The American Bear


Clinton reassures Netanyahu on Iran | Al Akhbar

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday the United States and Israel were “on the same page” in their determination to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear capabilities.

In Jerusalem on the last stop of an Asian and Middle East tour, Clinton said she and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “talked about concrete steps that we can take to continue to build the pressure” on Tehran.

Israel is the sole nuclear power in the Middle East, and the only state in the region that is not a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It has made clear it would attack the Islamic republic if diplomacy fails. […]

Clinton said that while Washington would prefer a diplomatic resolution to the impasse with Tehran: “Our own choice is clear, we will use all elements of American power to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

She accused Iran of failing to respond so far to diplomacy, despite Western powers playing hardball with Tehran at the latest round of talks in Moscow. “I made very clear that the proposals we have seen from Iran thus far within the P5+1 negotiations are ‘non starters’,” she said.

One of the “non-starters” is the perfectly reasonable request from Iran, in summary, “[to enrich [uranium] to 3.5 percent—the level needed to power a civilian reactor—and an end to sanctions … The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not ban enriching uranium—indeed, it is guaranteed by Articles III and IV—as long as the fuel is not weaponized.” and they’ve already agreed to “ship some of [their] enriched uranium out of the country and to guarantee the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to all nuclear facilities. Tehran has also converted one-third of its 20-percent enriched uranium into plates, making it almost impossible to use the fuel for nuclear weapons.” But this is a non-starter. Continuing:

Western powers demanded Iran curb its uranium enrichment [totally], but offered little in return, insisting on maintaining punitive sanctions, a deal that would never have been agreed to by Tehran.

If the west truly “prefer[red] a diplomatic solution to the impasse” then they would actually be pursuing one. This is an outright lie and falls back into the “We’ll give you everything you want!”, “We’re going to kill you” scenarios I posted last week. In fact, a close read of the situation leads me to conclude that the sabre-rattling against Iran has nothing to do with uranium enrichment at all. (For examples from recent history, simply do a cursory review of US-Iraq relations from 1990 to 2003.) [++]