Obama: Sanctions Against Iran Can’t Last Forever

Warns Israel Is Losing Credibility as Peacemaker

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2, President Obama warned Israel is losing credibility as a peacemaker because of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hostility to the peace process, and warned that the policy of sanctions against Iran can’t just last forever.

The prospect of a deal between the P5+1 and Iran on Iran’s civilian nuclear program has fueled Israeli concern about the prospect that years of ever-increasing sanctions will begin to be released, and they really had hoped to make the sanctions a permanent fixture of Iran’s economy.

Obama’s admission that sanctions aren’t a “forever” thing is a major concession, and does suggest that significant sanction relief, Iran’s major focus in the talks, will indeed be coming as part of the deal. Selling that to Israel is important, however, as Israel’s lobbying power could keep Congress averse to the deal if they’re not at least sort of on board.

That is likely where plans for a massive US increase in military aid to Israel will come in, with expectations of a 50% increase in per-year aid as well as a one off bonus of billions of additional aid just for a tacit agreement not to try to block the Iran deal. Israel has denied this, but the whole point of the deal is that it will be secret, allowing Israel to publicly complain while privately backing off its lobbying efforts.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.