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Negotiation With Iran Leads To Threat of War
Bibi: 'If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.'
Thu, 11/14/2013 - 19:00

Recent reports of the status of negotiations with Iran to resolve the risk of Iran's threat to become a nuclear power have alarming implications.  The U.S. is apparently supporting a deal where existing sanctions on Iran will be relaxed against an Iranian pledge to freeze its progress towards achieving nuclear weapon capability.

Such a deal would leave Iran with the possibility or likelihood of unfreezing the "freeze" at a time of its choosing (or secretly) and resuming on its present path to a bomb.  Experience with Iran teaches that they have broken every promise they made on this subject.

The negotiations must include the assured permanent abandonment of Iran's ambitions to achieve nuclear weapon capability.  Any other direction would be a fool's game.  It would be a certain path to war, either sooner or later.  The Prime Minister of Israel has given fair notice that Israel cannot accept the existence of a nuclear Iran, who has repeatedly threatened to seek the annihilation of the Jewish State.

In his recent speech at the U.N. about Iran's march to nuclear capability, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone."  It is significant that none of the nations involved in the present negotiations with Iran who have urged a relaxation of sanctions against an Iranian pledge to freeze its nuclear efforts are faced with an existential risk or threat such as confronts Israel.  For each of those nations, a nuclear Iran would simply represent another nuclear power, which would not alter the dangers faced in today's nuclear lineup.  None of the U.S., Germany, China, Russia or Great Britain need fear that a nuclear Iran would launch an unprovoked attack on them.  Such complacency ignores the probable consequences of a transfer by Iran of nuclear weaponry or technology to its terrorist allies.

The U.S. has repeatedly said that it will not permit Iran to obtain an atomic bomb.  But the biggest riddle in the equation is whether the U.S. statements are sufficient to provide Israel with the comfort it requires to withhold a military attack on Iran before it is too late to prevent  its accomplishment of nuclear capability.

So far, the U.S. statements have not caused Iran to reduce its march to a bomb, and it has flagrantly refused to alter its course.  It has treated the U.S. as a paper tiger.  So why should anyone think that the direction of present negotiations offers any chance of success?  In this posture, the negotiations appear to be a path to war.
There is only one way for the U.S. to convince Iran and others it is serious in its statements:  that is, the path it followed recently in Syria.  After it was established that Syria used chemical weapons in the present civil war, the U.S. issued an ultimatum backed with the threat of immediate attack on Syria with a request for Congressional support of the U.S. threat.  Syria backed down and accepted the ultimatum.

If the U.S. followed the same course vis a vis Iran, it is highly likely Iran would follow Syria's path to wisdom and safety.  Without showing the same determination we showed in Syria is there any reason for Iran to alter its course towards disaster?  Our ally Israel deserves to know whether it would have U.S. support if it became involved in hostilities with Iran if it felt compelled to exercise its right to self-protection.

Kenneth Bialkin is a lawyer and is associated with several Jewish organizations.  This article does not reflect the views of any other entity.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Kenneth J. Bialkin, negotiations, sanctions

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The U.S. ultimatum to Syria was issued AFTER the Syrian government killed 1,500 of its own citizens with poison gas. Should Israel wait until AFTER it has been destroyed by nuclear weapons to respond to the Iranian threat?
"If I'm not for myself, who will be? But if I'm only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?" -- Hillel

Mr. Bialkin has made a compelling and necessary case for rejecting the Kerry-Obama plan for Iran, and supporting Netanyahu's position that Iran must give up its nuclear ambitions and capability. It is ironic that Birnbaum quotes a deceased French diplomat to bolster his argument for appeasing Iran, when it was the very much alive French diplomat, Fabius, who scuttled the deal in Geneva for lifting sanctions, saying it was a fool's bargain. It is not difficult to undersand why Israel has not already launched an attack on Iran, contrary to Birnbaum's suggestion. Obama is the reason. He has been promising for more than 5 years that he would not allow Iran to become nuclear. He has also promised that he will have Israel's back. It appears likely, now, that both promises will be broken. By the way, Netanyahu is not the only one dismayed by Obama's policy ineptitude. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt are actually siding with Israel against the US on this - probably for the first time in history.

Those of us who do not directly dispose of means to evaluate data on the capabilities and intentions of Iran have to select sources we think credible. Mr. Bialkin rejects the opinions of the US intelligence apparatus and prefers those of the Israel Prime Minister, not always those of the Israel intelligence agencies. The US Secretary of State has now charged the Israel government with exaggerating the Iranian threat. Let us for the moment suppose that Secretary Kerry is wrong and the Israel Prime Minister is right. In that case, it is very difficult to understand why (on his own description of his responsibilities) he has not already ordered an attack on Iran. One explanation is that he and his military advisors think their chances of military success small and the risks of great political damage to Israel large. If that is so, it is to be hoped that those leading Israel will cease their blustering and think again about the real situation of a small nation which has systematically alienated its neighbours and its friends in more distant places. The French diplomat Talleyrand once said that one can do everything with bayonets except sit on them. There are situations in which Israel's arms, like those of other nations in difficult situations, are of little or no use.