Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Israel Fumes At Iran Conference In London, The Danger Of Strategy Of Linking Iran And ISIS For Israel

Israel Fumes At 'Post-Sanctions' Iran Conference In London

An international conference to promote business ties between Europe and Iran is set to begin Wednesday in London, arousing the ire of local pro-Israel groups and senior government officials in Jerusalem.

The “1st Europe-Iran forum” seeks to prepare the ground for “post-sanctions investment and trade,” according to its official website. Speakers at the conference, which has been endorsed by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, include former foreign ministers from the United Kingdom and France, one British MP, and a senior official currently serving in the British Foreign Office.

“It’s a manipulation orchestrated by Tehran and certain business circles and friends of Iran,” a senior diplomatic official told The Times of Israel on Tuesday. “Their purpose is to create a public atmosphere that would eventually make European governments more amenable to compromise regarding the nuclear negotiations with Iran,” he charged.

“In recent months, Iran has been trying to present itself as part of the solution rather than part of the problem,” he went on. “They’ve been doing this with ISIS and with Afghanistan, and now they created this honey trap — all while the sanctions are still in place. The point is to exert pressure on Western governments.”

The stated intention of the Islamic Republic and the so-called P5+1 — the US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany — to reach a comprehensive agreement by November 24, 2014, “foreshadows an expected rollback of the current international sanctions against Iran,” the conference website states.

In Jerusalem, the endorsement of a close Rouhani confidante is regarded with suspicion. “It should come as no surprise that the Iranian president supports this conference,” a different senior Israeli government official said. “The Iranians want the sanctions lifted and the economic pressure removed. This is the whole point of their charm offensive. It’s therefore crucial that people are not sucked in to that charm offensive.” Tehran’s support for this conference “is totally in synch with their overall strategy,” he added.

Israel has consistently said that sanctions can only be lifted if the Iranians abandon their quest for the bomb and their military nuclear capacity is dismantled. “Such a capability is not only a grave threat to Israel but to the entire region and to Europe itself,” the senior official said. “And leaders in Europe should not delude themselves over the gravity of the threat posed by an Iranian nuclear weapons capability.”

In fifty days of Gaza conflict, Israel launched 5500 precision air strikes against terror targets. In 70+ days the US launched less than 400 strikes in Iraq and Syria against ISIS. Why?
It’s not lack of planes and fire power. It’s a lack of political will, despite all the rhetoric of having to degrade and defeat the Islamic State rampage and mayhem.

Part of the reason for Obama’s reticence in attacking ISIS with more force seems to be contained in a think tank policy document he commissioned entitled ”The Iran Project. Iran and its Neighbors. Regional Implications for US Policy of a Nuclear Agreement.”

Experts who signed off on this document include Thomas Pickering, Brent Scowcroft, Daniel Kurtzer, Nicholas Platt, and Zbigniew Brzezinski.

The document mistakenly sees the possibility of using ISIS to drive Iran and Israel closer together in a common cause. This misguided strategic fantasy is described thus,“If ISIS were to continue to progress, Israel and Iran might find themselves with a common enemy.”

The dream of bringing Iran and Israel together seems so devoutly to be wished by the Obama Administration that it surmounts any political reality to facts on the ground.
Could this be the reason that America has not applied the full measure of air power at its disposal in killing and driving back ISIS?

If it is, it’s dangerous and false thinking. It appears as if the US president is cynically allowing thousands to be slaughtered in front of our eyes for a strategy that will never happen.
Does he, or his experts, really think that Iran and Israel will join his feckless coalition out of joint fear of ISIS? If so, he is dead wrong.

The only force that is bravely standing and confronting ISIS on the ground are the Kurds, and yet Obama is still not arming them directly. He should. Instead, the documents points to the US Administration playing a double game by recruiting not only Iran but also Tehran’s ally Assad to fight against ISIS;

“Syrian forces should be urged by Tehran to attack ISIS directly in Syria. Syrian military commanders, security personnel, and top government officials should be motivated to avoid an ISIS victory.”

A nuclear agreement with Iran runs through the document. It is the center piece of a US Middle East policy. At parts it reads like an illusion world of smoke and mirrors. “A nuclear agreement could help the United States and its allies find common ground with Iran for a creative response to ISIS, although the United States must avoid seeming to ally itself with the Shi’a and thereby enhance the appeal of radicals to Sunnis.”

Israel sees ISIS creeping closer to its border. It can visibly see the Al-Nusra terror group on the Golan Heights. ISIS is not far away, and the document states the threat for Israel;

“The ‘Islamic State’ declared an end tothe 1916 British and French-imposed Sykes—Picot borders, and announced that its next goal would be to free Palestine.”

This threat would give Israel a justification to get into the fight. If it did, it is more likely to assist the Kurds than get into bed with Iran, as the document wrongly suggests. Albeit indirectly arming and trained the brave Kurds, before the ISIS threat becomes a face-to-face confrontation for Israel, could become a necessity for Israel.

‘We must rise to action in the defense of Israel! We must vote, demonstrate and lift our voices in the press!” American preacher Dr. Robert Stearns urged 5,000 Christian pilgrims from 80 different countries filling the seats of Jerusalem’s new Pais Arena on Tuesday evening for a spectacular show celebrating their declaredly unshakable bond with Israel.

They were at the arena for “Israeli Night,” an event of The Feast of Tabernacles to which Israeli citizens and residents, including 300 Jewish, Christian and Druze IDF paratroopers who served in Operation Protective Edge, were invited as special guests.

Tuesday’s spirited, colorful, music-filled extravaganza capped off a week of visits to holy sites and study and prayer sessions for the pilgrims. They also participated in a march through Jerusalem and heard addresses by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder, as well as by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu via video link.

According to ICEJ’s website, the Feast of Tabernacles is meant to celebrate the “recognition of the hand of God in Israel’s modern day restoration and the need to work with what God is doing, and bless it.” This year’s feast was the largest in seven years, despite Israel’s conflict with Gaza, which ended less than two months ago.
“It’s an encouraging statement of solidarity,” ICEJ media director David Parsons told The Times of Israel.

The global financial markets are dangerously stretched and may unwind with shock force as liquidity dries up, the Bank of International Settlements has warned.
Guy Debelle, head of the BIS’s market committee, said investors have become far too complacent, wrongly believing that central banks can protect them, many staking bets that are bound to “blow up” as the first sign of stress.
In a speech in Sydney, Mr Debelle said: “The sell-off, particularly in fixed income, could be relatively violent when it comes. There are a number of investors buying assets on the presumption of a level of liquidity which is not there. This is not evident when positions are being put on, but will become readily apparent when investors attempt to exit their positions.
“The exits tend to get jammed unexpectedly and rapidly.”
Mr Debelle, who is also chief of financial markets at Australia’s Reserve Bank, said any sell-off could be amplified because nominal interest rates are already zero across most of the industrial world. “That is a point we haven’t started from before. There are undoubtedly positions out there which are dependent on (close to) zero funding costs. When funding costs are no longer close to zero, these positions will blow up,” he said.

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