Daily Israel Report

Obama will Refuse to Name Red Lines on Iran – NYT

Netanyahu wants U.S. president to lay down timetable on Iran strike, but administration officials say he won't.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/5/2012, 10:50 AM

Netanyahu, Obama in previous meeting.
Netanyahu, Obama in previous meeting.
Reuters

Officials in the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama told The New York Times that Obama will refuse to give Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu what he wants in their meeting later Monday – namely, a clear statement regarding "red lines" on the Iranian nuclear program and a timetable for striking the Islamic Republic if it crosses those lines.

The Times' Mark Landler wrote Saturday, "Mr. Obama will not lay down new red lines on Iran, even if he discusses them with Mr. Netanyahu, administration officials said. And he is not ready to accept a central part of Israel’s strategic calculation: that an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would be warranted to stop it from gaining the capability to build a nuclear weapon, rather than later, to stop it from actually manufacturing one."

Landler chose to focus on the pro-Israel lobby's pressure on Obama, which he called "an extraordinary public campaign to pressure President Obama into hardening American policy toward Iran over its nuclear program" mounted by Israel's "most powerful American advocates."

"From the corridors of Congress to a gathering of nearly 14,000 American Jews and other supporters of Israel here this weekend," explained Landler, "Mr. Obama is being buffeted by demands that the United States be more aggressive toward Iran and more forthright in supporting Israel in its own confrontation with Tehran."