The visit to Jerusalem this week by Rose Gottemoeller, acting US undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, was presented as part of the effort to smooth the way for Barack Obama’s visit on March 20. DEBKAfile reports that her real mission was to convince her Israeli hosts of “the US commitment to preventing a nuclear Iran,” and so hold Israel back from a unilateral strike. Binyamin Netanyahu has set mid-2013 as Israel’s red line for halting Iranian uranium enrichment with a bomb-making capability.
Neither the US embassy nor Israeli officials were ready to comment on the content of Gottemoeller’s meetings or her off-the-record speech Monday to Israeli officials and academics at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies.