Daily Israel Report

Washington Post: Time to Thank Netanyahu

U.S. paper says those who prefer diplomacy over war on Iran should thank Netanyahu for his ‘red line’ speech.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/10/2013, 9:17 AM

Netanyahu and the red line
Netanyahu and the red line
Screenshot

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s famous “red line” speech in the United Nations helped to slow Iran’s nuclear program, the Washington Post said in an editorial Tuesday.

The latest round of talks with Iran “was, by all accounts, a disappointment,” the editorial said. However, it said, “for now, at least, there is no crisis… there is time to wait and see if Iran’s position will soften.”

“For that, proponents of diplomacy over war with Iran can thank a man they have often ridiculed or reviled: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” it stated.

In a speech to the United Nations in September, Netanyahu drew a literal red line on Iran’s nuclear program, holding up a picture of a bomb and declaring that Israel would not allow Iran to accumulate more than 90 percent of the 20 percent enriched uranium needed to produce a bomb with further processing.

At the time, Iran was set to pass the red line sometime in mid-2013.

However, while Iran outwardly mocked Netanyahu’s picture, the regime went on to shift its focus to manufacturing fuel plates, and has remained well below Israel’s red line, the Washington Post noted.

“Mr. Netanyahu’s red line is only a partial and temporary check on the Iranian threat…. But the lesson here is twofold: The credible threat of military action has to be part of any strategy for preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon, and clear red lines can help create the ‘time and space for diplomacy’ that President Obama seeks,” the editorial stated.

“Mr. Obama, who last year stiffly resisted pressure from Mr. Netanyahu to spell out U.S. red lines, ought to reconsider,” it concluded.