Sunday, September 27, 2009

Iran... What Will Obama Do?

Israel's inner cabinet focuses on Iran

DEBKAfile Special Report

September 14, 2009

The second Israeli cabinet-level discussion in the last few days on the Iranian threat - nuclear and regional - took place Monday, Sept. 7, in the inner cabinet, on the heels of a recent security cabinet meeting which surveyed Israel military and homeland security preparations for a missile attack from four sources, Iran, Syria, the Lebanese Hizballah and the Palestinian Hamas in Gaza.

The Monday meeting was held behind closed doors but DEBKAfile's military sources report that speakers underscored the rapid tempo of the developing Iranian threat. Monday, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he was willing to discuss "global challenges" with US president Barack Obama but repeated his government's standing refusal to negotiate his country's "inalienable nuclear rights." This put the lid on the US president's policy of dialogue with Tehran on its nuclear program and rendered the European engagement initiative pointless.

Monday, too, the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, said talks with the Islamic republic were at a "stalemate. He delivered a bleak account of Iran's nuclear compliance to a board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna.

Yet tougher UN sanctions are a diminishing prospect in the light of Russian and Chinese objections.

Saturday, Sept. 5, DEBKAfile reported the growing concern in security circles over the failure of the US, Israel and other international parties to put the brakes on Iran's fast-paced advance toward a nuclear weapon although Obama had been in office for nine months and Netanyahu sat down in the prime minister's office all of six months ago. Tehran seized this inaction for the biggest leap forward since its hidden nuclear program was launched.