Is­rael sees im­pe­tus for ac­tion against Iran

"There's a gap be­tween what they say pri­vately and pub­licly," Ne­tanyahu said at an an­nual gath­er­ing of the Tel Aviv Jour­nal­ists' As­so­ci­a­tion.

The Pak Banker - - Editorial5 - Ja­nine Zacharia

TEL AVIV - Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Binyamin Ne­tanyahu expressed hope Mon­day that U.S. diplo­matic ca­bles re­veal­ing that sev­eral Arab states share his coun­try's con­cern about Iran's nu­clear weapons pro­gram could build mo­men­tum for tougher in­ter­na­tional ac­tion against the ef­fort.

"More and more states, gov­ern­ments and lead­ers in the Mid­dle East and the wider re­gion and the world be­lieve this is the fun­da­men­tal threat," Ne­tanyahu said, re­fer­ring to dis­clo­sures in ca­bles re­leased by the Web site Wik­iLeaks. Ac­cord­ing to the ca­bles, some lead­ers, in­clud­ing Saudi Ara­bia's King Ab­dul­lah, have ad­vo­cated us­ing mil­i­tary ac­tion to stop the Ira­nian nu­clear pro­gram.

"There's a gap be­tween what they say pri­vately and pub­licly," Ne­tanyahu said at an an­nual gath­er­ing of the Tel Aviv Jour­nal­ists' As­so­ci­a­tion. Re­gional lead­ers read pub­licly from one "script" that says the "great­est threat is­the Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict," Ne­tanyahu said. "But in re­al­ity, lead­ers un­der­stand that this nar­ra­tive is bank­rupt. There is a new un­der­stand­ing."

Is­raeli an­a­lysts re­sponded as en­thu­si­as­ti­cally as Ne­tanyahu.

The leaked doc­u­ments show that "the en­tire world, not just Is­rael, is pan­icked over the Ira­nian nu­clear pro­gram," wrote Sever Plocker, a com­men­ta­tor for the Is­raeli daily Ye­dioth Ahronoth.

The leak, he said, "strength­ens the main mes­sage" of the United States and Is­rael that "Iran poses the great­est clear and present dan­ger to the sta­bil­ity of the world, and the world has to act to re­move this ma­lig­nant tu­mor."

In Washington, Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton said the ca­bles show that other coun­tries reached the same con­clu­sion about Iran that the United States did when it moved to im­pose sanc­tions: "that we must do what­ever we can to muster the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to take ac­tion to pre­vent Iran from be­com­ing a nu­clear weapons state."

Some Is­raeli ex­perts sug­gested that the Wik­iLeaks storm would dis­tract the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion from ne­go­ti­a­tions with Is­rael on a new set­tle­ment freeze that the United States hopes will rein­vig­o­rate peace talks with the Pales­tini­ans.

Zal­man Sho­val, a for­mer Is­raeli am­bas­sador to the United States and an ad­viser to Ne­tanyahu on Is­raeli-U.S. re­la­tions, said the no­tion that the United States could not take tougher ac­tion on Iran with­out first mov­ing for­ward on the Is­raeli-Pales­tinian front was un­der­mined by the Wik­iLeaks dis­clo­sures. "It puts mat­ters in the right pro­por­tion," Sho­val said.

At a news con­fer­ence in Tehran, Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad dis­missed the ca­bles as "an in­tel­li­gence game, a pro­pa­ganda war" or­ches­trated by the United States, and he pre­dicted they would have no ef­fect. "Iran is a friend of the re­gion, and all na­tions are broth­ers," he said. "This will have no im­pact on re­gional re­la­tions."

ran has re­peat­edly de­nied that it is pur­su­ing nu­clear weapons. But Ah­madine­jad ac­knowl­edged for the first time Mon­day that Iran's ura­nium-en­rich­ment pro­gram - which the coun­try says is for civil­ian en­ergy pur­poses - had been the tar­get of in­ter­na­tional sab­o­tage, an ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to the Stuxnet com­puter worm.

Is­rael and the United States are seen as the most likely sources for such cy­ber­war­fare, but of­fi­cials in both coun­tries have de­clined to com­ment on the mat­ter. Ah­madine­jad said Iran's en­e­mies "had been suc­cess­ful in mak­ing prob­lems for a limited num­ber of our cen­trifuges, with soft­ware they had in­stalled in elec­tronic de­vices." The prob­lem has been re­solved and can­not be re­peated, he said. Also Mon­day, a prom­i­nent Ira­nian nu­clear sci­en­tist was killed and a sec­ond was se­ri­ously wounded in bomb attacks in the Ira­nian cap­i­tal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.