Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Buying time & continuing to move this problem into the future!"

.... "We are committed, as Israel is, to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon," White House spokesman Jay Carney told journalists at the White House press briefing Wednesday.
"We do, however, believe that there is time and space to pursue diplomacy," he continued. "And we believe that the policy that we have pursued with our partners has put unprecedented pressure on Tehran, on the regime, has put great strains on the Iranian economy, great strains on the Iranian political leadership, and that is a course that we will continue to pursue."
The administration's Iran strategy is aimed at "buying time and continuing to move this problem into the future, and if you can do that -- strange things can happen in the interim," Tony Blinken, national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, told the Israeli Policy Forum in New York Tuesday,Haaretz reported. "You never know.".... In advance of the Netanyahu-led Israeli delegation's arrival in Washington, however, the United States and Israel have traded a flurry of messages through the press, lawmakers and private senior diplomatic channels seeking to shape expectations for the visit and gin up pressure to each side's advantage.... The Israeli leader complained about top U.S. military officer Gen. Martin Dempsey commenting to CNN last week that military strikes on Iran would be premature, and assessing that the Iran regime is a rational actor. (Though Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak similarly described Iranian leaders as "radicals but not total meshuginah," in a 2010 speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (.pdf), using the Yiddush word for "crazy.")......
Biden's advisor Blinken alluded to the seemingly coordinated echo chamber effect of some of the election year criticism of the U.S. administration as insufficiently hawkish on Iran. But he suggested that Israel's leaders may want to consider the odds that they will be dealing with the Obama-Biden administration after the presidential elections next year.
"There are individuals on all sides who unfortunately use the debate over policy toward Israel for political purposes," he told the Israeli Policy Forum.
A new poll released Thursday of Israeli public opinion found that only 19% of Israelis support Israel carrying out a strike on Iran without U.S. support. The poll, conducted by Shibley Telhami, of the Brookings Institution and University of Maryland, found that 42% endorsed a strike only if there is at least American support. A third of Israelis--32%--opposed an attack altogether regardless of American support."

No comments: