Monday, December 12, 2005

Israel ups Iran pressure

Analysts say the more evident Israeli pressure – due in part to the dynamics of domestic electioneering – is driven by worries that the US is going soft on Iran and that negotiations are dragging on. This concern is focused on the EU-backed “Russian proposal” [...]The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful Washington lobby group, has decried the US embrace of this proposal as a “disturbing shift” in policy. “Israel is very concerned that a form of defeatism has taken over the White House,” said Trita Parsi, a Middle East specialist at Johns Hopkins University. Each time the US signals possible compromises with Iran, Israel raises its threat level to bring the US back in line, he said.European diplomats say Israel’s threats are aimed at shaping the Russian “proposal”, which is a set of ideas rather than a specific plan on paper. They also believe the US support was directed at getting President Vladimir Putin on side, calculating that Iran would reject the plan anyway.
From Saturday's FT.

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