US submission to Iran’s evasions spurs international pressure against Israeli military strike

The US will join other major powers in seeking an early meeting with Iran although Tehran’s refusal to discuss its nuclear program was described by Washington officials as “disappointing.” They said the Obama administration is consistent in its aim of dialogue with Iran and wants the meeting offered by Tehran to take place as soon as possible to assess Iran’s readiness to deal with the nuclear issue ahead of the Six-Power discussions taking place later this month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Far from meeting the Obama administration’s gesture halfway, Iran’s new defense minister Ahmed Wahidi delivered a fierce attack on Washington Saturday, Sept. 12, warning the US “not to try the militarize the region” and denying the production of weapons of mass destruction as “contrary to our religion and principles.”
debkafile‘s Washington sources say the Obama White House is relying on the public’s short memory on Iran’s prevarications. On July 20, 2008, the six powers including the US confronted Iran at the negotiating table in Geneva. Iran’s nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili listened quietly to the Bush administration’s undersecretary of state William Burns’ words on its nuclear activities, then announced he was not competent to respond and would refer to Tehran for instructions. Jalili never did come back with his government’s response.
After Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated loud and clear last week that the nuclear file was closed for Tehran, the Iranian negotiators will no doubt repeat this exercise which had the effect of tying US hands for more than a year and will keep them tied for several more months. Whatever the outcome, it is no good Washington relying on tough new sanctions because that door has been shut by Moscow and Beijing’s published intention to block them.
The former commander of the big Israeli air base at Hatezerim, Brig. (ret.) Shelly Guttman, said Saturday that for the first time since the Yom Kippur War, Israel faces an existential threat. Nevertheless, Russia and France are leading an internatonal drive to stall military action as well.
Thursday, Sept. 10, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin warned against the use of force or new sanctions against Iran, the toughest caution Israel has heard so far. Neither course will “solve the problem,” said the Russian leader.
The caution from Moscow followed frantic consultations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in the last week for a decision on whether Israel should resort to its military option for pre-empting the rise of a nuclear-armed Iran already on the threshold, according to US intelligence agencies. Our Moscow sources say the Russians may be expected to keep up their verbal pressure on Jerusalem.
Putin was supported from Paris the same day, when France released the opinion offered by French army chief Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin in Washington that military force to wipe out Iran’s nuclear program “was no longer viable.”
While Putin explained his objections to military action as: “Russia has no reason to doubt that Iran’s nuclear program is purely peaceful,” the French general argued: “It is very difficult to plan a military operation in Iran, because we are not sure in one shot to be able to solve a problem and if you fail in one shot, it is a catastrophe.”

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