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Intelligence Committee chairman: Israel doesn’t believe Obama and ‘neither do the Iranians’

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — A senior member of Congress says Israel has lost
patience with the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Michael Rogers said Israel has grown
increasingly frustrated with the administration, particularly its policy of
restraint toward a nuclear Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, meets with U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro

Rogers, a Michigan Republican, said Washington has refused to provide Israel with what he termed red lines that would result in a U.S. attack on Iran’s purported nuclear weapons program.

“Right now, the Israelis don’t believe that the administration is
serious when they say that all options are on the table, and more importantly neither do the Iranians,” Rogers said. “That’s why the program is progressing.”

In a radio interview on Sept. 4, Rogers recalled a meeting with Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro. The House chairman said the Aug. 24 meeting, meant to brief the Americans, spun out of control when Netanyahu began attacking U.S. policy on Iran. Finally, Shapiro blurted “Enough already!”

“We’ve had sharp exchanges with other heads of state and in intelligence services and other things,” Rogers recalled, “But nothing at that level…where there was a very sharp exchange. It was very, very clear the Israelis had lost their patience with the administration.”

Shapiro, a former Jewish liasion for the administration, played down the
reported shouting match with Netanyahu. He said reports in the Israeli and
U.S. media were silly.

“The published account of that meeting did not reflect what actually
occurred in the meeting,” Shapiro said. “The conversations were entirely
friendly and professional.”

Rogers said U.S. and United Nations sanctions on Iran have not stopped
its nuclear program, and that Teheran was believed to be engaged in
weaponization as well. He said Israel and Iran have concluded that Obama,
who has pressured Netanyahu not to attack, would not use force to stop

are finally at wits’ end.””]
“They’ve [administration] made it very clear to Israel in a public way
that they shouldn’t do it, but haven’t made it very clear to Iran in a
public way that there will be tougher action,” Rogers said.

The House chairman acknowledged differences in the Israeli and U.S.
assessment of Iran’s nuclear program. He said Israel has assessed that Iran enriched enough uranium to assemble a bomb within weeks. The United States has argued that the time frame was “a little longer than that.”

“But the problem is, nobody really knows for sure,” Rogers said. “But we do know, and I think everyone agrees, including, you know, our European intelligence allies and other things that they are clearly marching down this road.”

Rogers said Israel could be expected to attack Iran unless Obama
provides what he termed were clear red lines regarding Iran’s nuclear
capability. He said the tough exchange between Netanyahu and Shapiro might
end up clarifying positions of Israel and the United States, including
Obama’s intentions if he wins a second term.

“Certainly when you walk out of that meeting you get the feeling that
they [Israel] are finally at wits’ end, and that’s what concerned me about
the meeting,” Rogers said. “The uncertainty about where the United States’
position is on those questions has created lots of problems and anxiety that
I think doesn’t serve the world well and doesn’t serve peace well. If I were
betting my house today, I would guess that they probably will do it if we
don’t have a change in more clear red lines from the United States.”

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2 Comments for “Intelligence Committee chairman: Israel doesn’t believe Obama and ‘neither do the Iranians’”

  1. Obama will claim that his policies are working, until mushroom clouds rise over Tel Aviv and Haifa, and he refuses to do anything to prevent that from happening.
    Netanyahu’s problem is to prevent that from happening, despite a lack of support, and even interference, from the USA. If he succeeds, Israel will survive. If he fails,Israel will be destroyed, and Obama will make a speech condemning the attacks.