US-Israel rift deepening over Iran: Analyst

Press TV — Nov 3, 2013

The US’s recent approach towards Iran over the country’s nuclear energy program has resulted in a growing rift between Washington and Tel Aviv, a political analyst tells Press TV.

“There is a huge and growing rift between the United States and Israel simply because of the indications that the White House is now ready to at least begin a process of serious negotiations with Iran,” Gareth Porter said.

Porter added that the rift and therefore Israel’s attacks on US policy toward Iran will increase over the next months.

On September 27, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani received a call from US President Barack Obama as he was heading to the John F. Kennedy International Airport to fly back to Tehran following the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly.

The two presidents stressed Tehran and Washington’s political will to swiftly resolve the West’s dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program and exchanged viewpoints on various topics, including cooperation on different regional issues.

The phone conversation was the first direct communication between an Iranian and a US president since Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Porter said, however, that it remained to be seen whether Obama could withstand the opposition of the Congress, the Israeli lobbies in the US, particularly AIPAC, that wield great influence over the Capitol Hill.

On October 29, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez (D-NJ) said that the Senate aims to cut Iran’s current oil exports to 500,000 barrels per day.

“This is not the time to loosen sanctions,” Menendez said during a meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in New York.

This is while the White House has been campaigning to convince the Senate to delay the new sanctions bill that was expected to come to a vote in the Senate Banking Committee in September.

On October 23, the Obama administration reportedly held its first classified briefing with US lawmakers, including members of various House committees, such as Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Appropriations and Financial Services, over the talks with Iran.

Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany held two days of talks over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 15-16. The two sides have agreed to meet again in the Swiss city on November 7-8.

Porter said, “But hopefully the American people will support the president to take action to end this needless crisis – what I call a ‘manufactured crisis’ over the last decade, which doesn’t serve American interests and I think that the White House recognizes that that is the case.”



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