Sarkozy calls Netanyahu “liar,” Obama administration cools on sanctions
Developments over the last 24 hours suggest that Israel could be forced to go it alone in launching a military assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities, with the United States and NATO backing away from becoming involved in a conflict that would spark economic and geopolitical turmoil.
During a private conversation with Barack Obama at last week’s G20 meeting, French President Nicolas Sarkozy was overhead by journalists to say, “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar.” Obama responded by remarking, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!”
The comments were caught after a microphone was accidentally left on following the conclusion of the conference.
“A Reuters reporter was among the journalists present and can confirm the veracity of the comments, which were relayed by a French internet outlet on Tuesday,” reports Haaretz.
The exchange highlights a deepening gulf between western powers and Israel over plans to attack Iran, with French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe making it clear today that France does not support a military campaign.
“If the IAEA report, due out this week, indicates Iran is building atomic weapons capabilities, then France would firmly back further UN sanctions, he said, but would do all it can to stop military action,” reports the Jerusalem Post.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has reportedly backed away from plans to impose new economic sanctions on Iran, fearing, “Severe penalties against Iran’s central bank and its fuel exports would exacerbate the turmoil on international financial markets,”reports DebkaFile.
With Russia and China also expressing their opposition to an attack, it seems likelier that Israel will exploit a contrived pretext to prove that Iran represents an imminent threat to its security, an event that will carry far more shock value than the text of an IAEA report.
Should Israel wish to stage a Gulf of Tonkin-style provocation, it will call on Mossad agents to pose as terrorists and carry out attacks that will be blamed on Iran, similar to how Palestinian militants were offered cash and weapons by Israel to pose as an Al-Qaeda cell and carry out bombings in 2002.
Even if Israel is forced to launch an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities without the support of the United States and other NATO powers, don’t expect them to not get involved at some point.
The inevitable reprisal attacks that Iran will launch through its proxies like Hezbollah will be seized upon by the establishment media (‘how dare they defend themselves’) and cited as a pretext for US involvement to ‘maintain security in the region’ – and America will find itself embroiled in yet another conflict.