22 april: Video av Yoram Ettinger om faran från Iran. [Videolänk]
Artikeln bygger på ett par Debkaartiklar på engelska som jag kopierat in i slutet, eftersom de har en tendens att kosta pengar efter ett tag. Självklart inte den minsta antydan om detta i svenska massmedia såvitt jag vet. Det enda superväsentliga där är att några av Obamas livvakter har plockat med sej några brudar på rummet - världssensation, har aldrig hänt förr! Hmpf.
Obama har gett Iran full frihet att utveckla sina kärnvapen så länge som ingen märker att råvaran används för något annat än energiproduktion, Obama har lovat att Iran slipper alla kontroller från IAEA så ingen kommer att veta vad de sysslar med, Iran har givit upp glädjetjut att nu Obama måste ta bort alla restriktioner, inte för att de själva har skrivit under något alls. Obama kommer nog att göra det.
England, Frankrike och Tyskland har bekymrat ringt Netanyahu och undrat om HAN har den blekaste aning om vad Obama sysslar med, som du ser nedan var Barak i USA för att försöka ta reda på det från Panetta men.......
Jag översätter en sammanfattning jag hittade här.
Obama redo att ge upp alla tvång på att Iran redovisar sitt innehav av kärnmaterial eller vad de använder det till.
I de direkta, hemliga utbytena mellan USA och Iran som ledde upp till Istanbulsamtalen med sex av de mäktigaste länderna, lördagen den 14 april backade president Barack Obama från sina krav på att Iran "rentvår sig" från alla anklagelser om sin nukleära verksamhet och öppnar upp för internationell inspektion.
Detta ödmjukande banade väg för Teherans samtycke att diskutera hans ramförslag för att stoppa anrikning av uran till 20%, stoppa arbetet på sin underjordiska anläggning för högre anrikning nära Qom och exportera sina lager av höganrikat uran för slutlig behandling till 20% för användning i medicinska isotoper. Detta skulle presenteras som en lösning på de nukleära kontroverserna.
Militära källor rapporterar att iranierna finner stort intresse att ta emot denna ram. När alla sanktioner lyfts i slutet av juni - som Teheran kräver - och de är befriade från IAEA:s tillsyn, kan iranierna gå vidare med sina planer för att bygga ett kärnvapen ostört och Washington kan fira ett genombrott.
Israel har inte fått någon direktinformation om denna affär.
DEBKAs källor i Washington rapporterar att i motsats till den sorgliga stämningen i Israel, firar Washington redan sin "framgång" att lösa den iranska nukleära gåtan och avvärja krig.
Våra källor har två saker att säga i detta avseende:
1. Teheran har ännu inte skriftligt godkänt det amerikanska förslaget utan har enbart gått med att fortsätta diskutera i hemlighet.
2. Obama kommer så småningom att tvingas att samordna med Israel, det amerikanska folket och resten av världen om sin affär med Iran. Det finns ingen chans att Israels Benjamin Netanyahu kommer att gå med på avtal enligt de linjer som diskuteras mellan Washington och Iran, eftersom de skulle tillåta Iran att utveckla kärnvapen befriade från internationell tillsyn och sanktioner.
Den israeliska premiärministern, när han talade till staten vid en ceremoni vid den årliga minnesdagen för Förintelsen i onsdags kväll talade han länge om den dödliga faran ett kärnvapenbestyckat Iran var för den judiska staten. Han sade att de som hävdade att Israel saknade militär kapacitet för att hantera det iranska hotet hade fel.
"Vi kan och kommer att försvara oss", sade han. "Jag kommer inte att sluta med uppgiften att berätta om sanningen (om Iran) i FN, i Washington och i Jerusalem."
Tjänstemän i Jerusalem har argt avfärdat rapporter om ett genombrott i förra lördagens nukleära förhandlingar i Istanbul mellan sex stormakter (P5 +1) och Iran och med eftertryck påståendet att "Israels premiärminister Benjamin Netanyahu spelade sin förväntade roll i denna koreografi "genom att kritisera förhandlarna för att ge Iran en fem veckors fri tid för fortsatt anrikning utan begränsning, som citeras i en artikel i Washington Post på onsdagen den 18 april av kolumnisten David Ignatius.
