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Daily Israel Report

Op-Ed: A Game Changer in Iran's Nuclear Program

Obama is not just coming to Israel to talk about internal issues.
Published: Saturday, February 09, 2013 10:59 PM



Long-standing efforts to break the diplomatic impasse become more uncertain as the Iranian nuclear challenge reaches a dead end.


In a direct response to US vice president Joe Biden's comments during a security conference in Munich at the weekend, Iran Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has killed off hopes for direct talks with Washington.


The ayatollah’s remarks will loom over penultimate nuclear talks between Iran and the group P5+1major powers in Kazakhstan, later this month.


The disdainful snub from the ruling theocracy represents a diplomatic turnaround in President Barack Hussein Obama’s humiliating failure on his secret deal with Iran.


Contrary to what the political pundits would have you believe, Obama’s upcoming visit for the first time to the Jewish state- more than likely will focus on political and security posturing.


Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have the mutually hidden agenda of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and stopping its support of terrorism.


Why now?


The White House denies speculation that the trip would be a reset of negotiations to the comatose Israeli-Palestinian peace process.


However, it seems that the only logical explanation for the urgent visit could be the following:


First, what major role Israel has to play to break the Tehran-Damascus-Hizbullah axis;


Second, what contingency operations are in place when the Syrian regime collapses alongside Hizbullah; and,


Finally, how Israel, the US and its allies will deal with a potential showdown with Iran, including the unintended consequences.


The expectation is that Obama and Netanyahu will confer on the military option both governments have reserved for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.


Obviously, as Iran ducked out of nuclear diplomacy- Obama had given a green light for an Israeli attack, January 30th, over the Jamraya military complex near Damascus which Syria shares with Iran and its allies.


In the aftermath, US officials indicated that Israel had destroyed a convoy of Russian-made SA-17 surface-to-air missiles and sophisticated weaponry bound for the Islamist militia Hizbullah in Lebanon.


Consequently, Syrian President Bashar Assad asked Iran to hit back at Israel on its behalf for a reported air strike, but the Iranians told him, “You need to take care of your business.”


Amazingly, the about face of Iran’s support for the embattled Syrian regime was shocking, at least to Assad.


In another sign of imminent fall of Damascus, Moscow has begun to airlift its citizens from Syria. In addition, Israel imposed a no fly zone in response to Assad’s order to resume weapons transfers to the Lebanese Hizbullah.


As Israel braces for retaliation, the apparent lack of a response so far is no indication that there would be no reprisals in the near future.


In all likelihood, Iran’s proxies would be activated instead, to conduct terror operations in some vulnerable countries anytime soon.


But, in spite of its anti-Semitic rant, Iran is reluctant to provoke Israel, knowing full well that such an attack would run counter to the goal of Tehran’s Islamic Revolution which is the survival of the ruling clerical regime.


In every other respect, the surgical strike on a well-defined target in a military complex near Damascus- was a brilliant move designed to sever the Syrian-Iranian-North Korean nuclear link before it took physical shape and began turning out plutonium for Iran’s nuclear program.


Subsequently, after the destruction of its military complex, Iran and North Korea finally decided to cut Syria out of their nuclear plans because its proximity to Israel made any nuclear site an easy target.


Iran’s modus operandi is a classic North Korean nuclear deceit designed to buy time by stalling, deceiving and distracting the world powers in pointless talks while at the same time it rapidly enriches uranium to weapons grade material.


In reality, preventing a nuclear Iran and how to deal with the collapse of the Assad regime are the most disturbing exigencies with which the US and Israel have to grapple.


Armed with nuclear capacity, Iran has already provided itself with all the necessary components for a nuclear device and needs no more than four to six months to assemble them.


When it comes to Iran, the prospect of additional sanctions by Obama is a ruse. In other words, the whole sanctions regime thing isn’t going to work.


Iran has insisted that economic sanctions be lifted first and that the US acknowledge its right to peaceful nuclear enrichment. It is a nonstarter anyway, to say the least.
 

A Game Changer


The onus is now on Israel to break the Tehran-Damascus-Hizbullah axis. In a sense, Israel has taken an impressive first step into the Syrian conflict as the Israeli Defense Forces become the first pro-Western power to intervene in the Syrian war.


Quite remarkably, false flag deception may trigger multi-front- Iran war. After all, this regional war will mark the beginning of a significant geo-political shake-up in the Greater Middle East.


In retrospect, the dual blunders of Syria’s transfer of sophisticated weaponry to Hizbullah, and of Iran’s nuclear break-out threshold are the game changer that would define the next Middle East.


Seriously speaking, as the US pivots away from the Middle East to Asia, Israel has the potential to become the next regional power.


Moreover, by denying Iran a foothold in the Mediterranean in the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula –Israel, the US and its allies, will make peace and prosperity possible in the Middle East.


On the other hand, it is not in the best interest of Arab Muslims to always constantly plan on attacking Israel. Why?


Simply put, hatred begets more hatred and violence leads to more endless spirals of violence.


Ironically, the most disturbing aspect of the existential threat and anti-Semitism was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seeking to establish a pact with Egypt to “solve the Palestinian problem,” which in his terms means “wiping Israel off the map”.


It is incomprehensible to grasp the jaded hatred that puts all Jewish people in a bad light and the bigotry of those who have chosen extremism and have chosen to hate so much so as to create more anti-Semitism.


Like it or not, the best recourse the Palestinians could undertake is through the help of King Abdullah of Jordan for a peaceful, responsible and sustainable state living side by side with Israel. It is the best option possible, it is better than no option at all.


Finally, time is of the essence. Timing is everything. And time is running out!
 

Israel has to make that fateful choice and a historic decision for the sake of its survival, or pay a heavy price.