Israel launches media blitz against Rouhani

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In case you have not heard the word from Israel: Time has “run out”, there’s no time left for further negotiations with Iran, Iran will have a bomb in 6 months, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Quite simply, Israel is freaking out.

In a statement it says: “There is no need to be fooled by the words… The test is not in what Rouhani says, but in the deeds of the Iranian regime, which continues to advance its nuclear program with vigor while Rouhani is being interviewed.”

And Netanyahu cries wolf: “… A recalcitrant state that develops or acquires weapons of mass destruction is certainly likely to use them. It is possible to say that ultimately it will use them.”

So what’s the urgency all of a sudden? Well: Obama and Rouhani will likely meet next week at the UN, Obama has stated that there is a “potential of resolving” the nuclear issue with Iran diplomatically, and everyone’s talking about Iran’s “U.S.-targeted public relations initiative by Rouhani“.

Rouhani has taken to twitter to reach a western audience (although he doesn’t personally type them); his feed lit up over his op-ed yesterday in the Washington Post in which he declared an end to “the age of blood feuds”. The op-ed came just two days after he gave an exclusive interview to NBC News.

Listen to the undercurrent of excitement in Andrea Mitchell’s framing on NBC News:

Mitchell:  This is a very, very big deal. I can tell you at the White House and at the highest levels of the State Department they were watching for this all day. They were looking for these signals in this interview. Because he made it very clear he wants a deal on the nuclear weapons. The president told José Díaz-Balart  on Telemundo yesterday he wants to test his seriousness. That is what they are going to be looking for at the U.N. There is no formal meeting scheduled, they are not planning one. But unlike Ahmadinejad, his predecessor, you can very well understand that next week when both of them are at the U.N., the same time, the same place, they are going to look for an opportunity to see each other, to perhaps have a real conversation. And they believe that Iran wants this because of the sanctions, because they are crippling the economy, that the time is right but there is a short window to see whether Iran is serious, whether this man with a clerical background can do the deal. I was told by a top top State Department official they have been working on the back channel for two years and one of the significant players is the foreign minister Zarif who was the U.N. Ambassador and is well known to everyone in this administration.

“Top top State Department officials” say they have been working on this for 2 years.

And the timing couldn’t be better.

Financial Times reports Netanyahu’s government has “long embraced the role of Cassandra” but with the prospect of leaders meeting with Rouhani, the country’s underlying worry is that “Israel is being outmanoeuvred on a fast-changing diplomatic landscape”.

AIPAC is angered, calls for further sanctions and the threat of military action:

Pleasant rhetoric will not suffice…. sanctions must be increased… Strengthening the credibility of military action against Iran’s nuclear program is crucial if talks are to succeed.

Like clockwork, one of the lobby’s cherished minions, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, is pursuing a new congressional resolution authorizing the U. S. to use military force in Iran. He’s parroting (in video) the 6 month time frame too. But he may be a day late and a dollar short.

MSNBC’s The Maddow Blog: Lindsey Graham already queuing up the next conflict:

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that this resolution won’t have a whole lot of co-sponsors. If most of the country and most of the Congress was highly skeptical about limited strikes in Syria, the appetite for a military confrontation with Iran is likely to be even more limited.

That said, I’m sure Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will be delighted.

How many decades are we supposed to abide by Israel’s fear mongering? Netanyahu will address the UN General Assembly on October 1, in a speech focusing on Iran, again. The American public has heard Netanyahu cry wolf one too many times, and now he sees a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Cry me a river instead.




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