The rigidity of Official Washington – more than intransigence from Iran – is threatening negotiations beginning in Istanbul this weekend. President Obama’s flexibility to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for Iranian safeguards against building a nuclear weapon is limited by political pressures, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
As international talks begin over Iran’s nuclear program, President Obama has put forward an Israeli demand for the dismantling of a well-protected uranium processing plant, but it’s less clear whether Obama will press the point if it means killing hopes for a peaceful settlement, Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.
Exclusive: Iran is resuming talks over its nuclear program with leading international powers – the United States, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany – with the prospect of an agreement to swap some enriched uranium for research isotopes. But a similar plan was torpedoed by U.S. neocons in 2010, recalls Robert Parry.
With negotiations set to begin with Iran over its nuclear program, the Obama administration is signaling a hard line toward closing Iran’s newest – and best protected – site built into a mountain. But such a demand could torpedo a peaceful settlement to the dispute, warns ex-CIA analyst Paul Pillar.
Exclusive: German poet Gunter Grass is under withering attack for writing a poem that urges Germany to stop supplying nuclear submarines to Israel, objects to Israel’s threat of war against Iran and suggests both countries accept nuclear inspectors. That last idea has opened Grass to charges of “moral equivalence,” notes Robert Parry.
Iran says it doesn’t want a nuclear bomb and Western intelligence agencies say it isn’t building one, but Israeli leaders and their U.S. supporters say a preemptive strike may still be necessary. A key argument is the threat of a regional arms race, a claim that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar finds dubious.
In Israel, the debate over bombing Iran has been tamped down by the belief in national security circles that Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu may be bluffing about going to war but that the bluff requires the world to think he may do it, Gareth Porter reports from Tel Aviv for Inter Press Service.
Israeli hardliners and American neocons say U.S. and Israeli interests are one and the same, meaning that if Israel bombs Iran, the United States should join in. But other observers say Washington must create some distance from Israel’s messianic Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Israel’s threats to bomb Iran have hinged on how much damage Israeli aircraft can inflict on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but another worry is how much destruction Iranian missiles can inflict on Israel, a danger that Israeli officials are downplaying, Gareth Porter writes from Tel Aviv for Inter Press Service.
Almost drowned out by the pounding of war drums is the rare voice for peace and sanity, like that of Israeli graphic artist Rony Edry, who designed a poster with the message, “Iranians. We will never bomb your country. We love you,” a moment that brought back memories of similar gestures to Winslow Myers.