Tuesday, September 04, 2012
US Rachets Up Tension with Israel over Iran
Report: U.S. Won't Back Israeli Strike If Iran Doesn't Attack American Assets in Gulf
The U.S. has indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli strike against the country's nuclear facilities, as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American assets in the Persian Gulf, such as military bases and aircraft carriers, Yediot Ahronot reported.
Israeli Leader Calls for "Clear Red Line" on Iran -Josef Federman
Israel's prime minister urged the international community to get tougher against Iran, saying that without a "clear red line," Tehran will not halt its nuclear program. Israel has warned that the Iranians are quickly approaching weapons capability and that the threat of force must be seriously considered. The U.S. says sanctions and international diplomacy must be given more time to work.
Netanyahu told his Cabinet that a new report issued by the UN nuclear agency showing progress in the Iranian nuclear program "confirms what I have been saying for a long time - the international sanctions are burdening Iran's economy, but they are not delaying the development of the Iranian nuclear program." "The international community is not drawing a clear red line for Iran, and Iran does not see international determination to stop its nuclear program," Netanyahu said.
Official: Israel Increasingly Feels It Has No One to Rely on But Itself -Ilan Ben Zion
A senior Israeli official said the combination of Iran's progress toward the bomb, the failure of the U.S. to "set red lines" for Iran, and the increasingly critical comments by the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff have left Israel with "a sharpened sense that it has no one to rely upon but itself," Israel's Channel 2 TV reported.
Gen. Martin Dempsey said that he did not want "to be complicit" if Israel were to strike at Iran's nuclear facilities. A source in Jerusalem called Dempsey's comments "strange" and said they characterized the failure of the U.S. to take a determined position against Iran's nuclear drive.
"It is strange that next to the oaths and blood libels of [Iran's Ayatollah] Khamenei...and the IAEA report - which states that Iran is speeding up uranium enrichment under its nose - the American chief of staff decides to talk about [an Israeli strike] rather than giving a determined message to the Iranians," the source said.
(Times of Israel)
To Calm Israel -David E. Sanger & Eric Schmitt
Even if Mr. Obama set a clear “red line” now, its credibility may be questionable. According to a tally by Graham Allison, the Harvard expert on nuclear conflict, the United States and its allies have allowed Iran to cross seven previous “red lines” over 18 years with few consequences.
[New York Times]
U.S. Denies Report of Secret Iran Contacts -Mark Felsenthal
The White House denied an Israeli newspaper report that accused Washington of secretly negotiating with Tehran to keep the U.S. out of a future Israel-Iran war.
Iran/Hizbullah's Training Base in Nicaragua -Philip Podolsky
Iran has established a training base in northern Nicaragua near the border with Honduras that is used by Hizbullah, Israel Radio reported.
Sources estimate that the trainees, supplied from Tehran, are preparing for retaliatory attacks against U.S. and Israeli targets in the event of a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
(Times of Israel)