We're early in this process of PM Netanyahu's trip to the U.S. and tomorrow he will give his speech to the UN which should be very interesting. Today was an important day as he met with Obama and two articles have just become available with analysis on this meeting:
The prime minister “is always candid,” Obama vouchsafed just a little wryly at the tail end of his remarks. And one can imagine that Netanyahu was candid indeed behind closed doors, marshaling compelling argument, and evidence, to underpin his public contention that Iran “is committed to Israel’s destruction.”
And the negotiations with Iran behind the scenes - and continuing in Geneva on Oct. 15 with the five Security Council powers and Germany - are more than likely to produce a compromise unacceptable to Israel.
Iran and Russia will have to make some concessions for a deal. But so too will the United States, and the uranium enrichment issue will loom large in the way of an agreement unless Washington gives way on that point. Obama has already covered much of this ground in secret contacts with Tehran.
The tempo of the negotiations, dictated by Obama and Putin, will make it easy to blur facts and the present minor concessions as major achievements.
Netanyahu noted to Obama “there are many things on your plate, but I know that you know and the American people know that there is no better ally — more reliable, more stable, more democratic — other than Israel in a very raw, dangerous place.”
“For Israel, the ultimate test of a future agreement with Iran is whether or not Iran dismantles its military nuclear program. We have a saying in Hebrew, we call it mivchan hatotza’a — you would say it in English, what’s the bottom line? And the bottom line, again, is that Iran fully dismantles its military nuclear program,” the prime minister continued.
“…It is Israel’s firm belief that if Iran continues to advance its nuclear program during negotiations, the sanctions should be strengthened. It’s the combination, I believe, that has guided your policy and our policy so far, that is good credible military threat and strong sanctions I think is still the only formula that can get a peaceful resolution of this problem.”
“We know that for peace to endure, it must be based on Israel’s capacity to defend itself, by itself,” Netanyahu added.
Before departing Jerusalem, Netanyahu vowed to “speak the truth” before the UN General Assembly.
“I will present our rights as a nation, our determination to defend ourselves and our hopes for peace. I will speak the truth. Facts must be stated in the face of the sweet talk and the blitz of smiles,” he said. “I intend to focus on the issue of stopping Iran’s nuclear program. The way to stop Iran’s nuclear program requires four steps: 1) Halting all uranium enrichment: 2) Removing all enriched uranium; 3) Closing Qom; and 4) Stopping the plutonium track.”