Trita Parsi writes: Despite the words of friendship, the diverging perspectives of the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government on key issues in the Middle East — the Arab uprisings, the Palestinian issue and the Iranian nuclear program — are profound.
The dispute on the nuclear issue is centered on red lines. Israel, like the Bush administration, considers a nuclear capability in Iran a red line. It argues that the only acceptable guarantee that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon is for Iran to have no enrichment program.
The Obama administration puts the red line not at enrichment — which is permitted under international law — but at nuclear weapons. This is a clearer, more enforceable red line that also has the force of international law behind it.
While expressing his sympathy and friendship with Israel, Obama did not yield his red line at AIPAC. With the backing of the U.S. military, he has stood firm behind weaponization rather than weapons capability as the red line.
Obama draws red lines and distinctions on Iran in AIPAC speech
By March 4, 2012on