Apocalyptic talk aside, Israel has dialed down its threat to bomb Iran — for now

Tony Karon writes: “Israel is in discussions with the United States over this issue and I am confident that we can chart a path forward together,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his United Nations speech on Thursday, referring to the question of Iran’s nuclear program, to which he devoted almost all of his remarks. The Israeli prime minister broke from his recent habit of tacitly, but obviously, criticizing President Barack Obama‘s handling of Iran by hailing his achievements in putting together the most comprehensive sanctions package ever faced by any nation. Netanyahu also emphasized that the two governments are working together in pursuit of the common objective of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, a message the White House was happy to affirm via National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, who said that the U.S. and Israel “will continue our close consultation and cooperation toward achieving that [shared] goal.”

Although Netanyahu also maintained that sanctions have failed to stop Iran’s program and that time was running out, the Israeli leader has clearly dialed things down from his previous habit of presenting Obama — to the delight of the Romney campaign — as naive and feckless in the face of a grave and gathering danger. Netanyahu may have, at one point, hoped to pressure Obama into taking a tougher stand, but the White House had resisted Israeli demands that it state stronger “red lines” on Iran, with Netanyahu finding himself increasingly isolated at home in his threat to take unilateral military action, and sharply criticized even by President Shimon Peres for appearing to interfere in U.S. electoral politics. Other Israeli commentators had been more blunt, warning that Netanyahu was recklessly gambling on a Romney victory, which appeared, they said, to be increasingly unlikely. [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “Apocalyptic talk aside, Israel has dialed down its threat to bomb Iran — for now

  1. Norman

    The rate of refinement of U-235 that Iran is doing, 3.5% moving to 20% maybe. That’s still a long ways away from bomb grade. And aren’t those centrifuges making gas? Has anyone ever made an Nuclear bomb from gas? I suppose that’s just a minor matter where the Bibi is concerned.

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