April 27th, 2010
05:51 PM ET

Iran looms over Israeli minister's meetings in U.S.

The United States is seeking tough new sanctions "to sharpen the choices that Iran's leaders face" after weekend talks between the Iranian government and the International Atomic Energy Agency failed to make progress on a deal over Iran's nuclear program, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki met this weekend in Vienna, Austria, with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, but no headway was made on a plan for Iran to ship its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France to be converted into fuel for a medical research reactor.

Iran initially agreed to the offer when it was made in October, but later rejected it.

"So far as we are aware, based on the readout of the meeting between the Iranian foreign minister and the director general of the IAEA, there was nothing new that was presented," Clinton told reporters after a meeting with the president of the European parliament. "We still don't have anything other than just an ongoing effort to try to influence public opinion as opposed to sitting down and providing an answer on the outstanding offer on the [Tehran Research Reactor], which is many, many months old now."

"Iran's continued disregard for its international obligations underscores the importance of united international pressure to change its policies," Clinton added.

Iran was high on the agenda in talks between Clinton and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Washington on Tuesday. Barak left the State Department for further talks on Iran with Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

In a joint news conference at the Pentagon with Barak, Gates said he was satisfied with the planning process by the United States to prepare for a nuclear Iran. The defense secretary's assertion was in response to a question about a leaked classified memo to the White House in January in which Gates raised concerns about whether the administration had a sufficient policy in place, along with military options, for stopping Iran's progress in getting a nuclear weapon.

"I am very satisfied with the planning process, both within this building and in the inter-agency, we spend a lot of time on Iran and will continue to do so," Gates said.

"At this stage it is time for sanctions and diplomacy," Barak told reporters. "And expect the sanctions to be effective and to be limited in time to judge to whether, what kind of results, stem from the sanctions regime."

Israeli officials say they believe their government will give the sanctions effort about a year to see whether they put sufficient pressure on Iran before debating other options.

Even as it works toward peace with the Palestinians, Israel has called Iran's nuclear ambitions its greatest threat.

"I think Iran poses a serious and mortal threat not just against Israel but many Middle Eastern nations and world security in general," Michael Oren, Israel's ambassador to the United States, told CNN's John Roberts on Tuesday. "If Iran gets a bomb, a great number of countries in the world, many of them unstable - failed regimes, terrorist groups - will get access to military nuclear technology and Iran is providing missiles to terrorists."

Oren said Israel supports sanctions against Iran and expects a new United Nations resolution will be passed that will impose "biting sanctions" against the Iranian regime.

Israel is "committed to these sanctions, seeing how they work, getting them up and running and imposing them on this regime in order to detour Iran from making nuclear weapons," Oren said.

However, Oren said if the sanctions don't work, Israel, "like any country in the world, has a right to defend itself."

Clinton and Barak also discussed the Middle East peace process and recent reports that Syria was providing Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Iran. The talks, which were supposed to run only 30 minutes, lasted an hour.

After the meeting, Barak praised Clinton's "commitment both to the friendship and responsibility" the United States has shown in guaranteeing Israel's security, as well as her "open-eyed approach" in pushing Israel and the Palestinians toward peace.

President Obama joined a meeting Monday between Barak and National Security Adviser James Jones to reaffirm U.S. policy regarding Israel and the Middle East peace talks, the White House announced. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the president "dropped in" on the two men. According to Gibbs, Obama and Barak discussed how to move the peace process forward, challenges to regional security and "how to deal with the threats that both the U.S. and Israel face."

Barak's visit comes on the heels of talks held by George Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy, with both Palestinians and Israelis last week in the region. The meetings were part of a U.S. push to get the two sides back to the negotiating table.

Palestinians have resisted American pressure to resume talks unless the Israeli government agrees to a complete halt of new settlement construction in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

But U.S. and Israeli sources say Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week offered a package of possible incentives to the Palestinians, including the release of Palestinian prisoners, more control for Palestinian security forces in the West Bank, the easing of more roadblocks and more economic development.

Although Netanyahu did not commit to halting settlement construction in East Jerusalem, the sources say he has established a mechanism that ensures more transparency. Netanyahu's office will now be notified about all construction planning and announcements in Jerusalem. Although he cannot ban such construction, Israeli sources say this enables the prime minister to prevent any surprises that could sabotage the peace process - something they say happened when U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently visited the region.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signaled in an interview with Israeli television that talks could resume soon. He is expected to consult this week with the Arab League, a meeting which Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley told reporters is viewed by Washington as an important barometer of Arab support for the resumption of talks.

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iran • Israel
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. 2-Die-4

    What are you guys smoking, so called patriots of the USA,Isreal etc. GO BACK to your own countries HISTORY.
    USA - Anilated almost all of the peace loving nation of the Red Indians.
    ISREAL – Stole the land of the Muslims.

