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Once in office, Obama needs to send an envoy to Jerusalem with a simple message for the Israelis: when it comes to Iran, sit down and shut up. ››read more
In a gesture of goodwill toward the next United States administration, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has sent a letter to president-elect Barack Obama, congratulating his victory, praising the American people and raising the expectation of significant change in the US's foreign policy.
Tel Aviv - Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni warned US president-elect Barack Obama Thursday against holding a dialogue with Iran, saying Tehran could interpret such overtures as 'weakness.' ››read more
Obama's plan to engage Iran in direct negotiations over the Shiite Muslim state's drive to enrich uranium to produce nuclear weapons could limit Israel's option to use military force to block the program. And his pledge to be actively involved in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians could lead him to exert pressure against settlement-building and travel restrictions on the Palestinians in the West Bank.
Israel is worried about what the outcome of America's presidential election may portend for Washington's policy on Iran. On most Israel-related issues, Jerusalem foresees no dramatic changes in U.S. policy, regardless of who is elected. On Iran, however, it is worried that Democratic candidate Barack Obama will take a significantly softer line than the outgoing administration has. During his campaign, Obama repeatedly said that if elected, he would begin a dialogue with the Iranian regime. ››read more
Experts agree the next US president should negotiate with Iran – but it's not a move John McCain would be willing to make ››read more
A series of interlocking "grand bargains" backed by the relevant regional players as well as major global powers – aimed at pacifying Afghanistan; integrating Iran into a new regional security structure; promoting reconciliation in Iraq; and launching a credible process to negotiate a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Arab world – must offer a very tempting, if extremely challenging, prospect to any new resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. ››read more
With international efforts to increase sanctions against Iran at a standstill, many Israelis believe their nation alone stands in the way of Tehran eventually building nuclear weapons. ››read more
Just over a month ago, the Grand Pooh-Bahs of the Bipartisan Policy Center released a report that concluded Iran's refusal to suspend, indefinitely, its IAEA Safeguarded programs "may pose the most significant strategic threat to the United States during the next administration." Never mind that last year's National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear programs conclude that Iran had "suspended" way back in 2003 whatever "nuclear warhead" work they may have been doing. ››read more
Western intelligence experts believe that Iran's nuclear facilities are so deep underground that it would be difficult for Israel to wipe them out, or even significantly damage them, with a quick airstrike. ››read more
LONDON (Reuters) - The global financial crisis has eclipsed Western jitters over Iran's nuclear program and may have put paid to the possibility of the United States or Israel resorting to preemptive military strikes. ››read more
Israel is preparing for direct US-Iranian talks on Iran's nuclear capability within six months if Senator Barack Obama becomes the next US President, Haaretz newspaper reported on Sunday. An inter-agency panel several months ago coordinated by foreign minister and prime minister designate Tzipi Livni comprising officials from the Foreign Ministry, the Atomic Energy Commission the National Security Council, the Mossad, the Defense Ministry and academic experts outlined numerous scenarios. ››read more
But attacking Iran would be crazy, you say. Not for nothing have many of the folks around Bush and Cheney been referred to as "the crazies" since the early Eighties. Some are still there; and they do things. ››read more
The UAE and other Arab League members endorsed two draft resolutions being debated by the UN General Assembly’s committee on disarmament and international security. Officials have long assumed that Israel has nuclear arms. Iran and Syria are alleged to have nuclear-weapons programmes. A draft resolution released this week, sponsored by Egypt, calls for a “nuclear-weapon-free zone” in the Middle East, suggesting that governments “declare solemnly that they will refrain, on a reciprocal basis, from producing, acquiring or in any other way possessing nuclear weapons”.
Some key decision makers in Israel fear that unless they attack Iranian nuclear enrichment facilities in the next few months, while George W Bush is still president, there will not be another period when they can rely on the United States as being anywhere near as supportive in the aftermath of a unilateral attack. ››read more
Editor's note: David Owen was British foreign secretary from 1977 to 1979.
Would Washington support an Israeli attack? Recently, the administration has given clear signals that it would not. But then, why did the Pentagon announce last month that it planned to sell Israel 1,000 new GBU-39 bunker-busting bombs? They are small weapons that can be dropped from the wings of the fighter jets in Israel's air force. Each can penetrate 6 feet of reinforced concrete. If several aircraft hit the same target the total penetration could be much deeper. ››read more
Israel's prime minister said Tuesday he received assurances that Russia would not allow Israel's security to be threatened, but offered no indication he won the concrete promises he sought on Russian arms sales or sanctions on Iran. Israel is concerned that Russia could sell its enemies, Iran and Syria, advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems. That would make any strike at Iran's first nuclear power plant — which Russia is helping to build — more difficult. ››read more
In the name of peace, Arabs and others speak out against Israel's nuclear arsenal and Western double standards, Mustafa Abdallah writes from Vienna ››read more
Ehud Olmert, on his final foreign trip as prime minister before a new coalition government is confirmed, flew to Moscow to urge Mr Medvedev not to sell weapons to "irresponsible elements". It is feared Israel will see the proposed sale of a sophisticated version of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system as a reason to expedite plans for an attack on Iran. ››read more
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will travel to Moscow this week for talks that will focus largely on Iran's nuclear program at a time when there seem to be growing signs that the US is unenthusiastic about the idea of an Israeli military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Since President George W Bush's visit to Israel in May to mark the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state, there have been reports that Washington is sticking to its policy of sanctions on Iran and that, for now, Israel does not have a green light to strike at its nuclear sites. ››read more