Netanyahu Complicates Obama’s Iran Effort

Netanyahu warns that Tehran is playing Obama for a fool

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Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

President Barack Obama shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Sept. 30, 2013

As the international community nears a possible interim nuclear deal with Iran that would lay the groundwork for a larger breakthrough agreement, Barack Obama’s biggest diplomatic challenge may come not from the Iranians, but from the Israelis, whose prime minister is warning that Tehran is about to make a sucker out of America.

Details of a possible “first-step” deal were sketchy as John Kerry arrived in Geneva to join international talks with Iran Friday, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu issued an angry protest against any agreement that would merely slow Iran’s nuclear program in return for an easing of international sanctions. Netanyahu believes Iran should halt or even reverse its program for any sanctions relief.

“Israel totally opposes these proposals,” Netanyahu told an audience of Jewish leaders in Israel Thursday, shortly after a two-hour meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry. “I believe that adopting them is a mistake of historic proportions. They must be rejected outright.”

“I call on Secretary Kerry not to be in a hurry to sign, to wait and reconsider,” he added.

Netanyahu fears—as do some influential members of Congress—that any so-called “first step” agreement without major Iranian concessions is dangerous. One of his concerns, says Blaise Misztal, an Iran expert with the Bipartisan Policy Center, is that an interim deal “will become the final deal. If the US lifts enough sanctions now to give Iran some breathing room, will it still be motivated to negotiate a final deal? And if, six months from now, no final deal has been reached what happens? Will there still be appetite for tougher sanctions or even military action?”

To Netanyahu, Iran should receive no reward until it has halted or even dismantled its nuclear program—particularly given that the international sanctions took arduous effort to impose and, in his view, could unravel like a knit sweater once the first thread is tugged.

“[D]on’t agree to a partial deal,” Netanyahu warned in his October address to the United Nations general assembly . “A partial deal would lift international sanctions that have taken years to put in place in exchange for cosmetic concessions that will take only weeks for Iran to reverse.”

Netanyahu also severely doubts whether Iran can be trusted over the long run. Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, is “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” he said in October, adding: “This is a ruse, this is a ploy…. Rouhani thinks he can have his yellowcake and eat it too.”

He’s not the only one with those concerns. “The danger is that [a relaxation] of sanctions would be hard to reverse,” says James Jeffrey, a former ambassador and deputy national security advisor in the Bush White House. “Iran could cheat at least on the margins despite any agreement, and even if truly it ‘freezes’ [its nuclear program] it still will be close to a breakout mode,” enabling it to sprint to the production of a bomb before the international community can respond.

It’s not clear whether Netanyahu’s angry response might be giving Obama administration pause about advancing towards a deal it appears eager to strike. “Any critique of the deal is premature,” a White House spokesman said Thursday. But as a larger, long-term deal between the U.S. and Iran comes into clearer focus, it seems that Netanyahu is just getting started.

73 comments
kamanalonokapu
kamanalonokapu

Keep in mind that it was america’s CIA that overthrew Iran’s democratically elected government back in 1953 

and did so at the behest of america’s oil companies.  So why is america so interested in Iran now?  Oil, baby, oil!  If Iran succeeds in building its nuclear facility it will enable them to use their oil to influence a lot of markets putting the american oil companies on the defensive.

lizcodoni
lizcodoni

For all you folks interested in this new thriller, I suggest an older one - "Exodus" by Leon Uris, then ask yourself why - why are there still Palestinian "camps" after all these years?  They aren't bounded on all sides by Israel, are they?  It's got to be all or nothing, because Iran and  others are in it for the long haul, and Israel knows this (at least the elders do).

elle909
elle909

there is not going to be any agreement with iran.that whole exercise was a prelude to war. 

the p5+1 had to show the rest of the world that every effort was made to de swayed iran from  
their enrichment program  ,but at the end iran fell short of sizing the chance for a peaceful solution   

morgal48
morgal48

Whew.  So glad that wee have TIME to give us the real story.  As we know, from his own mouth, Obama has to "deal with" Bebe more than other world leaders and finds it tiring.  Then, he finds the Clintons tiring as well.  In fact, he seems to find everyone but.... well, okay, everyone but that glorious guy he sees in the mirror.  That must be okay, as he likes himself enough for the rest of us.  And we can take solace that the folks at TIME know much more about the true situation in the mid-East than the Israelis. 

JoeSandiego
JoeSandiego

Netanyahu gets in the way of Obama's plan for Muslim domination!

nnagi08
nnagi08

Hey Neti, what about your nuclear arsenal - you know, the one you secretly built and won't admit to...quit trying to drag us in to your schemes, we send you enough welfare, do your own dirty work

elle909
elle909

seems there will be no agreement with the p5+1 ,iran wants to get to the bomb but  there is no way the world is going to let them get there.let them suffer the sanctions for a while longer and then they will get the final blow in a form of a strike on their nuclear facilities .

