March 4, 2012

Expectations that the meeting between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday, March 5, will produce accord on how and when to stop Iran going nuclear are likely to prove unfounded, say DEBKAfile’s military and Washington sources.

Obama has made it clear that a military strike would be “premature” and economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure and negotiations must be allowed to run their course before a military option is considered as a last resort.

When Netanyahu flies home, therefore, he will come away from the White House facing exactly the same dilemma as before: It is up to him to determine Israel’s window of opportunity for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and decide if and when to go through with it.

After he met Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa Friday, March 2, Netanyahu tried to temper his disagreement with Obama by offering to go along with the Six Power negotiations with Iran starting in Istanbul next month, which are a cornerstone of the US president’s Iran policy, although Israel firmly believes Iran is just playing for time.

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