March 6th, 2012
12:08 PM ET

Roundup: Israel's Netanyahu addresses AIPAC

Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted Iran is working to develop nuclear weapons, while defending Israel's unilateral right to launch an attack (Haaretz) on Iran's nuclear facilities. During a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Monday in Washington, Netanyahu warned the international community that a nuclear-armed Iran would provide a "nuclear umbrella" for terrorist organizations. The prime minister's AIPAC address followed a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, during which Obama pushed the case for combating the Iranian nuclear issue with sanctions and diplomacy. However, he said Iranian containment was not a policy option, and maintained that he would not take military action "off the table."

Analysis

"By focusing on Iran, indeed by having some among Israel's top leaders seemingly obsessed about it, Israel is ignoring (or seeking an excuse to ignore) the real existential threats on and within its own borders–demographic, social, and economic. By allowing Iran to occupy too much bandwidth, American leaders have also taken their eye off the ball," writes David Rothkopf for ForeignPolicy.com.

"There's no doubt in any quarter that Israel is reluctant to act alone in starting a potentially disastrous war in the Middle East. And at a tactical level at least, Israel has become isolated by the many months of saber rattling in the form of statements, leaks and military exercises designed to signal that it might be about to launch air strikes on Iran," notes TIME's Tony Karon.

The central fact of this past week, which seems to have escaped everyone's attention (which itself boggles my mind), is that Barack Obama, in his speech to AIPAC Sunday, as in his interview with Jeff Goldberg before it, all but made war someday inevitable. How? By saying that containment of a nuclear Iran was not an option," writesNewsweek's Michael Tomasky.

 

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PACIFIC RIM

Markets Drop Amid China Worries

Asian stock markets dropped sharply on Tuesday as investors responded to news of a downward projection in Chinese growth for 2012 (WSJ), with commodity-linked firms being the most weakened.

CHINA: A Tibetan teenager died after setting himself on fire in southwest Sichuan province in protest of Beijing's Tibet policy, the third such self-immolation (BBC) to occur this week.

SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA

Afghan, U.S. Officials in Deadlock Over Detainees

Afghan President Hamid Karzai met Monday with U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker and Gen. John R. Allen, NATO's chief in Afghanistan, but failed to reach an agreement on putting U.S.-run detention centers under Afghan control (NYT). Meanwhile, a Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up outside the U.S.-run Bagram Air Base, killing two children and wounding six others.

The violence against U.S. troops in the aftermath of Quran burnings has raised fresh doubts over the U.S.-Afghan partnership and the mission in Afghanistan, explains this CFR Analysis Brief.

BANGLADESH: Police found the body of a murdered Saudi diplomat (al-Jazeera) at a street intersection in the capital of Dhaka.

MIDDLE EAST

Syria to Allow UN Visit

The Syrian regime is set to allow Valerie Amos, the UN's undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, to visit the country for three days starting Wednesday, while Kofi Annan, the newly appointed special representative to Syria for the UN and the Arab League, will visit Damascus on Saturday. Meanwhile, Syrian security forceslaunched an assault on the opposition (NYT) in the southern town of Dara'a.

In his blog From the Potomac to the Euphrates, CFR's Steven A. Cook discusses the uncertainties of a post-Assad Syria.

AFRICA

UN Issues Somalia Warning

The UN Security Council warned of a worsening humanitarian situation in Somalia, while citing the dual threats of al-Shabaab Islamist militants and Somali pirates (Reuters) operating in the Gulf of Aden.

SOUTH AFRICA: Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe insisted the African National Congress-controlled government would not move to nationalize the country's lucrative mining sector (BBC), a policy championed by ousted ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.

In his blog Africa in Transition, CFR's John Campbell discusses Malema's controversial rhetoric and his subsequent expulsion from the ANC.

EUROPE

Hundreds of Demonstrators Detained in Russia

Thousands of Russians gathered in Moscow and St. Petersburg on Monday to protest against Vladimir Putin's victory (LAT) in the country's presidential election, which was allegedly marred with irregularities. Hundreds were detained by riot police in both cities, including prominent opposition leaders.