Icansee4miles
Icansee4miles

This has been predicted; see if this sounds familiar, as spoken by the Grand Ayatollah in Amazon Kindle's new thriller The Bahrain Protocol, "Continue to ask for negotiations; invite the U.S. and European nations to the talks; sow dissention and split them from each other." "The bomb is almost ready; lengthy negotiations will give us time to complete and test it."


The clock is ticking.

BCBADO
BCBADO

Blow hard and bully Netanyahu thinks he is smarter than everybody!

sensi
sensi

- Every public IAEA and US military National Intelligence Estimate reports have stated that there was no evidence of any Iranian military nuclear program since Iran had discontinued one in 2003.

- Netanyahu, aka the liar according to former French president Sarkozy, has claimed that Iran was "months from the bomb" since 1992.

Enough of those liars and their propagandist garbage...

Icansee4miles
Icansee4miles

Once it gets its nuke, Iran will hold a knife to the throat of the Arabian Gulf's oil producing countries; it will be an existential threat to the entire world. The Bahrain Protocol, Amazon Kindle's new thriller spells out the truth in a gripping novel about the U.S.' withdrawal from the world stage; and if the U.S. won't protect the world, Israel will-with a surprising new partner, Saudi Arabia.

inform.srijith
inform.srijith

Iran is still a state which acts autocratic, and is largely controlled by the religious clerics. West Asia is already war-struck, and I feel, Iran has plan to have to target Israel. Quite hard to believe Iran will use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. However, concession in sanctions can be allowed if any international authority can constantly monitor Iran's nuclear programmes.

Hotpuppy
Hotpuppy

Israel is at least half of the problem.  We need to stop propping them up.  They make too much noise about our politics.  The money we spend in the Middle East could solve many domestic problems.  One starving American is more important than all of Israel..

jmac
jmac

If Kerry closes an interim deal, he'll have to rush back to the Senate to get support.   Bob Corker has already threatened to restrict  Obama's ability to lift sanctions on Iran.

Our biggest problem with agreements in the Middle East is our very own Congress.   Netanyahu knows he has conservatives tied around his finger.  The last thing they want is to have Obama broker any kind of peace agreement.  They're not Americans first and they haven't been for a long time.   If they have the chutzpa to shut down the government for a unrealistic goal just to show they can shut down the government, they won't hesitate to make this fight.   

It's all about religion.    That's the cruelest part of the whole thing.   Peace stuffed out by religious fanatics (including our religious fanatics).     


jamesgordon777
jamesgordon777

Politics  ends at the  waters  edge ,, Remember  that BS .The  republicans  used that on us  every time  Bush  and  prick Cheney  got us in a mess . IF  there every is another  republican  president  Never let us  believe  politics  ends at the  waters  edge , In  fact i am  getting a good  education about how to  treat  a  President  especially if  that  cult  leader  Romney  ( The  Anti christ )  is  elected  by  deceived  christians and  catholics .

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

Netanyahu is being foolish here, and playing around Obama to an American neoconservative audience.  He forgets that the U.S. isn't the only Western player in this game and that if he is constructive, he may be able to get what he wants from this.

However, ceaseless criticism is not going to get him anywhere.

usbworks
usbworks

Netanyahu is the biggest fool. He lost betting on Romney and he will lose betting against this peace accord.

RobertNguyen
RobertNguyen

Its best for Netanyahu to lobby his patrons in private than to publicly denounce them. It shows he has no class and an ungrateful ally. The US is tired of supporting Israel 's conquest. It's time for them to make peace with Palestine.

RDSultan
RDSultan

Netanyahu is working on the latest cartoon for his next UN speech.

nsrihari
nsrihari

If Iran makes a N-bomb it will be used against Sunnis only.

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

Secular American moderates and progressives should spread their bottom cheeks and invite Netanyahu to kiss there.  He represents the middle east version of our US House.  POS.

rotorhead1871
rotorhead1871

the Iranians are going to get the bomb.....and that is that...the issies are going to be peeoed that another mid east nation has the bomb!!! 

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

Mr. Bibi baby, give up your own nukes for a start, or STFU.

Mr.Stark
Mr.Stark

I bet the Iranians are laughing their asses off right now, thinking something along the lines of "they're going to let us keep developing nukes AND improve our quality of life."

jmac
jmac

@elle909  Iran is co-operating.   Iran's not the problem.  

keith.dime
keith.dime

@JoeSandiego And to think people thought you were born retarded!

BCBADO
BCBADO

@JoeSandiego Faux News Puppet!

rar113
rar113

@sensi French President Sarkozy.  A very trusted source for character assessments.

keith.dime
keith.dime

@Icansee4miles No thank you, not interested in paying good money for a book written by your high school dropout father.

GeorgeGreen
GeorgeGreen

@Icansee4miles Unfortunately, I have read this so called "Thriller."  What a waste of $5.  It is written at a third grade elementary school level.  Anyone who quotes anything from this, they deserve to go back to kindergarden. 

EarthView
EarthView

@Icansee4miles You are a paranoid freak. Why don't you go back to reading your novel and let the rest of us talk about reality.