    Go try to steal one of the states from the US and see if they will sit back let you take it away..................

    Get a life people,if you have the mighty power of an army like the USA/ISREAL then you
    are the king of the world.

    Now who are the real terrorists/killers/murderers.

    In my opinion the day the ARAB world break ties from the US and Isreal is the day when
    this world super powers will be left powerless.
    As much as the world hate`s muslims/arabs the fact is that it is not USA/ISREAL that is controlling the world
    but the ARAB nations with their GOD given abundance suplly of OIL which make`s the world live another.
    So when you fill up your next tank of GAS remember it orignally came from the so called land of Terrorists/Extremeist/Butchers etc.

    Get a life you losers.

    April 28, 2010 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. Prediction

    lets start with the beginning, and its end with the ending, this is the worst thing to each in every one. we can't stop the "THE WAR OF THE NEW CENTURY". be prepared for 1-2 months it is writen in the book of holy... so be ready.......

    April 28, 2010 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. 2-Die-4

    History of wars - Vietnam,a war that the US should never have been involved in
    - Afganistan, still ongoining but a loss for the Americans who tried to get
    in there and in the gave the country to another Terrorist organisation
    known as the Northen Alliance. They lost their acces of Persian Gulf
    Oil. HOO HAAAAAA.
    - Iraq, a personal war by Bush senior/junior. The very USA that funded
    and armed IRAQ againgst the Russians attacked them on the basis
    of WOMD. Guess the only WOMD they found were neatly tucked
    away in the US of A.

    911 - The world can see what a big coverup this was.For reasons unknown
    a well orchestrated attack on it`s own country by it`s leaders.
    Pin it on an Arab,label him a terrorist and make him famous.Good
    back up policy enforced for a superpower nation which was on the
    biggest recession at the time.

    This i have to comment on.As a citizen from a so called 3rd world nation,i just cannot faddom how a plane that could bring down a tower with over 50floors and virtually incinerate everything upon contact BUT conviently leaves a PASSPORT of one of the
    bombers at the groung zero site with no damage/burns nothing.
    People call me dumb but please show me one shred of evidence of the plane that hit the Pentagon.
    Are the americans so blind to these facts or are they just turning a blind eye.

    You see these superpowers can dictate the world with their mighty arm forces.They tried that with South Africa during the Apartied era,but guess what.South Africa has all the resouces to live even if cut of from the world.

    Who ordered the Atom bomb on the Japanese.The Americans.If the Iranian leaders were insane they would have started ww3 along time ago. ISREAL mind you is flanked all round
    by muslims and unified they can wipe ISREAL out anytime,so tell me WHO are the MAD MEN of this Millenuim.

    Try barking up the North Koreans door who openly tell you that they will not think twice to use NUKES. No gain there,so obviously no Pain.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. Abdul

    D whole world has known israel n d u.s 4 there greedy intentions.last time u.s n russia reached an agreement on nuclear weapons proliferation and all kinds of other weapons,secretly and silently d u.s went on 2 build more and when russia found out,it said its going 2 build a more sophisticated one,now d u.s start 2 panick.let them comfront russia or north korea on thier nuclear stuffs.Israel has a stock pile of weapons which its using 2 threatening d peace of d middle east,example is palestine and lebanon d greedy are blind of these.i think iran is trying to protect itself as u are claiming to.question:must all countries of d world practise what u are practising?They invaded iran to still thier oil.ALLAH will surely rule out ZIONISTS and thier allies.Israel and d U.S are d terrorists of d world,if its not true they should allow all countries be and not interfere with their activities,just dont try my country ok?GOD b wit evry1

    April 28, 2010 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. 2-Die-4

    Predictions – Here is one to think about.
    Global Warming over the next 10yrs may rise the sea level by 20 – 30 meters.
    Long term thinking - Oh my god this means New YOrk and most of the low lying state`s would be under water.
    So where will the US peopl go to as practically most the Eastern Seaboard states would be
    under water. AAAHHHHHHH yes stick with ISREAL and we could just take who evers land we want and call it the New World.
    New Yorkers Prediction is right the Wrath of God has started and your country leaders will annex any land they can.

    The New World may see NewYorkers living in Saudi Arabia.

    I wonder what these super powers who do if they encounter another form of life in SPACE.Will they try to steal that land as well.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. 2-Die-4

    Hey guys,here is an excellent one.
    Zimbabwe has started their land reform practice years ago were,all of the land we taken away from all White Farmers.This nation is way beyound poverty.

    How come the UNO allowed this with no intervention.Is it because of the Soverign rights of this country.IRAQ was also a Soverign state.

