The Jerusalem Post reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today told Joe Biden that “the only way to ensure that Iran is not armed with nuclear weapons is to create a credible threat of military action against it, unless it stops its race to obtain nuclear weapons.” Netanyahu reportedly reminded Biden that ‘”the only time Iran stopped its nuclear program was in 2003, and that was when they believed that there was a real chance of an American military strike against them.”
Netanyahu’s remarks represent an escalation of his past statements on Iran, which focused on the need for diplomatic measures such as harsh economic sanctions, rather than military deterrence. But now Netanyahu apparently has told Biden that, although economic sanctions have made it difficult for Teheran, there is no sign that they have caused the regime to halt its nuclear program.
Netanyahu’s statements about Iran reflect a reality that is obvious even to Joe Biden and his boss. What’s interesting here is that Israel has now laid out this message to the administration and publicized that it has done so. The Jerusalem Post’s report of what Netanyahu told Biden cites “diplomatic sources.” presumably Israeli ones.
During the first two years of the Obama administration, the significant public pronouncements regarding U.S-Israeli relations have come from the White House and the State Department, mostly in the form of demands for Israeli concessions to the PA. The Jerusalem Post’s story suggests that, in the aftermath of the American voters’ rebuke to the Obama administration, this one-sided state of affairs may be about to change.
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