March 10, 2009
From US intelligence chief Dennis Blair:
“We assess convincing the Iranian leadership to forgo the eventual development of nuclear weapons will be difficult given the linkage many within the leadership see between nuclear weapons and Iran’s key national security and foreign policy objectives, and given Iran’s considerable effort from at least the late 1980s to 2003 to develop such weapons,” he said.
via ‘Difficult’ to halt Iran nuclear drive: US – Yahoo! News UK.
Fortunately, Iran is a “tiny country” that is highly susceptible to the charm of direct talks “without precondition.”
December 3, 2008
Obama’s apparent selection of Daniel Kurtzer as Mideast Envoy (note: envoy reports to President vs. Sec State) does not bode well for Israel.
Kurtzer, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel, long has been seen in Jerusalem as one of the Jewish state’s greatest foes in Washington. He has been identified by Jewish and Israeli leaders, including prime ministers, as biased against Israel and is notorious for urging extreme concessions from the Jewish state.
How is this to be interpreted in light of Obama’s stated intention to not allow a nuclear Iran? Two parties urgently need to make sense of it: Iran and Israel. Will Iran see this as a welcome recession of US support for Israel? Will Israel see this as further impetus to take preemptive action before Bush leaves? Not much time before this comes to a head.
Iran poses the greatest foreign policy challenge to Barack Obama, the President-elect, with Tehran on course to produce a nuclear bomb in the first year of an Obama administration, a coalition of top think-tanks gave warning yesterday.
UPDATE: Can’t say that these are reactions specifically to Obama’s nonverbal communications, but they are relevant nevertheless.
The IDF is drawing up options for a strike on Iranian nuclear facilities that do not include coordination with the United States, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
“We think that regional and international developments and the complicated situation faced by Israel itself will not allow it to launch military strikes against other countries,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told reporters in Teheran, according to the Press TV Web site.