Political Pistachio

Blog Home of the Writer and AM and FM Radio Host, Douglas V. Gibbs.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Regarding Iran

U.S. Warns Israel Against Iran Strike

U.S. defense leaders are increasingly concerned that Israel is preparing to take military action against Iran, over U.S. objections, and have stepped up contingency planning to safeguard U.S. facilities in the region in case of a conflict.

Iranians on Friday carried the flag-draped coffin of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a scientist working in Iran's nuclear sector assassinated in Tehran.

President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other top officials have delivered a string of private messages to Israeli leaders warning about the dire consequences of a strike. The U.S. wants Israel to give more time for the effects of sanctions and other measures intended to force Iran to abandon its perceived efforts to build nuclear weapons.

Stepping up the pressure, Mr. Obama spoke by telephone on Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will meet with Israeli military officials in Tel Aviv next week.

The high-stakes planning and diplomacy comes as U.S. officials warn Tehran, including through what administration officials described Friday as direct messages to Iran's leaders, against provocative actions.

Read more at Wall Street Journal

Obama, Netanyahu Discuss Mideast, Iran

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have conferred about Mideast peace efforts, including recent Israel-Palestinian talks in Jordan. They also discussed Iran.

This is the first time in a long while that there has been an official White House statement on a telephone conversation between Mr. Obama and the Israeli prime minister.

It was, according to a White House statement, part of their regular communication and cooperation on bilateral and regional issues, with a major topic being the recent talks in Amman, Jordan between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.

Mr. Obama reaffirmed his commitment to the goal of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region. The president meets next week with Jordan's King Abdullah to discuss the status of peace efforts.

The Obama-Netanyahu conversation also dealt with Iran and came against a background of a number of events including Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, and the recent assassination in Tehran of an Iranian nuclear scientist.

Read more at Voice of America News

Iran says it has evidence U.S. behind scientist's killing

Iranian state television said on Saturday Tehran had evidence Washington was behind the latest assassination of one of its nuclear scientists.

In the fifth attack of its kind in two years, a magnetic bomb was attached to the door of 32-year-old Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan's car during the Wednesday morning rush-hour in the capital. His driver was also killed.

The United States has denied involvement in the killing and condemned it. Israel has declined to comment.

"We have reliable documents and evidence that this terrorist act was planned, guided and supported by the CIA," the Iranian foreign ministry said in a letter handed to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, state TV reported.

"The documents clearly show that this terrorist act was carried out with the direct involvement of CIA-linked agents."

The Swiss Embassy has represented U.S. interests in Iran since Tehran and Washington cut diplomatic ties shortly after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Read more at Reuters

IRAN CLOSER TO BOMB THAN WORLD REALIZES?

A report that Iran is about a year away from having the capability to build a nuclear bomb may be too optimistic, contended John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

“I worry the publicly available information is giving only a very small picture and that Iran is actually even much further along,” Bolton said today in a radio interview.

Bolton was on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s WABC Radio. The former ambassador was asked about a statement from a former head of U.N. nuclear inspections claiming Iran is now just a year or so away from having enough enriched uranium to assemble a nuclear bomb.

Olli Heinonen wrote in an article published earlier this week that Iran made this advancement after switching production of its higher-grade enriched uranium to a new, underground site.

Reacting to the one-year timeline, Bolton stated, “I think it can be even less than that.”

Read more at World Net Daily

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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