Iran presenteras som redo att gå med på att stoppa anrikning av uran till 20% och stoppa arbetet på sitt underjordiska anläggning för högre anrikning nära Qom och exportera sina lager av höganrikat uran för slutlig behandling till 20% för användning i medicinska isotoper. Israeliska källor säger att denna rapport är falsk. Detta är inte alls något som kom fram på Istanbulmötet utan det är vad USA ensamma förmedlat genom bakdörrar till Teheran via Paris och Wien. Israel har aldrig informerats om att Iran har accepterat denna formel eller dess presentation vid Istanbulmötet. [Vad som skedde där vet vi.]
Framför allt betonade de att Netanyahu har inte och kommer inte att spela en roll i någon koreografi av detta slag iscensatt av Obama-administrationen.
Amerikanerna verkar ha tagits av den iranska högste ledaren ayatolla Ali Khameneis offentliga "löfte" i februari att inte begå en "allvarlig synd" genom att bygga ett kärnvapen som representerar den islamiska regimens ansikte, för att böja sig inför USAs krav. WP-artikeln har verkligen rubriken "Scenen är inställd för en uppgörelse med Iran." Ingenting är längre från sanningen Enligt våra iranska källor finns det inga tecken på att iranierna har accepterat någonting.
Artikeln i sig verkar representera Washingtons comeback efter en radiointervju sänd några timmar tidigare, tisdag den 17 april med Israels vice premiärminister och minister för strategiska frågor Moshe Ya'alon, där han skarpt kritiserade Obama-administrationen för sin hantering av den nukleära tvisten med Iran: "Vi (Israel) tror inte längre på amerikanerna och om Iranfrågan är vi inte i samma båt."
"För tre år sedan hade Iran 1200 kilo låganrikat uran, i dag har de fem och ett halvt ton", påpekade han.
Ya'alon varnade också att efter det sätt på vilket snacket gick i Istanbul, precis efter den andra omgången av samtal den 23 maj i Bagdad, "kommer Israel att besluta vad de måste göra".
Fundera på det klassiska hebreiska ordspråket: "Om jag inte är för mig själv, vem är det"? (אם אין אני לי מי לי?), Och han konstaterade: "Obama har också sagt att Israel har rätt till självförsvar"
Vice premiärministern var det första av de israeliska ledarna som antydde att efter den 23 maj skulle Netanyahus regering närma sig beslut om tidpunkten för en nedräkning till en attack mot Irans nukleära program.
Yaalon sade säkerligen tillräckligt för att orsaka viss oro i Washington, att döma av den flod av telefonsamtal som kommer in från Washington med begäran om förtydliganden.
Tidigare samma tisdag sade försvarsminister Ehud Barak i en annan radiointervju att "P5 +1"-gruppens samtal med Iran måste ge ett tydligt resultat, slutet av Irans kärnenergiprogram. Han trodde inte att de hade lyckats, även om han hoppades att han hade fel.
De två israeliska ministrarna skulle inte ha levererat sina nedslagna kommentarer om de amerikanska samtalen med Iran över och under förhandlingsbordet hade uppnått, eller ens närmat sig det genombrott Washington låtsas.
Iran rides high on nuclear concessions, demands end to sanctions
DEBKAfile Special Report April 21, 2012, 1:53 PM (GMT+02:00)
Praise for the Iranian negotiating team’s “achievements” at Istanbul along with a demand to end sanctions highlighted the sermon delivered on April 20 by the powerful provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who is also Chairman of the Guardian Council and Imam of Tehran.
Since the western side had officially accepted “Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear enrichment,” he said, the talks with the six world powers were a success for Iran. However, “if Western hostility continues by the stretch of sanctions and pressures, Iran will leave the negotiating table,” Ayatollah Jannati warned.
DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources say that Tehran is making no secret of its substantial gains on the diplomatic front or its tactics. The US framework proposals submitted in secret, direct talks with Iran, although not yet finalized, are being treated in Tehran as a done deal. Iran is therefore hailing US offers to acknowledge its right to enrich uranium and relieve Iran’s nuclear program of international inspection as concessions already in the bag. Sensing they are on a winning streak against the West, Tehran is now pushing for the lifting of Western sanctions, “to gain the trust of the Iranian people.”
European sources calculate that the Obama administration will soon decide to lift sanctions in stages.
