Iranian Nuclear Talks UnderwayOctober 15, 2013 16:10 by Pesach Benson
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Today’s Top Stories
1. Iranian nuclear talks kicked off as today’s roundup went to press. A lot of papers are picking up on a Wall St. Journal scoop (click via Google News) that the US is considering a deal allowing Iran to keep its uranium enrichment facilities. This would put the Obama administration at odds with Israel and the Saudis.
2. A document posted on the Iranian foreign ministry’s web site outlined Hassan Rouhani’s approach to nuclear diplomacy. In a nutshell, Rouhani wants to drive a wedge between the US and the rest of the P5+1 countries to break the sanctions. The Times of Israel writes:
The document describes the “short-medium-term operational strategy” for nuclear talks and says that as part of the strategy, Iran will “change the global security environment” by “breaking the coordination of major powers and neutralizing the Zionist-American efforts to build an international consensus against Iran.” The strategy specifically hopes to “neutralize the leverage of America and the Zionist regime with countries and multilateral institutions vis-a-vis Iran.”
3. In reaction to American-Iranian diplomacy, France take on the tough guy role.
4. The Gray Lady’s Grouchiness is Hard to Miss: A pattern of snotty criticism by the NY Times directed at Benjamin Netanyahu caught the attention of several Israeli columnists.
Israel and the Palestinians
• AFP: The IDF is testing reformed procedures for children under arrest.
• Yuval Steinitz got op-ed in the NY Times to tackle Palestinian hate and incitement:
Palestinian leaders must now reciprocate by immediately and fully halting their encouragement and sponsorship of hatred.
If they do not, attempts at renewed diplomacy are doomed to fail, Israelis will become more skeptical about the peace process, and we in the Israeli government will have greater difficulty taking the additional confidence-building steps that we have been considering.
• A Tunisian tennis star lobbed an unusual shot at his country’s sports ministry. This from AFP:
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Rami Khouri reacts to Robin Wright’s “Remapped Middle East” (see article and interactive map). Neither Wright’s work nor Khouri’s lament about the Arab world’s lack individual rights include any mention of Israel. That demonstrates yet again that the Mideast doesn’t really revolve around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
• The Syrian civil war is “devastating Palestinian lives and homes,” but nobody cares because Israel clearly ain’t the goon here. Concerned Palestinians will have to make do with AFP‘s easily overlooked rehash of UNRWA concerns.
• Lebanese security dismantled another car bomb in a Hezbollah neighborhood of Beirut. The Jerusalem Post reports that the bomb was discovered on Monday night, coinciding with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The party is now part of a machine that oppresses the Syrian people, its members are now classified as war criminals who should be prosecuted.
• For more commentary/analysis of the Iranian situation, see , Ray Takeyh, CNN, and The Daily Beast. Last but not least, a Washington Times op-ed argues that Israeli nuclear ambiguity may soon come to an end to counter Iran:
Israel must continue to develop, test and implement an active defense interception capability to best match the growing threat dictated by Iranian nuclearization. It must also take appropriate steps to assure relevant decision-makers in Tehran that Israel’s nuclear weapons are usable, survivable and penetration-capable. For this to work properly, Jerusalem will have to consider, among other measures, taking its bomb out of the “basement.”
Soon, Israel will need to shift away from its long-standing policy of deliberate nuclear ambiguity, and toward a discernibly new policy of selective and partial nuclear disclosure. While this shift would not be greeted with approval in Washington, or in any other national capital, it would still support Israel’s core security interests.
• Here’s a fascinating Israeli response to EU legislation that might ban circumcision:
“If necessary, we will instruct embassies to hold circumcision ceremonies on their territory, which is Israeli sovereign territory.”
(Image of atom via deejaywill)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.