    Oh yes i quiet forgot.Zimbabwe only has Tobacco, no oil there.

    Sad,just so sad.

    April 28, 2010 at 3:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. Balanceofpower

    Iran getting nukes will balance power in MidEast. The only way to curb Israel.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. Lina

    Iran shoud not have there way,and United state have done enogh to give them a whole lot of time to repent but they would not, they are building this nukes for isreal and every body knows it even the pretenders knows it, stoburn flies goes down with dead bodies,time is up with iran

    April 28, 2010 at 4:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. lawi

    I think there is a problem here, Xtianity is not a religion from the west but it is a religion from the east. Islam is a distorted version of Xtianity, if not why dyu accept first boooks in the Odl testament. Come to think of this Mohamed on his trade journey maybe met a chrisitian and the latter maybe taught him some few things about the bible but when he went back to wherever just to be at the center of everything he denounced jesus Christ and took his position instead.

    April 28, 2010 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. El Zack Bin Ali

    Pls lets speak the truth ISLAM is a religion of peace but WHY all terrorism such as bomb attacks around the world always associate with muslem faithful. Pls if its a Jihad, let us justify reasons according to Holy Quran but for me its as a muslem.

    April 28, 2010 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  11. Adam

    Enough Hypocrisy!

    Why is it OK for Israel to have Nuclear Weapons and it is not OK for Iran to have Nuclear technology for peaceful purposes?!!!

    Why is it OK for the USA to arm Israel but it is not OK for any other country in the Middle East to arm itself?

    The USA lost credibility in the Middle East!!!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. Brendan

    Why should Israel be allowed to have Nuclear weapons?? Why are they still in illegal occupation of Arab lands??. Why have their leaders not been tried for war crimes, such as the use of Phosphorous bombs on a defenceless population in Gaza, or the use of children as human shields?? Alas the answer to thiis (and many other horrendous crimes committed by Israel) is that they are supported by the USA, who persistently veto any UN Security Council Resolution on Israel. It is a great sadness that the reputation of the USA is traduced around the world because of it's partisan support for Israel!

    April 28, 2010 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. pah

    religions are all insane

    israel is unjust – yet since we are all in this pickle – a nuclear iran seems to me the final step before an a-bomb strapped jihadist detonates himself somewhere, maybe not acting under iranian orders but thru some fanatical faction of...oh it's hard to keep up with them all.

    go look at the 'world at war' footage of nagasaki and hiroshima - nothing is worth that

    israel must stop and retreat wholly from the west bank and do everything they can for palestine, and the U.S. withdraw from iraq, afghanistan if possible ....then there is no excuse remaining for jihadists except their desire for unending war and their ridiculous heavenly virgins and they can be justly eradicated by the west or by their own governments. Otherwise its world war 3: return of the crusades – which Im sure a lot of them wish for. I mean, if they are willing to blow themselves to bits for their non-existant god, why not take the whole world with them?

    April 28, 2010 at 5:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. IGBO-MAN

    A saying in my language says, he who carries nothing will possible lose nothing. so i think this blog is for those with NUCLEAR/ATOMIC BOMBS PROBLES who want to aniliate each other.

    Well I am praying and fasting so that you do so soonest (nuke yourselves quickly), so we the minority can come take over your land.

    am not suprised cos JUSES said do not be affraid when you hear of rumours of wars cos kings shall rise against kings and kingdoms against kingdoms.

    So shalom my SUPER POWERS. AFRICAN 4LIFE only little and disturbing conflits caused by colonial criminals by ETHNIC AMAGAMATION.

    April 28, 2010 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. E Bola

    READ THIS ARTICLE FROM NEW YORK TIMES >>

    This is for those who think jews are not racist.

    "Our race is the master race. We Jews are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, as compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. Our earhtly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves." Menachim Begin, Israeli Prime Minister to the NEW STATESMAN MAGAZINE, June 25, 1982.

    "Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that...I want to tell you something very clear: We, the Jewish people, control America and the Americans know it." Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001.

    I assume the question that the article's title poses was merely rhetorical. Because it was not answered in any meaningful way within the text. Perhaps, the words of two Israeli PMs will help clarify...The arse licking dogs of the United States Congress are certainly not going to turn on their masters as they've demonstrated their love for the racist entity time after time in such fervant terms as one would expect to hear from the craven Senate of Rome when their emporer made his horse a member of their 'esteemed' assembly.

    It violates the law to give aid to nuclear-armed Israel.

    Meanwhile in the real world, Thousands more Palestinians are going to be evicted as progressives wring their hands, worry about their pudenda and what that crazy Sarah and Glenn will do next...aren't they just the zaniest?

    April 28, 2010 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
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