EarthView
EarthView

@inform.srijith Iran is not autocratic and it is not controlled by the religious clerics. Iran is actually the most stable and the most democratic country in the Middle East. Besides, Iran has not attacked another country in 300 years. Why would it start now? Do you think it is suicidal?

morgal48
morgal48

@jmac Sorry, but I don't understand your use of those personal pronouns.  Who are "they"?  I would suggest that most of the Jewish folks in Congress (just assuming there are some, don't know) would be liberal, not conservative, and would seem to have closer ties to, and greater interest in the well being of Israel.  Conservatives, on the other hand, those right wing Christian nut cases would want to get rid of ALL non-Christians, and thus not want to bolster Israel.  I thought, like Muslims, those nasty Christians wanted everyone unlike them to be removed from the planet.  Am I wrong on this?  So, is it the Conservative Christians who aren't Americans, as you say.  Or is it the Israelis?  Or the Persians (Iranians)?  Another question:  When you say Congress, that includes House and Senate.  Since the Dems control the Senate, what chance does a Corker bill have of passing?  Lastly, I'm unfamiliar with the unrealistic goal you mention.  Is that a reference to the ACA?  And who had what unrealistic goal?  I would like a cogent response.  If, after you read this, you feel a need to chastise me and start name calling, please don't.  To quote Jerry Jeff Walker, "I've been beat up by better people." 

jmac
jmac

@jamesgordon777  Bush is speaking next week at a Church in Texas whose main goal is to convert Jews to Christians to fulfill biblical prophesy.   Their big speaker last year - Glenn Beck.  

Openminded1
Openminded1

@DavidStrayer You really are a party line follower, Obama is a god to you, And all the naive libs out there. The people from India worship cows so i guess you can drop to your knees for the muslim in the Oval office if you want. But history will tell the story of Obama and the fool he is and the truth will come out about him and you will feel very dumb.

EarthView
EarthView

@nsrihari It would be great to use nukes on the Saudis but unfortunately Iran has no plans to build or use nukes. Iran's main goal is to grow its economy and become an economic powerhouse. That is what the U.S. and Israel really dread. Nukes are just an excuse.

EarthView
EarthView

@rotorhead1871 I actually heard that Iran plans to build a base on the back side of the moon, from where it is going to attack the U.S., Europe and Israel. You better hide in your closet. You are a paranoid freak. You have no idea what you are talking about.

rar113
rar113

@keith.dime I wonder if he's related to Carmen Sandiego??  Where in the world is she now?

manlyman
manlyman

@EarthView @Icansee4miles good well thought out response earth view... actually you're a godamnned idiot if you think iran wants anything to do with peace. Who feeds you your meals, cuz you're obviously too damn dumb to feed yourself?

elle909
elle909

@EarthView @inform.srijith now iran thinks it would have the means or at list that is the plan.

they need the bomb to achieve their goal.also iran uses proxies to do their dirty work ,im sure you know 

hamas and hezbollah the 300 year story means nothing when you sponsor this terrorist groups 

jmac
jmac

@morgal48 @jmac You need to read more.  It's is Christian evangelicals pushing Netanyahu.   Check out who Bush is giving a talk to this week in Texas.   Save the Jews and Jesus returns.  

Any senator can hold up a vote.     The Democrats need 60 votes.  No more having the V.P. come in for the 51st vote - you need to read more.    That's why we can't get justices on the D.C. circuit.     

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

@Openminded1 

Who on earth are you to judge me?  You know nothing about me and have repeatedly demonstrated an inability to hear what others are saying.  Just because you disagree with someone doesn't give you the right to be disagreeable.  Just because someone posts a little here or there doesn't provide you with sufficient entree into their thoughts to conclude as you do.

It would be far better for you to consider that others besides yourself might actually have points.  

Your handle is hardly accurate: your mind is as closed as anyone here.

jamesgordon777
jamesgordon777

@Openminded1 Father I pray  you  pass  judgement  on Openminded   and his  whole  family  , He has  sinned  in  God's  eye , "And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness,."  so let it  be  done in Jesus  name .

EarthView
EarthView

@elle909 @EarthView @inform.srijith Hezbollah is not a terrorist group at all. It was formed to fight the barbaric terrorism of Israel in Lebanon. Do you want me to list the number of countries that Israel has attacked just during the last few decades? All its neighbor and some much farther away.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@DavidStrayer @Openminded1 That is my point exactly , you and your fellow libs do what you are accusing me of. Everyone has opinion, they are like ass holes everyone has one only some are better then others. My handle by the way is meant to be Ironic. I do agree with you and will give you the slack you deserve.

Openminded1
Openminded1

@jamesgordon777 @Openminded1 Pray for your own family, mine has done fine and is doing very well. when you die moron and when I die we are going to the same place and become maggot food or dust. All your prayers will not help you, but to each their own keep praying and I will keep sinning I guess in your eyes. To the pope we hope.