurd to expect from the president of the United States to comply with the instructions he Israeli government. The US – its geopolitical interests.
    We must soberly assess their capabilities and not illusions

  • BS”D

    Our history proves, whenever Klal Yisrael were loyal

    to HaSh-m, Aisav was powerless.

  • Mickey Oberman

    Netanyahu has more brains, more integrity and more courage than that boor in the White House could scrounge up in a million years.

    Mickey Oberman

  • M. Sharp

    What does Obama hope to gain from Iran? They have proved unreliable, not to mention dishonest, and hostile to the US. Does Obama really believe the Iranians to be trustworthy? He is playing with fire, nuclear fire, when what the world needs a is a president with wisdom and foresight.

  • Michael Garfinkel

    There is no question that Iran is moving with all deliberate spreed towards hegemony in the Middle East.

    It is also clear that the Mullahs mean what they say; they intend to destroy Israel.

    It’s quite astonishing, really, that they haven’t been stopped – nor does there appear to be the will or inclination to stop them.

    “It won’t be a good agreement (with Iran),” (Steinitz) told Army radio Sunday. “We are doing our best to make sure it’s not a catastrophe.”

    But catastrophe is exactly what is coming, if things continue as they have.

  • Enezio E. de Almeida Filho

    Shomer, Shomer Yisrael…

  • Jonah

    The Angels are singing in heaven thanks to the number 7. Israel you now will have a fighting chance against this hydra headed monster. The senate is now controlled by something else other than pro Islamic dough heads. Your country should have a day of celebration.

  • Efram

    It will be a catastrophe. Obama has wanted, right from the start, for Iran to have nuclear weapons and for Israel to eventually be destroyed. This is part of his core belief system, and he has moved gradually in this direction. When this travesty of a deal is completed, Iran will move full steam ahead to build nuclear weapons, and will no longer be hampered by pesky sanctions. At this point there is only one way to stop Iran and that is for Israel to destroy its capacity to create nuclear weapons. I fear that Israel either cannot accomplish this, or does not have the political will to do so. Just as it left Hamas firmly in control of Gaza, building new weapons and still firing rockets into Israel, so Israel will sit back and watch Obama present Iran with the freedom to build nuclear weapons, the missiles to deliver them, and create nuclear war in the region. I fear that Israel’s days are numbered, and G-d help we Jews when it is gone.

  • Tzippi Whinestein

    Strange how BB’s idea of protecting Israel is to destroy Jewish homes, freeze building(against Jews only}, violate the basic human rights of Jews in order to appease the enemy & their supporters, give away land, including most Jewish holy sites, allow terrorism to run rampant for years, and giving aid, comfort and all the means & support possible for Israel’s enemy to wage war while they live comfortably for free at the expense of Jewish tax monies. Chickenshit is a compliment for that corrupt leftist traitor.

  • Shalom-Hillel

    In case any doubts remain on what Iran is planning:

    1.”Our battalions are named Imam Ali, Imam Hussein and
    Bayt al-Maqdis [Jerusalem] to clarify our final destination to the
    Basiji. We will not abandon our [armed] struggle until the annihilation
    of Israel and until we will be able to pray in al-Aqsa mosque.”

    Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, Commander of the Basij militia

    2. “We must spare no effort in liberating holy Jerusalem and cutting off the hands of the infidels from this holy site.”

    Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi Kani, Assembly of Experts Chairman

    3.”The Zionist regime will soon be destroyed, and this generation will be witness to its destruction.”

    Hojatoleslam Ali Shirazi, Supreme Leader’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards

    4.”The issue of Palestine is an Islamic issue. The
    Islamic world must come together to destroy the false Israeli regime….If this happens, nothing will be left of Israel.”

    Ayatollah Mohammed Ali Movahedi-Kermani, Tehran’s interim Friday Imam

    5. “If once the destruction and demise of occupying Israel was an impossible and unattainable dream, today thanks to the historic and intelligent actions of Imam Khomeini, it has become possible and is actually in the process of occurring.”

    Iranian Ministry of Defense statement

    6. “The day will come when the Islamic people in the region will destroy Israel and save the world from this Zionist base.”

    Hojateleslam Alireza Panahian, Advisor to Office of the Supreme Leader in Universities

    7. “The only solution to the Palestine problem is the destruction of the Zionist regime….We view the wondrous resistance as the only way towards a victorious and inspiring battle against the false,
    illegitimate Zionist regime.”

    Basij organization media outlet, Fars Province

  • Shalom-Hillel

    I am sure Yoram Ettinger is a very smart man, but he is wrong when he says that Israel is a fourth-rate target for the Iranian regime. Let’s not fool ourselves; Israel is, because of this regime’s special brand of theology, the number one target for their nuclear bomb. Of course the United States is geostrategically very much a target for them, as well.

    This is absolutely analogous to the rise of Nazism. The world thought that it pertained only to Jews, so they were willing to let it advance, and it engulfed the world. The very same thing will happen in the not-distant future with Iran unless they are stopped in their tracks, and they must be. This entire Iranian situation has the same sick sense of inevitability that accompanied the Nazi rise to power. However, it is not in evitable. They can be stopped, even if the Obama administration does not care to stop them.

    Allowing them to achieve their dream of nuclear weapons capability is the worst possible outcome for Israel and the world. Every other option is less bad than that. No matter what, they must be stopped.

  • Margaret Mildenhall

    Mr. Netanyahu has more pressure on him than any previous Israeli leader,and I pray daily for wisdom for the leadership of this very special country.

  • NuritGn

    That is may be BUT Netanyahu must be bigger than that and he should counteract such slander and guttural language with formidable one that will shut Obama up. And in that speech he should say that insults that appear to be a bid to weaken Israel’s hand on Iran will nor work. Jews have been threatened for thousands of years and we are here to attest history that Rome is not here, the Ottoman empire is not here and Iran can look through the window, as it may not be here if it continues threatening the Jews.

  • marty kaplan

    Believing in obama to do the moral thing is like believing that fool’s gold is real, an illusion