In his blog The Water's Edge, CFR's James M. Lindsay examines Putin's personal and political history as he prepares to once again take up Russia's presidency.

GERMANY: Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko responded to German criticism of his human rights record by saying of Germany's openly gay Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, "Better to be a dictator than gay" (DerSpiegel). The comment prompted a sharp backlash from Berlin.

AMERICAS

In Mexico Visit, Biden Opposes Drugs Legalization

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. reiterated U.S. opposition to legalizing illicit drugs (NYT) as an approach to combating drug violence in Latin American countries, following a meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderón. Biden is a on a two-day visit to Mexico and Honduras.

COLOMBIA: President Juan Manuel Santos is set to travel to Havana this week for talks with his Cuban and Venezuelan counterparts over Cuba's potential participation in April's Americas Summit (LAHT), to be held in Cartagena. Cuba was suspended from the Organization of American States in 1962.

Under President Raúl Castro, Cuba has begun economic and political reforms while bolstering ties with Brazil and the Vatican. But Washington has failed to seize on opportunities for expanding relations, says CFR's Julia E. Sweig in this CFR Interview.

CAMPAIGN 2012

Candidates Speak at AIPAC Super Tuesday

GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum will speak to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AP) as ten states (Tribune) hold their primaries and caucuses on Super Tuesday. Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum will likely showcase their strong support for Israel. According to a recent Gallup poll, 71 percent of voters view the country favorably.

In an op-ed Monday in the Washington Post, Romney said he would press for tighter Iran sanctions and take military action if necessary.

Editor's Note: For more information on the presidential election and foreign policy check out CFR's campaign blog, The Candidates and the World.

To receive daily updates in your inbox sign up for CFR.org's Daily News Brief.

Topics: Israel • United States

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. IRANIANS ARE MONKEY BRAIN KOS OMHATKUM

    IRAN IS BULL SH...IT , THEY TAKE ALL THE TECHNOLOGY FROM INDIA, CHINA AND NORTHJ KOREA THEY BRING THE SPARE PARTS AND THEN RUSSIA HELPING THEM TO PUT IT TOGATHER AND THGE IRANIANS BRING THE TEA AND COFFEE WHILE THE OTHER WORK AND ASSEMBLE THE WEAPONS ALL IRAN CAN DO IS TO MAKE A LARGER FULE TANKS AND THEN PUT SOME PRAYERS ON THE ROCKET AND YA HUSSAIN YA ALI AND ALL THESE BULS...HIT SUPERTISCIOUS SHI T, THOSE EVIL CULT WANT TO DESTROY THE WORLD USING OTHER PEOPLE TECHNOLOGY AND PUT IRANIAN NAME ON IT LIKE AL SEHAB AL HUASSAIN FK YOU IRAN. IRAN WILL FALL IN THE FIRST 3 DAYS OF THE ATTACK, HELP MOJAHEDI KHALQ, HELP THE IRAN SUNNI , ARBESTAN, IRAN KURDS AND LURE, TURKS AND ASSYRIANS, MORE THAN 45 OTHER GROUP LIKE BAHAII AND PERSIANS WE MUST ALL ATTACK IRAN FROM INSIDE AND OUT SIDE, CUT THE FOOD SUPPLIES AND MEDICIN LET THOSE IDIOTS GO THERE GOD AND MEET THE 40 VERGIN..THOSE SHIIA ARE EVIL CULT.....ATTACK THEM NOW BEFORTE IT IS TOO LATE

    March 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  2. URGENT- iran is spying on usa and other embassies inside iraq

    معلومات خطيره وتحذير / الى كل العراقيين الذين يستخدمون خط شبكة زين للاتصالات

    urgent information , our informants in al zeen net work in iraq discovered that iranians officers withg the

    help of iraqi shiia thugs of nori al maleki are spying on iraqis cell phone and home phones, recording all conversations

    specially on sunni people of iraq. This centre of spying located in a safe house in al mansoor district close to the green zone in baghdad

    controled bt 4 officers from iran ,from etela3at the iran spy agency, and one from qodos army,and the central iran iuntelegent service

    they also using this center to spy on usa, canada, uk and all other embassies and send all the details to Iran.

