Iran received a five-week gift from the world powers atSaturday's talks in Istanbul, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday in Israel's first formal reaction to the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers."My initial impression is that Iran has been given a freebie," Netanyahu said, referring to the fact that the second round of talks won't be held until May 23 in Baghdad.Iran, he said, now has "five weeks to continue enrichment without any limitation, any inhibition. I think Iran should take immediate steps to stop all enrichment, take out all enrichment material and dismantle the nuclear facility in Qom."
Netanyahu, in comments made before meeting visiting US Senator Joe Lieberman, said the world's "greatest practitioner of terrorism" must not have the ability to develop atomic bombs.
The prime minister's comments came despite a positive reaction to the talks by both the US and the EU.After a day in which diplomats had spoken of a more engaged tone from Iranian officials compared to the 15 months of angry rhetoric on either side that has filled the hiatus since the last meetings, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called the talks useful and constructive.The talks were never expected to yield any major breakthrough but diplomats believed a serious commitment from Iran would be enough to schedule another round of talks for next month and start discussing issues at the heart of the dispute.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Stating The Obvious
Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with stating the obvious, but anyone who has closely followed this story with an open mind should be aware of the truth by now. And the truth is, the painfully obvious fact that Iran has absolutely no plans to discontinue their march towards nuclear weapons. Any renewal of "talks" as we are seeing now, simply buys Iran more time for their nuclear development. The administration knows this as well, however now, all that matters is the presidential elections of 2012, and paving the way for a victory for the current administration. This requires just hanging on for another 6 months without any huge conflict in the region, and if Israel goes down in flames as a result, so be it. Collateral damage as they say:
So now a "more engaged tone" (whatever that means) is all that is needed for delirious optimism and proof that Iran is now offering a "serious commitment" and they are suddenly serious about discontinuing their nuclear ambitions.
If it weren't such a serious matter and if the consequences weren't so grave, this situation would be laugh-out-loud funny. In fact, it is hard to imagine that such statements are made with a serious expression, but unfortunately they are.
We'll see where Iran's "more engaged tone" gets us in these so-called "talks".