Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Israel Uneasy On Iran Ahead of Obama’s Visit

I recently wrote on Obama’s first term progression on Iran, from engagement to saber-rattling, as a walk-up to what will be a consequential year of diplomacy between Washington, Jerusalem and Tehran.

Today the Wall Street Journal‘s Gerald Seib takes a closer look at what’s coming, with a particular eye to Obama’s Israel trip next week. At negotiations in Kazakhstan between Iran, the U.S. and other world powers last month, the U.S. offered to ease sanctions slightly and let Iran keep less than a bomb’s worth of highly enriched uranium for research purposes in exchange for freezing it’s enrichment operations at a hard-to-bomb facility at Fordo, and other confidence-building measures.

That offer, reports Seib, left Israel uneasy:

Israel, however, isn’t confident. It sees the latest proposal as a rollback from the world’s earlier and tougher positions, which called for shipping out of Iran almost all of its stockpile of even less-well-enriched uranium, and the shutdown rather than merely the suspension of production at the Fordo enrichment facility.

More talks are scheduled for later this month and for April. Watch for signs of friction over Iran when Obama is in Israel next week.


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