The unfinished, unsigned US-Iranian deal is gaining traction as a done deal in America too.
Friday, April 20, the military historian Prof. Frederick W. Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute, published an article under the heading “P5 plus 1 Ceding Red Lines in Iran Nuclear Talks.”
He said the United States had flouted UN Security Council resolutions and IAEA demands of Iran (to make its military installations transparent) in exchange for an Iranian commitment to stop its nuclear development on the threshold of “breakout capability.”
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Prof. Kagan did not seem to share the Obama administration’s confidence that Tehran would stand by any commitment to refrain from building a nuclear weapon, particulaly since it stands on shaky ground.
On April 3, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced after long conversations with Iranian and religious experts that she had been impressed by a seven-year old fatwa issued by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on May 10, 2005, which ruled the construction and possession of nuclear weapons a sin. The edict was forwarded to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna at the time.
This is what Secretary Clinton had to say, “And if it is indeed a statement of principle, of values, then it is a starting point for being operationalized, which means that it serves as the entryway into a negotiation as to how you demonstrate that it is indeed a sincere, authentic statement of conviction. So we will test that as well.”
No one asked her if Washington and the IAEA had found out whether the fatwa had been upheld in the seven years since it was issued, or why President Barack Obama had suddenly dredged the old edict up now as sufficient warranty for Tehran to stand by its commtments in return for the sweeping concessions it has won from Washington for its nuclear program.
Three Israeli researchers, Y. Carmon of MEMRI, Ayelet Savyon and former UN ambassador Dore Gold, reported Friday, April 20, that they had found no evidence of Khamenei ever issuing a fatwa banning the building and possession of a nuclear weapon under Islamic law.
Israel’s drive to stop a nuclear Iran as an existential threat is becoming a personal campaign against President Obama for letting go on agreed principles for the sake of what its leaders regard as a dangerous deal with Tehran.
In his public address on the eve of the Day of the Holocaust and Remembrance, Wednesday, April 18, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said bluntly: “I will not hold back from telling the truth [about the Iranian nuclear threat] at the UN, in Washington and in Jerusalem.”
But his words fell on deaf ears in Israel, where people have become inured to his highflown talk and by now wonder if it will ever lead to action.
Barak to Panetta: What is your bottom line for Iran?
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2012, 9:59 AM (GMT+02:00)
Notwithstanding the hugs and personal friendship, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrived in Washington Thursday April 19 to tax his host, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, with tough questions about the administration’s dialogue with Iran. They followed the lines of, “What’s going on? Is there a deal? Don’t tell me what you have settled with the Iranians, just your minimal demands, your bottom line.”
The questions reflected Israel’s concern at being kept in the dark about US-Iranian back-track negotiations and American concessions, including President Barak Obama’s willingness to yield on full transparency and international nuclear watchdog inspections at Iran’s nuclear sites.
DEBKAfile reports: The Israeli minister had come to ask for the truth from Panetta’s own lips on the urgent instructions of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who himself had just received worried phone calls from French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron. They wanted to find out how far Washington had gone in concessions to Iran. You Israelis have more clout in Washington than us, they said. You have to try and stop the downhill decline. Concern was also registered from Berlin.
The two defense chiefs talked for more than an hour, joined for some of their conversation by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.
According to our sources, they focused on the fresh intelligence reaching the US and the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran had begun moving military nuclear facilities to secret locations not covered in the confidential deal evolving between the Obama administration and Tehran. Our military sources say that this Iranian action indicates on the one hand that a deal with the US is within sight but, on the other, that Tehran is already taking advantage of the US concession on oversight and transparency - for concealment.
Shortly after their conversation, Panetta and Barak spoke in separate media interviews. The US Secretary said that plans for a military operation against Iran were in place and he is sure that in the event of a clash, the American military would prevail.
Barak stated that the Israeli and U.S. intelligence findings regarding the objectives of the Iranian nuclear program are aligned, the comment he makes routinely after talking to American officials. The inference is that the two governments are aligned on intelligence but not on how to translate it into action for Iran.
He added that Iran was “clearly heading towards the objective” of building a nuclear weapon.
