We’ve been treated lately to an Iran-rationality fest. In February it was U.S. chief of staff Martin Dempsey saying Iran’s government was a “rational actor.” In March it was Israel’s disgruntled ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan saying “The regime in Iran is a very rational regime.”
Just last week Israel’s serving chief of staff, Benny Gantz, took up the slack by saying that “the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people.” And the next day another disgruntled Israeli, ex-Shin Bet (domestic security) chief Yuval Diskin, suggested who might really not be rational, saying that Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and defense minister Ehud Barak—both at least verbal hawks on Iran—were “two messiahs” who make decisions out of “messianic feelings.”
The New York Times, one could say, ate it up. A day after Diskin’s pronouncements, it ran a piece called “Experts Believe Iran Conflict Is Less Likely,”claiming that the “threat of tighter economic sanctions,” the “revival of direct negotiations,” and a “growing divide in Israel between political leaders and military and intelligence officials” had led “American officials and outside analysts” to believe that the “chances of war in the near future have significantly decreased.”
And the Los Angeles Times has reported that the U.S. was signaling a “major shift on Iran[s’] nuclear program,” with Obama administration officials saying they “might agree to let Iran continue enriching uranium up to 5% purity, which is the upper end of the range for most civilian uses,” if Iran agrees to strict inspections and safeguards.
As the article notes, such a deal would be anathema to Jerusalem and probably most of Congress, since allowing Iran to continue any uranium enrichment means leaving the door open to clandestine work toward the bomb. Israel’s national security adviser Yaakov Amidror has, in fact, been dispatched to Europe for “extremely sensitive” talks on the possibility of such a deal emerging.
The Los Angeles Times article, however, quotes Michael Singh, former top Iran adviser to President George W. Bush, saying “There have been many signals lately that the red line has shifted and they’re no longer pushing for full suspension” of Iran’s uranium enrichment—a shift that Singh “strongly opposes.”
The problem with the Iran-rationality fest is that Iran refuses to join in.
This week Iran’s English-language Fars News Agency website—regularly scoured by Western Iran-observers—has run a report rather brazenly titled “Iranian Navy Able to Deploy Vessels Three Miles off New York Coasts.”
Pages: 1 2