Another round of talks in Vienna between the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency and Iran regarding its nuclear program ended without progress on Friday, according to a senior UN official.
The official said that that no further talks were scheduled between representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran.
IAEA chief inspector Herman Nackaerts was not optimistic about the talks, telling reporters after the meeting, “There were intense discussions today, but the most significant differences between us and the Iranian representatives still remain, a fact which prevents an agreement.”International diplomats said Thursday that Iran has accelerated its activities at the Fordo underground nuclear facility near Qom.
There is no circumstance whatsoever under which Israel can tolerate a nuclear Iran.”
Talk of a possible strike continues to be highlighted in the Hebrew media, with the same news program on Channel 2 on Friday night dominated by a lengthy examination of Israel’s home front readiness for a possible Iranian-orchestrated retaliation to an Israeli attack. The report said more than two million Israelis had no bomb-shelters available — almost a quarter of the national populace — and that two and a half million were without gas masks.
The White House has fixed an appointment for President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to hold talks on Sept. 27,DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report. Netanyahu will spend ten days in the United States, during which he will address the UN General Assembly and launch Israel’s counter-attack on the virulently anti-Semitic themes of Iran’s official anti-Israel propaganda.
It stands to reason that Netanyahu would not fix a date with Obama to take place after an attack, or that the president would receive him. That being the case, there will not be much for them to talk about.
Israel recently passed information to Washington that Iran had already developed a radioactive (dirty) bomb.
Yet US official spokesmen keep on intoning that there is still room for diplomacy - even after all the parties admitted that the Six Power talks with Tehran broke down irretrievably weeks ago. And Friday, Aug. 24, seven hours of argument between the IAEA and Iranian representatives failed to dent Iran’s implacable opposition to any reduction in its nuclear drive or the slightest transparency.
One can only conclude that, even after Iran has the bomb, the mantra “there is still room for diplomacy” will continue to issue from official US mouths and the Washington-Tehran dialogue drag on, possibly through new channels, as it does with Pyongyang.
After they meet, the US President may reward the Israeli Prime Minister with a marginally more assertive statement about Iran as a sort of consolation prize for his restraint. But that will not change the fact that neither has raised a finger to halt a nuclear Iran, both preferring to bow to domestic political pressures and considerations.
Their inaction has given two Middle East leaders a major boost for progress on their own nuclear initiatives.
It should be obvious from this development alone that the Middle East nuclear race, which both President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu admitted would be triggered by a nuclear Iran, unless preempted, is in full flight, a fact of which they have neglected to inform the general public in both countries.
Last March, Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was recently appointed head of general intelligence, travelled secretly to Beijing and returned with Chinese President Hu Jintao’s consent to sell Saudi Arabia nuclear-capable CSS-5 Dong-Feng 21 MRBM ballistic missiles. He also agreed to send over Chinese nuclear engineers and technicians to help Saudi Arabia develop uranium enrichment and other nuclear production capacities.
But there is more.
After less than three months in office, the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is following in Saudi footsteps: He will kick off his first foreign trips next month with a visit to Beijing, where he hopes to take a leaf out of the Saudi nuclear book. He then touches down in Tehran, ostensibly to attend the Non-Aligned Organization’s summit opening there on Sept. 26, but meanwhile to cultivate ties with Tehran for common action in the Middle East.
He has laid the ground for this by proposing the creation of a new “contact group” composed of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey to disentangle the Syrian conflict – again behind America’s back.
The optimistic presumption that the Egyptian president will have to dance to Washington’s tune to win economic assistance is proving unfounded.
And Obama’s hands are tied.
This chain of events confronts Israel with three strategic predicaments:
1. Even if Riyadh, Cairo and Tehran are unable to come to terms in their first efforts at understanding, the fact remains that Saudi Arabia and Egypt have set their faces toward détente with Iran.
2. Saudi Arabia and Egypt are on the road to a nuclear weapon although Egypt is still trailing far behind.
3. In the five weeks remaining before the Obama-Netanyahu meeting, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and China will be moving forward vigorously toward their strategic, military and nuclear goals, while the US and Israel will be stuck in the doldrums of their interminable argument over who goes first against Iran – if at all.