The Pentagon bulletin reported the Panetta-Barak meeting “to discuss the close US-Israel defense relationship including Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge, Iran, Syria and the Arab Awakening’s effect on the region. Secretary Panetta was honored to be joined by Minister Barak at the Department of Defense’s Commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day where they each lit a candle to commemorate the memories of the victims of the Holocaust.”
The meeting took place in the middle of a crisis hitting the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department over the president’s far-reaching concessions to Iran in another dispute, the one over three Persian Gulf islands close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz which the UAE accuses Iran of grabbing.
The UAE backed by the GCC is up in arms over the visit Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad paid to Revolutionary Guards bases on Abu Musa island on April 11 at the same time as Saudi Defense Minister Prince Salman was talking to the US president at the White House.
The UAE called the Ahmadinejad’s visit a violation of its sovereignty, while the Gulf bloc saw it as a cocky signal to the region that Tehran calls the shots these days – not America.
Yet, instead of backing its Gulf allies, the State Department on April 19, issued a mild statement urging Iran “to respond positively to the UAE’s initiative to resolve the issue through direct negotiations, the International Court of Justice or another appropriate international forum.”
The Gulf governments had expected Washington to respond to Iranian threats to use Abu Musa for attacks on the Strait of Hormuz and their oil terminals. They are deeply concerned by what they regard as the extreme lengths to which the Obama administration is willing to go to appease Iran, even to the point of giving ground on America’s own standing in the region.
Obama ready to yield on Iran's nuclear transparency. Israel:Tehran will cheat
DEBKAfile Special Report April 18, 2012, 9:23 PM (GMT+02:00)
In the direct, secret exchanges between the US and Iran which led up to the Istanbul talks with the six powers, of Saturday, April 14, President Barack Obama quietly backed off from his demand that Iran “come clean” on its nuclear activities and open up to international inspection,DEBKAfile reports.
This concession paved the way for Tehran’s consent to discuss his framework proposal to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent, halt work at its underground facility for higher enrichment near Qom, and export its stockpile of highly enriched uranium for final processing to 20 percent for use in medical isotopes. This would be presented as a deal for settling the nuclear controversy.
DEBKAfile’s military sources: The Iranians may find it worth their while to accept this framework. After all, once sanctions are lifted by the end of June - as Tehran demands - and they are freed of IAEA oversight, the Iranians can go forward with their plans for building a nuclear weapon undisturbed and Washington can celebrate a breakthrough.
Israel has not received word of this deal.
DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report that in contrast with the downbeat mood in Israel, Washington is already celebrating its success in resolving the Iranian nuclear conundrum and averting war.
Our sources have two points to make in this regard:
1. Tehran has not yet put pen to paper to approve the American proposal and agreed only to move forward in their back-door negotiations without prejudice:
2. Obama will eventually have to level with Israel, the American people and the rest of the world on his deal with Iran.
There is no chance of Israel’s Binyamin Netanyahu going along with agreements on the lines under discussion between Washington and Iran, because they would allow Iran to develop nuclear armaments relieved of the hindrances of international oversight and sanctions.
The Israeli prime minister, when he addressed the state ceremony marking the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day Wednesday night, spoke at length of the mortal danger a nuclear Iran for the Jewish state. He said those who maintained Israel lacked the military capacity for dealing with the Iranian menace were wrong.
“We can and will defend ourselves,” he said.“I won’t stop stating the truth (about Iran) at the UN, in Washington and in Jerusalem.”
debkafile reported earlier Wednesday, April 18: Officials in Jerusalem angrily dismissed reports of a breakthrough in last Saturday’s nuclear negotiations in Istanbul between six world powers (P5+1) and Iran and most emphatically the claim that “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu played his expected role in this choreography” by criticizing the negotiators for giving Iran a five-week freebie for continuing enrichment without limitation, as cited in a Washington Post article on Wednesday, April 18, by the columnist David Ignatius.
Iran is presented as ready to agree to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent and halt work at its underground facility for higher enrichment near Qom, and export its stockpile of highly enriched uranium for final processing to 20 percent for use in medical isotopes. Israeli sources say this report is false: Far from this being the shape of an eventual settlement, it was the shape of American demands relayed to Tehran in side-channels going via Paris and Vienna. Israel was never informed of Iran accepting this formula or its presentation to the Istanbul meeting.
