In the backdrop of reports from Israel that Prime Minister Netanyahu has imminent plans to carry out a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon urged the international community on Sunday to publicly concede the failure of diplomacy to stop the Iranian nuclear buildup.
Referring to the negotiating efforts overseen by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany, Ayalon told Israel Radio that those nations should “declare today that the talks have failed.” The deputy foreign minister said that, in the event such a declaration does not persuade Iran to finally call off its nuclear program, “it will be clear that all options are on the table” for Israel, as well as for the United States and NATO. When he was asked what amount of time should be granted to the Iranians to halt their nuclear activities, Ayalon responded, “weeks, and not more than that.”
Negotiations between the six major world powers, known as the P5+1, and Iran over the rogue regime’s nuclear program fell apart last month after both sides were unable to reach an agreement about the Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment activities and international supervision of its nuclear program. Iran insists the program is intended for peaceful purposes, but the West believes it is meant for developing nuclear weapons.
While the six countries have expressed the optimistic belief that Iran’s participation in the diplomatic discussions proves it is feeling vulnerable to the pressure of sanctions, there have been no obvious indications that the world community’s sanctions or other pressures have had any direct impact on Iran’s nuclear program.
Netanyahu emphatically stated last week that sanctions have not altered the Iranian nuclear drive “one iota.” In seeming contrast, Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said on Sunday that there was still time for the sanctions to make a significant impact on Tehran’s nuclear efforts.
Ayalon made his comments after a slew of Israeli media reports over the weekend claimed that
Netanyahu was very close to finalizing the decision to attack Iran unilaterally this coming fall. Although the reports did not have much new information, their tone was notably sharper than such recent pronouncements, and many of Israel’s leading columnists openly predicted the imminence of an Israeli attack despite the opposition of the Obama administration as well as numerous Israeli military and security experts. Articles in Sunday’s newspapers also analyzed home front preparedness for what knowledgeable observers speculate would be a strong response from Iran and its allies, Hezbollah and Hamas.
“L-rd help us, would you just do it already and be done with it?” wrote Ben Caspit, a columnist for the newspaper Maariv, addressing the Israeli leadership. “When one looks around the impression received is that it isn’t only in Israel that they aren’t being taken seriously any longer, but the world refuses to get worked up over them either.”
On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Shalom called on the United States to implement “even more extensive and even more comprehensive sanctions, which could overwhelm the Iranian regime and possibly even topple it, or bring it to make the decision to abandon the nuclear program.”