Obama ready to yield on Iran’s nuclear transparency. Israel:Tehran will cheat
In the direct, secret exchanges between the US and Iran which led up to the Istanbul talks with the six powers, of Saturday, April 14, President Barack Obama quietly backed off from his demand that Iran “come clean” on its nuclear activities and open up to international inspection, debkafile reports.
This concession paved the way for Tehran’s consent to discuss his framework proposal to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent, halt work at its underground facility for higher enrichment near Qom, and export its stockpile of highly enriched uranium for final processing to 20 percent for use in medical isotopes. This would be presented as a deal for settling the nuclear controversy.
debkafile’s military sources: The Iranians may find it worth their while to accept this framework. After all, once sanctions are lifted by the end of June – as Tehran demands – and they are freed of IAEA oversight, the Iranians can go forward with their plans for building a nuclear weapon undisturbed and Washington can celebrate a breakthrough.
Israel has not received word of this deal.
debkafile’s Washington sources report that in contrast with the downbeat mood in Israel, Washington is already celebrating its success in resolving the Iranian nuclear conundrum and averting war.
Our sources have two points to make in this regard:
1. Tehran has not yet put pen to paper to approve the American proposal and agreed only to move forward in their back-door negotiations without prejudice:
2. Obama will eventually have to level with Israel, the American people and the rest of the world on his deal with Iran.
There is no chance of Israel’s Binyamin Netanyahu going along with agreements on the lines under discussion between Washington and Iran, because they would allow Iran to develop nuclear armaments relieved of the hindrances of international oversight and sanctions.
The Israeli prime minister, when he addressed the state ceremony marking the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day Wednesday night, spoke at length of the mortal danger a nuclear Iran for the Jewish state. He said those who maintained Israel lacked the military capacity for dealing with the Iranian menace were wrong.
“We can and will defend ourselves,” he said.“I won’t stop stating the truth (about Iran) at the UN, in Washington and in Jerusalem.”
debkafile reported earlier Wednesday, April 18: Officials in Jerusalem angrily dismissed reports of a breakthrough in last Saturday’s nuclear negotiations in Istanbul between six world powers (P5+1) and Iran and most emphatically the claim that “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu played his expected role in this choreography” by criticizing the negotiators for giving Iran a five-week freebie for continuing enrichment without limitation, as cited in a Washington Post article on Wednesday, April 18, by the columnist David Ignatius.
Iran is presented as ready to agree to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent and halt work at its underground facility for higher enrichment near Qom, and export its stockpile of highly enriched uranium for final processing to 20 percent for use in medical isotopes. Israeli sources say this report is false: Far from this being the shape of an eventual settlement, it was the shape of American demands relayed to Tehran in side-channels going via Paris and Vienna. Israel was never informed of Iran accepting this formula or its presentation to the Istanbul meeting.
Above all, they stressed, Netanyahu has not and will not play a role in any choreography of this kind staged by the Obama administration.
The Americans appear to have been taken in by the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s public pledge in February not to commit the “grave sin” of building a nuclear weapon as representing the Islamic regime’s face-saver for caving in to US pressure. The WP article is indeed captioned” “The stage is set for a deal with Iran.” Nothing, say debkafile's military and intelligence sources, is farther from the truth. According to our Iranian sources, there is no sign of the Iranians caving in.
The article itself appears to represent Washington’s comeback for a radio interview aired a few hours earlier, Tuesday, April 17, by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya'alon, in which he sharply criticized the Obama administration for its handling of the nuclear dispute with Iran: "We (Israel) no longer believe in the Americans, and on the Iran issue, we are not in the same boat."
“Three years ago, Iran had 1,200 kilos of low enriched uranium; today it has five and a half tons,” he pointed out.
Ya'alon also warned that after the way the proceedings went in Istanbul, right after the second round of talks on May 23 in Baghdad, “Israel will review its steps,”
Citing the classical Hebrew adage: If I do not watch out for myself, who will? (אם אין אני לי מי לי?) , he noted: “Obama too has said Israel has the right to self-defense.”
The deputy prime minister was the first Israeli national figure to suggest that, after May 23, the Netanyahu government would approach a decision on the date for a countdown to an attack on Iran’s nuclear program.
Yaalon certainly said enough to cause some agitation in Washington, judging by the flood of phone calls debkafile’s sources report coming in from Washington with requests for clarifications.
Earlier that Tuesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in another radio interview that the“P5+1” group’s talks with Iran must result in a clear-cut resolution, the end of Iran’s nuclear program. He did not believe they would, although he hoped to be proved wrong.
The two Israeli ministers would not have delivered their downbeat comments if indeed US talks with Iran over and under the negotiating table had achieved, or even approached, the breakthrough depicted in Washington.