    كشف احد العاملين في شبكة زين للاتصالات ان الشبكه مسيطر عليها من قبل الاطلاعات الايرانيه حيث فتح مركز اتصالات متطور في احد البيوت الواقعه في منطقة المنصور يديره اربعه من كبار ضباط الاطلاعات والحرس الثوري ويعمل معهم عدد من العراقيين هذا المركز يقوم بمراقبة جميع الاتصالات على الهواتف النقاله وتسجيل المكالمات ويعتبر هذا المركز من اهم مراكز التجسس على مستخدمي خط زين من اقصى شمال العراق الى اقصى جنوبه وشرقه وغربه .

    March 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  3. j. von hettlingen

    In his speech:"Iran", Netanyahu said, "plotted to destroy the state of Israel “every day, each day, relentlessly.” Hadn't he exaggerated? Can we believe him? After all he is seen as a liar. France's Nicolas Sarkozy embarassed Obama with his remark about Netanyahu during the last G20 summit in Cannes last November, not knowing the microphone was on.

    March 6, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  4. IRAN AND SHIIAZIM ARE EVIL

    Here's my take on the Iranian Nuclear

    Q: FIRSTLY, are we willing to trust Iran with Nuclear weapons?
    A: No way! Else risk having a volatile ME brimming with nukes in tha hands of unstable Islamic radical regimes!
    and they will send the nuc to syrian thugs and killers and we saw what the shiia killers can do as they kill there own people

    Q: Can we let diplomacy go on right until the point Iran gets nukes?
    A: No way, we need to stop them right at their tracks! we must attack iran and syria now and keep israel and middleast safe and keep the world safe from the evil shiia and iranian thugs

    Q: Is a war in the ME now more disastrous than after Iran has developed nukes?
    A: Clearly NOT!

    Q: Will a war with Iran now cause major upheaval, increase terror against Americans all over the world incl. terror right here in America from homegrown Islamic radicals?
    A: No . But it may just be necessary to prevent potential major catastrophe or even a WW3 later on. iran is a paper tiger they do have more than 45 opposition groups we can use them to attack iran from the inside among them the arabestan province , the sunni in iran, the kurdish in iran, the lures and turks, the assyrians, the stuudents and women movments, the bahaii and persians egtc.....we must help the iraqi sunni to destroy the iran interests behind the lione.

    Q: Is war the only answer to stop them?
    A:yes! as diplomacy will never work with iran and syria or any shiia , they are an evil liers, they call lies taqeya, there god called ali and hussain!!!
    dont allow iranians to come to usa canada or any where for any reason that include the iraqi shiia and syrian shiia thuygs.

    Q: Is it time to strike Iran?
    A:yes 100% as the arab spring rising and the sunni arabs will help to attack the shiia interests, saudi arabia and gulf states will pump more oil 3 time more to offset iran oil problem so no worry about oil flow and price.

    Q:What do we mean by Iranian compliance?
    A: STOP enrichment beyond 3.5% and surrender in a verifiable manner all stocks of enriched Uranium above 3.5%
    Dismantle their underground enrichment plants in Qom and other places. Allow IAEA inspectors unfettered access to all facilities. THEY WILL NEVER DO THAT MARK MY WORDS DONT BE FOOL ATTACK NOW....OBAMA WILL NOT ATTACK THE REASON BECAUSE HE HAS A NOBEL PRIZE FOR PEACE AND HE WILL KEEP THAT IMAGE OF PEACE , BUT THAT WILL DESTROY THE WORLD....WAKE UP OBAMA

    DONT TRUST IRAN AND THE SHIIA

    Until we do all these the world can never be safe from ISLAMIC NUCLEAR BLACKMAIL !!!!!

    March 6, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  5. 100% ETHIO-AMERICAN

    Folks, did you see the above story video?
    Look at the President reaction. He was shocked, when the journalists enter the room suddenly (I think purposely to scared the President by advising PM Nathanyahu). Four of them at the same time without warning, suddenly pointed the 2 Metres long Metal bars Microphones behind him. The President suddenly, turned looked at them and shocked. I myself thought, they hold him hostage or he got shot. But, PM Nathanyahu was laughing and comfortably he addressed his messages to the Journalists, after President shakes his hand, to show peace.

