Dear Israeli Press: On Iran, Whats The Big Deal?

The latest WSJ article which stated that Iran was keeping its 20% enriched Uranium stockpile below Israel’s red line made headlines in Israel today. Most of the Hebrew as well as English language press published it as if it only happened recently.

But in reality this is old news-it belongs to August last year.

Iran has been putting parts of its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium beyond military use before Bibi’s public declaration of his red line against Iran which was drawn with a big red marker in the UN on the 27th of September.

His red line stood at 240 kilos of 20% enriched uranium.

Iran had already started putting parts of its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium beyond military use by converting it into fuel plates since August 2012 a month after the EU started its oil sanctions against Iran.

In fact Ehud Barak used this tactic by the Iranians as a reason to publicly justify distancing his position away from that of Netanyahu on Iran last September.

So there is nothing new about this development.

What could be happening and of course this is only an assumption, is that both US and Israeli governments are preparing for a possible deal with Iran.

By highlighting such positive initiatives taken by Iran (Khamenei putting enriched uranium beyond use of military use) they could be preparing public opinion for a deal.

Or its just possible that the WSJ was late in picking up this story and our press in Israel followed suit.

Who said sanctions against the Iranian regime are not impacting its nuclear policies ?

Netanyahu’s Star Spangled Red Lines

Today Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not only talk about his red line on Iran, he drew it for the international community with a big red marker.

The red line he drew marks the point at which Iran increases its current uranium enrichment levels.

Currently Iran is enriching at 20%. This could be used both for civilian and military purposes.

If Iran moves beyond 20% enrichment towards 90% then that would clearly be for the construction of a bomb.

The point where Iran moves beyond 20% and towards 90% is where Netanyahu has stated that Iran would be crossing a red line.

The first question which must be asked is: would we know about such an Iranian initiative? Netanyahu said no.

The answer however is yes. Iran’s current enrichment facilities are under inspection. The only way Iran could hide such a move would be by kicking out the IAEA inspectors. This would alert the entire international community. Israel alongside everyone else would find out.

An Iranian unilateral expulsion of IAEA inspectors could lead to an attack by the United States against Iran’s facilities, as President Obama has stated clearly that when it comes to a nuclear Iran, “containment is not an option“.

In other words, Netanyahu’s red line is not so different to that of the US.

This could be a clear sign that although in words the current Israeli and US government disagree, in reality, they are operating along the same lines and understandings.

The fact that Netanyahu did not commit himself to a red line on Iran is another common feature between him and Obama. This is despite the fact that Netanyahu drew the line with his own hands.

This should give more impetus for the cessation of the current rift between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama. It only causes damage, and as the context of Netanyahu’s red lines showed, the details of the rift is becoming increasingly meaningless.