Above all, they stressed, Netanyahu has not and will not play a role in any choreography of this kind staged by the Obama administration.
The Americans appear to have been taken in by the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s public pledge in February not to commit the “grave sin” of building a nuclear weapon as representing the Islamic regime’s face-saver for caving in to US pressure. The WP article is indeed captioned” “The stage is set for a deal with Iran.” Nothing, say DEBKAfile's military and intelligence sources, is farther from the truth. According to our Iranian sources, there is no sign of the Iranians caving in.
The article itself appears to represent Washington’s comeback for a radio interview aired a few hours earlier, Tuesday, April 17, by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya'alon, in which he sharply criticized the Obama administration for its handling of the nuclear dispute with Iran: "We (Israel) no longer believe in the Americans, and on the Iran issue, we are not in the same boat."
“Three years ago, Iran had 1,200 kilos of low enriched uranium; today it has five and a half tons,” he pointed out.
Ya'alon also warned that after the way the proceedings went in Istanbul, right after the second round of talks on May 23 in Baghdad, “Israel will review its steps,”
Citing the classical Hebrew adage: If I do not watch out for myself, who will? (אם אין אני לי מי לי?), he noted: “Obama too has said Israel has the right to self-defense.”
The deputy prime minister was the first Israeli national figure to suggest that, after May 23, the Netanyahu government would approach a decision on the date for a countdown to an attack on Iran’s nuclear program.
Yaalon certainly said enough to cause some agitation in Washington, judging by the flood of phone calls DEBKAfile’s sources report coming in from Washington with requests for clarifications.
Earlier that Tuesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in another radio interview that the“P5+1” group’s talks with Iran must result in a clear-cut resolution, the end of Iran’s nuclear program. He did not believe they would, although he hoped to be proved wrong.
The two Israeli ministers would not have delivered their downbeat comments if indeed US talks with Iran over and under the negotiating table had achieved, or even approached, the breakthrough depicted in Washington.
Israel: Obama’s secret dealings with Iran conflict with US-Israeli understandings
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 16, 2012, 3:07 PM (GMT+02:00)
The fundamental rift on Iran between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu burst into the open Monday, April 16 when high-ranking Israeli officials close to Netanyahu directly accused the president of reneging on the US-Israeli understandings reached ahead of the Istanbul talks between the six powers and Iran on April 14.
Behind the show biz of Istanbul, they charged, the US and Iran had reached secret agreements in clandestine bilateral contacts channeled through Paris and Vienna.
The row surfaced Sunday when Netanyahu said the US and world powers by agreeing to hold more talks in Baghdad next month had given Tehran a "freebie" of five more weeks to continue enriching uranium without restrictions. By singling out the US, the prime minister aimed his comment directly at the president.
Obama’s response was fast. At a news conference ending the Western Hemisphere summit in Cartagenia, Colombia, he commented sharply: "The notion that somehow we've given something away or a `freebie' would indicate Iran has gotten something. In fact, they've got some of the toughest sanctions that they're going to be facing coming up in just a few months if they don't take advantage of these talks."
That is the very point on which Israel accuses the US president of playing false: time. As disclosed by DEBKAfile on April 9, American and Israeli officials preceded the Istanbul talks withan understanding for the US to put before Iran agreed demands/concessions: Iran would be allowed to keep 1,000 centrifuges for the low-level enrichment of uranium up to 3.5 percent purity, the first time Israel had accepted the principle of Iran enriching uranium at any grade at all.
It was also agreed between Washington and Jerusalem that Iran would not be permitted to keep 20 percent enriched uranium, which is a short step before weapons-grade, in any quantity.
These understandings, known as the “1,000 principle,” were meant to represent the final upshot of the formal negotiations with Iran, a consensus to which US diplomats would aspire in as short a time possible.
In the event, the US delegation did not present any of the agreed demands – or any other - to the Iranians attending the first round of talks in Turkey.
The belated sense of being misled prompted the prime minister’s exceptionally sharp reaction.
Israeli official sources now suspect that in their secret contacts, the US has granted Iran far-reaching concessions on its nuclear program - more than Israel would find acceptable. The formal talks in Istanbul and in Baghdad on May 23 are seen as nothing but a device to screen the real business the US and Iran have already contracted on the quiet.
