march 22nd financial crises Middle east news during Obamas visit

Obama, Netanyahu grant Iran another three months’ grace

Iran red line disappears under the red carpet

Iran red line disappears under the red carpet

President Barack Obama persuaded Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in their talks in Jerusalem this week to give Tehran three more months to work through nuclear diplomacy with the P5+1 group of world powers (US, Russia, France, UK, China and Germany), DEBKAfile discloses. After June, this format for resolving the Iranian nuclear issue will be judged to have run its course.

When the US president said “There is still time for diplomacy,” he added, “But Iran must know this. Time is not unlimited. Whatever time is left, there’s not a lot of time.”

When Netanyahu pointed out that the US and Israel might have different timetables and called for “a clear and credible threat of military action,” because “the clock is ticking,” Obama replied that all options were on the table and “We will do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran from getting the world’s worst weapons” – a pledge he repeated in his speech to Israeli students Thursday, March 21.
Talking to reporters Wednesday, the US president allowed, “Each country has to make its own decisions… when it comes to engaging in military action. And Israel is differently situated than the United States.”

This public exchange of views undoubtedly sparked Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s bellicose televised rejoinder Thursday: “At times the officials of the Zionist regime threaten to launch a military invasion,” he said. “But they themselves know that if they make the slightest mistake, the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”
In private, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources disclose, the American and Israeli leaders agreed to keep the diplomatic window open until after Iran’s presidential election on June 24. This does not necessarily mean that a joint US-Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities – or a lone Israeli military strike – will go forward the next day; only that a timeline for bringing the military option forward ahead of the diplomatic track is now before Tehran.

Obama explained to Netanyahu that he owed Khamenei the freedom to conduct Iran’s presidential election campaign without a bludgeon hanging over his head, in return for the same courtesy the Iranian leader afforded him in the run-up to his own re-election last November. In the campaign for his candidate, said the president, Khamenei can’t afford to show weakness by making concessions on the national nuclear program. After that, Obama trusts he will be more flexible.
All in all, on one pretext or another, Tehran has been able to shake off any “credible threat of military action” to curb its nuclear program for a decade or more. And there is no guarantee that things will be different after June 24.

Suicide bomber kills senior pro-Assad cleric in Damascus mosque
Syrian TV reports Sheikh Mohammed Said Ramadan al-Buti was killed in an explosion caused by a suicide bomber in the Iman Mosque in the central Mazraa district of Damascus Thursday. At least 42 people died in the attack. The mosque that was packed with worshippers. The sheikh was a senior Sunni Muslim preacher and important supporter of President Bashar Assad.

Khamenei: Iran will destroy Tel Aviv, Haifa if

attacked

“At times the officials of the Zionist regime (Israel) threaten to launch a military invasion but they themselves know that if they make the slightest mistake the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in an address Thursday as US President Barack Obama was addressing Israeli students in Jerusalem. Alluding to what he described as Iran’s scientific and military advances, he said: “This vibrant nation will never be brought to its knees.” Khamenei also called for Iran’s “natural right” to enrich uranium for nuclear energy to be recognized by the world.

Obama in Ramallah: We won’t give up on two states
After his talks in Ramallah Thursday with Palestinian leaders, US President Barack Obama reiterated his pledge not to give up on efforts to establish an independent Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel. It may take time, he said, but in the end, it will happen. In former times, he said, his own two daughters would not have had the equality in education and rights they enjoy today.  “What took time in America will take time here,” he said. Obama first met Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayad, after which they werel be joined by senior Palestinian officials

Pro-Assad cleric killed in Damascus mosque blast

Russian fleet abandons Tartus, docks in Beirut
Moscow issued a confused statement Thursday, reflecting for the first time Russian uncertainty about the situation in Syria: “The escalating conflict in Syria and [doubts] about the entry of Russian ships into the port of Tartus forced us to search for safer ports [for docking], and one of them is Beirut. Tartus continues to be the only official [facility] for Russian ships [in the Mediterranean].” The statement went on to say: “Once events in Syria become more predictable, we will be able to [come to] a position on continuing the use of Tartus.”

Khamenei: Iran will destroy Tel Aviv, Haifa if attacked
“At times the officials of the Zionist regime (Israel) threaten to launch a military invasion but they themselves know that if they make the slightest mistake the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in an address Thursday as US President Barack Obama was addressing Israeli students in Jerusalem. Alluding to what he described as Iran’s scientific and military advances, he said: “This vibrant nation will never be brought to its knees.” Khamenei also called for Iran’s “natural right” to enrich uranium for nuclear energy to be recognized by the world.

Cyprus says No to bank raid and turns to Russia: Two in three islanders now want to leave the eurozone

  • Islanders want to turn for Russia for help as economic crisis deepens
  • Russia has vast cash reserves in Cypriot banks
  • Distrust in Germany grows over cash confiscation fears

EU recession is worsening.jpgAnger: A Cypriot woman shouts slogans as she holds a placard during a protest against an EU bailout deal outside the parliament in Nicosia

Read more: 

If Cyprus falls into Putin’s grip, the West will have lost the first battle in the new Cold War

The capitalists will sell us the rope on which we hang them, said Vladimir Lenin. And for his successor in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, Cyprus shows the truth of that maxim.

The West’s financial weakness has become its Achilles heel. Greed and naivety have left an EU member in a vital strategic location at imminent risk of falling into Russia’s hands.

Fury among ordinary Cypriots at what they see as a ham-fisted European raid on their savings has stoked a search for an alternative economic saviour — Russia.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2297258/If-Cyprus-falls-Putins-grip-West-lost-battle-new-Cold-War.html#ixzz2OFvd7IQb

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