Jerusalem concerned by Washington’s mild rejection of Tehran’s meaningless document

US State Department spokesman, Philip Crowley had only this to say to Iran’s long-awaited “proposals” package Thursday night, Sept. 10: It’s not really responsive to our core concern, which is Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” he said, adding: The measures do not address the status of Iran’s nuclear program.
debkafile‘s political and military sources stress that this comment was mild indeed 24 hours after Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki handed round to the five UN Security Council’s Permanent Members plus Germany his government’s reply to their offer to discuss its nuclear program.
The document’s full contents were not published, except for Tehran’s flat refusal to enter into negotiations on its nuclear activities, including unlimited uranium enrichment, which was said to be permitted under the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Is that what President Barack Obama was willing to wait nine months for when he offered the Iranians dialogue? They asked, voicing concern on four counts:
1. Is it simply that President Obama is at a loss for a fitting response?
2. Is he clinging to his original engagement offer in the face of Tehran’s snub? If so, the Iranians would have forced him into negotiations on the basis of their guidelines rather than those laid down by the six big powers. This surrender would be a setback for Israel’s overriding interest in preventing the rise of a nuclear-armed Iran.
3. Iran’s refusal to discuss its nuclear program in an otherwise blank document would render any diplomatic engagement with Tehran equally meaningless, said a high-ranking Israeli security source. Such talks would lead nowhere and be exploited as is Iran’s wont to press ahead regardless with its plans for making nuclear weapons.
The Americans are not operating in a vacuum, especially when they show signs of weakness. Counter-pressure for the West to accept the Iranian paper began Thursday night: Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, the first of the six powers to respond publicly to the Iranian “proposals,” was almost complimentary – and certainly more comprehensive than the US administration – when he said: “Based on a brief review of the Iranian papers my impression is there is something there to use. The most important thing is (that) Iran is ready for a comprehensive discussion of the situation, what positive role it can play in Iraq, Afghanistan and the region.”
Lavrov rejected Western plans for harsh sanctions plans saying: “Some of the sanctions under discussion, including oil and oil products, are not a mechanism to force Iran to co-operate, they are a step to a full-blown blockade and I do not think they would be supported at the UN Security Council,” he said.
4. If the White House decides to go along with Moscow’s line on the Iranian nuclear issue, Israel would find itself pitted alone against Iran and its nuclear weapons plans, its government and military leaders forced to decide unaided if, how and when to deal with Tehran’s open threats to annihilate the Jewish state.

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