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The Iranian Debate: Credibility or Trust?

by Shmuel Rosner

March 8, 2013 | 5:42 am

Ehud Barak, photo by Reuters

Next week, I’ll tell you all about my meeting with Senator Rand Paul, and about other interesting meetings I had in Washington. In the meantime, go read my piece for the print edition:

This year’s AIPAC conference was bizarrely quiet. In the rooms where the panels of experts and officials were speaking, there was mostly doom and gloom — talk about the war in Syria that isn’t nearly over, about instability in Egypt, about the slim chances for Israeli-Palestinian peace and, of course, about Iran. Iran is surging, and the diplomatic talks, thus far, only serve Iran “to buy time to press ahead” with its program, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the gathering via satellite. Israel isn’t going to sit idly by while the Iranians complete their mission, was Netanyahu’s and outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s message.

“We mean it, we mean it,” Barak said — namely, our threats aren’t empty threats; our warnings should be taken seriously. In the delicate dance of Israeli and U.S. officials around the Iranian issue, there were two main messages: The Israelis asking for “credible threat” — while hinting that the current threat might not be credible enough to make Iran cave. The Americans are asking for trust — the president, Vice President Joe Biden told the group, “is not bluffing.”

The full story could be found right here.

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