    Are those journalists are treaters of the President????

    March 7, 2012 at 1:52 am | Reply
  6. Hamma Mirwaisi

    A Purim Wish…Longing For Achashverosh

    http://www.teapartytribune.com/2012/03/06/a-purim-wish-longing-for-achashverosh/

    Please read the article above to know about my work with regard of Jews and Arabs conflict.
    In the book of “An Atomic Iran” which will be published this week, I will explain the root of conflict and I hope the people will help to bring peace for the region.
    Hamma Mirwaisi
    Author of the, “Return of the Medes”
    and "An Atomic Iran" books.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:05 am | Reply
  7. Hamma Mirwaisi

    President Obama's speech to AIPAC and An Atomic Iran Book

    http://anatomiciran.blogspot.com/2012/03/president-obamas-speech-to-aipac-and.html#!/2012/03/president-obamas-speech-to-aipac-and.html

    The drum of War is lowed and clear. Iran has been preparing for war and the US administration does not have any other choices but to wage war on Iran.
    What is the outcome of this war for the world?
    Please read about my upcoming book soon, which is called "An Atomic Iran" to understand the conflict between Jews and Arabs or Jews and Iranian, the book will be published soon in Amazon (in Hard copy and Kindle edition too).
    Hamma Mirwaisi
    Author of the, “Return of the Medes”
    and "An Atomic Iran" books.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:06 am | Reply
  8. Timothy Obisakin

    KONY 2012! Please watch this video! Africa needs your help! Children are dying every second! Please go to Kony2012.com and watch the video! Please participate and lets stop Joseph Kony 2012 God bless you as you do so!

    Kony2012.com

    He Must be stopped!

    March 7, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
  9. Timothy Obisakin

    KONY 2012! Please watch this video! Africa needs your help! Children are dying every second! Please go to Kony2012.com and watch the video! Please participate and lets stop Joseph Kony 2012 God bless you as you do so!

    Kony2012.com

    He Must be stopped! Please help

    March 7, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
  10. Timothy Obisakin

    KONY 2012! Please watch this video! Africa needs your help! Children are dying every second! Please go to Kony2012.com and watch the video! Please participate and lets stop Joseph Kony 2012 God bless you as you do so!

    Kony2012.com

    He Must be stopped! AFRICA NEEDS HELP PLEASE GO TO KONY2012.COM PLEASE

    March 7, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
  11. Hamma Mirwaisi

    From the upcoming book of An Atomic Iran

    Is Iran's motivation for achieving atomic weapons to wage war against Israel or is it for their truly for their defense against Israeli aggression? The author attempts to answer this question and many others regarding the current situation in the Middle East.

    First an Atomic Iran is not Aryan (Iranian) People’s Bomb. It is the Atomic Bomb of Shi’a Sayyed as the rulers of Iran. Shi’a Sayyed armed with the ideology of Islamic Shi’asim to eliminate Israel and take over Islamic world by force. It is the Next Chapter in the Iranian-Israeli Conflict to be understood by the people who are seeking peace in the world.

    Iran is ruled by Arabs. To understand this statement, please take a few minutes to read carefully the root of conflict between Islam and Judaism or Arabs and Jews below:

    Iranian people do not have any hatred toward Jews and Israel. But the ruler of Iran does. Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) was founded by Sayyed Khomeini (Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini).

    Remember the word “Sayyed”

    Please read about my upcoming book soon, which is called "An Atomic Iran" to understand the conflict between Jews and Arabs or Jews and Iranian, the book will be published soon in Amazon (in Hard copy and Kindle edition too).
    Hamma Mirwaisi
    Author of the, “Return of the Medes”
    and "An Atomic Iran" books.

    March 8, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply
  12. grenadaboy

    that adds up to 74.5%............................ and the rest?????????????????

    March 8, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
  13. tony

    wht up pepl

    March 14, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply

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