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Iran Prefers Obama to Romney

Isracast Assessment: New York Times Article Indicates Iran's Preference For Obama In US Presidential Race

Until Nov.6, Iran Will Signal It Can Cut Nuclear Deal With Obama But Simply To Gain More Time

Netanyahu Reaction: "How Iranian Nuclear Project Is Halted Is Not Important But It Must Be Stopped Otherwise He Will Opt For Israel's Military Force"

Mitt Romney (photo: Gage Skidmore)

 The latest signal from Iran, as reported by the New York Times, should not come as any surprise. For years the masters of diplomatic deception have always unveiled some new subterfuge to gain time for moving closer to nuclear weapons. This time it's an offer of one-on-one talks with the U.S. and, without saying as much, the implied partner is Barack Obama and not Mitt Romney.

 Are Iran's master of diplomatic deception at it again? The New York Times report released just days before the final and possibly crucial U.S. presidential debate would indicate they are. This is the text:

"The U.S. and Iran have agreed in principle to one-on-one negotiations over Iran's nuclear program, according to Obama administration officials, setting the stage for what could be a last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a military strike on Iran".

But at the same time: " Iranian officials have insisted that the talks wait until after the presidential election..."

Binyamin Netanyahu (Photo: Amit Shabi)

In Jerusalem, even Netanyahu officials were a little bamboozled. Leery of being accused of interfering in the U.S. election campaign their first reaction was: "It is unimportant for Israel the way Iran's nuclear program is halted as long as it is stopped". But later on second thought, came an Israeli modification that expressed concern the Iranians might be up to their old tricks of diplomatic double talk:

"Senior officials in Jerusalem hoped that progress at the diplomatic level would prevent the need for the use of Israeli military force against Iran. Information in Israel's hands indicates that the pressure on Iran is working and is meaningful".

Barack Obama

Reading between the lines, Prime Minister Netanyahu was willing to go the exra mile on U.S. diplomacy while not withdrawing the military option. And with good reason. Iran's track record speaks for itself. For nearly a decade, Tehran stalled EU nuclear negotiators and stonewalled Obama for nearly another four years. When all is said and done, the Iranians centrifuges are spinning out enriched uranium and according to Netanyahu they could produce 90% weapons grade material for one A-bomb by the spring or summer. Finally in the last lap, the latest EU sanctions banning the import of oil and natural gas combined with severe sanctions on Iran's banks are starting to cripple the Iranian economy. The Iranian rial has been in a free-fall devaluation while food prices have been soaring. Iran's economic maintay of oil exports have dropped by one million barrels daily. Oil accounts for 80% of the country's total exports and two- thirds of government income.

President Ahmadenijad has also warned that the banking sanctions are blocking the payment of the oil that Iran does sell abroad. There have even been some popular protests against Achmadenijads' economic policies. So it was only a matter of time before Tehran fell back on its tried and trusted con game - when the West starts getting serious about sanctions, Iran parries by going through the motions of fresh negotiations that eventually peter out. It has worked time and again including during most of Obama's tenure, enabling Tehran to get closer to nuclear weapons.

It is happening again. From now until Nov.6 look for more signals from the Iranians that they are willing ' to engage' but only with the iucumbent Barack Obama.

If this is the case, Obama should not fall for this latest Iranian ruse but actually step up the pressure on Iran. The Iranians have given him the opportunity to tell American voters that he is bringing the Iranians to kneel but Mitt Romney can counter that Ayatollah Khamenei prefers Obama because he is a softer touch.

David Essing

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