Iran snubs US delegate in cat-and-mouse game in Istanbul
DEBKAfile Special Report April 14, 2012, 10:45 PM (GMT+02:00)
The only real action at the resumed nuclear negotiations between Iran and the six world powers in Istanbul Saturday, April 14, was played out on the sidelines. The Obama administration’s intense effort to put relations with Tehran on a new, more amicable footing, was thrown back in its face by the head of the Iranian delegation, Saeed Jalili, who gave the senior US delegate, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, a humiliating runaround after she was reported in Tehran as having invited him to a bilateral meeting during the lunch break.
First, Iranian officials first announced there would be no meeting. Next, third-party efforts, especially by Russian and Turkish officials, to arrange one were spurned. Then, the American side publicized Sherman’s invitation to Jalili, calculating that the Iranian delegation leader could hardly break every rule of diplomatic propriety by turning her down. Nonetheless, after issuing conflicting reports - some claiming Jalili had accepted the US delegate’s invitation - the official Iranian news agency IRNA announced: "The Iranian delegation rejected the request of Wendy Sherman, the representative of the American delegation, for a bilateral meeting."
To drive the snub home, Tehran played up Jalili’s meetings with heads of the Russian and European delegations. According to some diplomatic sources, Tehran took it amiss that Sherman is junior in rank to Jalili who is head of Iran’s National Security Council and therefore decided against the meeting.
The session ended with May 23 being set as the date for the next round of talks. They will take place in Baghdad. Accepting this venue was another American concession for the sake of keeping up a friendly dialogue with Tehran.
DEBKAfile summed up the opening session of the nuclear talks with Iran in an earlier report April 14.
At Istanbul, US puts better ties with Iran ahead of nuclear issues
European diplomats close to the nuclear negotiations which Iran and six world powers launched in Istanbul Saturday, April 14 praised the first session as “constructive” because all the participants agreed that it laid the ground for a follow-up meeting in a month or six weeks.DEBKAfile: For this modest "concession," Tehran won its first advantage, time for advancing its nuclear weapons program and a substantial delay for any US or Israel military action to preempt this advance – up until mid-summer.
At around the same time, in July, President Barack Obama is committed to declare the next round of sanctions against Iran - a tight clampdown on its banks and oil exports.
It is doubtful if then Tehran will consent to go back to the “everything is on the table” policy it pursued surprisingly for the first time in Turkey. Until now, the Iranians refused to allow its nuclear activities, especially in the military field, to be aired at international forums. Yet at the Saturday session, Saeed Jalili, Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator avoided mention of sanctions and, as DEBKAfile predicted on April 11, did not demand the lifting of penalties as a precondition for negotiations.
His statement to the meeting was not released. European diplomatic sources only quoted him as saying generally that he was ready “to seriously engage on the Iranian nuclear issue.”
US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman is quoted as saying that “relations between Washington and Tehran need not be so bad.”
During the break for lunch, when informal meetings traditionally take place among the delegates, Sherman is reported by Western sources to have asked to talk to Jalili, but whether or not they met was not stated. Shortly after, sources in Tehran denied that the US and Iranian delegation leaders had met separately but later said Jalili had accepted her invitation.
Diplomatic circles in the West including Israel were surprised at the choice of Wendy Sherman as US delegation leader. She is reputed to be Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s closest and most influential adviser. This is taken as a signal from Washington to Tehran that the Obama administration is more interested in improving the climate of relations with Iran at the diplomatic level than reaching understandings on the nuclear issue.
On April 7, DEBKAfile’s Washington sources disclosed that this goal was underscored in the message from President Obama to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, which Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan delivered on March 29.
The president expressed the hope that Iranian leaders would abandon their hostile rhetoric and stop referring to the United States as their enemy. Erdogan was directed to inform the supreme leader that statements from Tehran crediting Obama’s policy for this improvement in tone would be welcomed, for example, Khamenei’s remark on March 8 in which he welcomed comments by US President Barack for “for pushing forward diplomacy and not war as a solution to Tehran’s nuclear ambition.”
This initial US approach and the absence from the American delegation of any important expert on Iran’s nuclear program have raised concern among some of America’s Western allies as well as Israel about the prospects of the Istanbul talks getting anywhere in their avowed objective of reining in Iran’s nuclear aspirations.