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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 21st, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

  • Obama, Netanyahu, Abbas to Meet Tuesday at UN; Ehud Barak: Iran Remains Top Priority – Ethan Bronner
    President Obama will meet in New York on Tuesday with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and Palestinian Chairman Abbas. On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Barak meets in Washington with Defense Secretary Gates. Barak said concern about Iran remains a top priority and that Israel favors tough sanctions after limited and well-defined diplomatic efforts being pursued by the Americans.
    In an interview last week, Barak was quoted as saying that Iran does not pose an existential threat to Israel. The statement raised eyebrows in the U.S. because it seemed to suggest that Israel might be growing less concerned about Iranian nuclear weapons. But in a telephone interview, Barak said this was not the case. He simply wanted to urge his fellow citizens to refrain from panic over the Iranian program. (New York Times)
    See also Abbas to Meet Obama, Netanyahu, But Won’t Negotiate – Alastair Macdonald (Reuters)
  • Gates: Iranian Medium-Range Missile Threat Developing More Rapidly Than Previously Thought
    Secretary of Defense Robert Gates last week explained the reasons behind the change in the U.S. missile defense posture: There has been “a change in our intelligence community’s 2006 view of the Iranian threat: The intelligence community now assesses that the threat from Iran’s short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, such as the Shahab-3, is developing more rapidly than previously projected. This poses an increased and more immediate threat to our forces on the European continent, as well as to our allies.”  (U.S. Department of Defense)
  • Clinton: “We Have No Appetite for Talks Without Action”
    Secretary of State Clinton told the Brookings Institution on Friday: “Iran’s continued failure to live up to its obligations carries profound consequences – for the security of the United States and our allies; for progress on global nonproliferation and progress toward disarmament; for the credibility of the IAEA and the Security Council and the Nonproliferation Treaty; and of course, for stability in the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, and beyond. Our concern is not Iran’s right to develop peaceful nuclear energy, but its responsibility to demonstrate that its program is intended exclusively for peaceful purposes. This is not hard to do. Iran’s continued refusal to cooperate has damaged the credibility of its claim that it does not seek a nuclear weapon.”
    “There will be accompanying costs for Iran’s continued defiance – more isolation and economic pressure, less possibility of progress for the people of Iran….Engagement must produce real results and…we have no appetite for talks without action.”  (U.S. Department of State)
  • EU Condemns Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust Declarations
    The EU on Sunday condemned declarations by Iranian President Ahmadinejad including that the Holocaust is a “myth.” “The presidency of the European Union condemns statements by President Ahmadinejad at the Quds Day rally in Tehran where he repeated denials of the Holocaust and of the right to exist of the state of Israel,” a statement said. “Such statements encourage anti-Semitism and hatred. We call on the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran to contribute constructively to peace and security in the Middle East.” Britain, France, Germany and the U.S. have condemned Ahmadinejad’s comments. (AFP)
    See also Moscow: Ahmadinejad Holocaust Jibe “Totally Unacceptable” (AFP)
  • Iranian Opposition Turns Anti-Israel Rally into Anti-Regime Rally
    Tens of thousands of opposition protesters swarmed the streets of Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan Friday, turning an annual rally in support of the Palestinians into the first major demonstration against the government of President Ahmadinejad in six weeks. “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, I’ll sacrifice my life for Iran,” chanted protesters in the capital. State-controlled Iranian television showed thousands of Quds Day attendees holding posters of Lebanese Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah and chanting “Death to Israel,” but the opposition stole the day. (Chicago Tribune)
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