The U.S. envoy to Israel told the Israeli Bar Association that America has plans in place to attack Iran if necessary to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons, just days ahead of a second round of nuclear talks to take place in Baghdad.
Dan Shapiro said that although the Obama administration has made efforts to negotiate a deal on Iran’s nuclear program, “that doesn’t mean that option is not fully available. Not just available, but it’s ready,” he said. “The necessary planning has been done to ensure that it’s ready.”
The comment was typical of the talk coming out of the Obama administration for months. Officials have consistently employed tough talk, aimed particularly at trigger happy Israeli hawks who are unsure about Obama’s commitment to go to war on Israel’s paranoid say-so.
“We do believe there is time. Some time, not an unlimited amount of time,” Shapiro said in reference to the P5+1 talks with Iran on its nuclear program. “But at a certain point, we may have to make a judgment that the diplomacy will not work.”
Shapiro made his comments without emphasizing the conclusion of the U.S. military and intelligence community, that Iran has no nuclear weapons program, has demonstrated no intention to develop one, and that an attack would needlessly cause a regional conflagration of international violence which could not be contained.
What will come to the negotiations remains to be seen, but there is a simple solution to the issue which is completely off the table. Namely, establishing a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East. Top Iranian officials have repeatedly voiced their support for such a plan, but Israel has refused to give up its hundreds of nuclear weapons and also to open up its stockpile to international inspections.
So while every single participant in the talks with Iran acknowledges that they don’t even have a weapons program, no talks have been scheduled with Israel over its well-established weapons program. The double standard is not only glaring, but it is the cause of much of the tension over potential conflict in the Middle East.
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