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Israel’s Netanyahu warns Obama on working with Iran in Iraq

Published time: June 23, 2014 11:18
Edited time: June 24, 2014 15:06
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP Photo /Jim Hollander)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP Photo /Jim Hollander)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, still stung by the interim agreement reached by the US and Iran that places restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program in return for easing sanctions, has offered his strategy to Obama on ISIS and Iran: “Weaken both.”

Netanyahu has advised the US against cooperating with Iran in an increasingly chaotic Iraq, where the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS, or ISIL) has made dramatic territorial gains in the north and center of the country.

The hawkish Israeli leader focused on the Obama administration’s balancing act in Iraq, with its Shi’ite-led government that continues to maintain decent relations with both Washington and Tehran. This poses a natural concern for Tel Aviv, which has long accused Iran of attempting to build nuclear weapons – a claim that Iranian officials have consistently denied.

"What you're seeing in the Middle East today in Iraq and in Syria is the stark hatreds between radical Shi'ites, in this case led by Iran, and radical Sunnis led by al Qaeda and ISIS and others," Netanyahu told the NBC program "Meet the Press."

"Now, both of these camps are enemies of the United States. And when your enemies are fighting each other, don't strengthen either one of them. Weaken both," he urged.

The comments from the Israeli PM come just days after Baghdad asked the US to initiate airstrikes against the Sunni extremist group, which has taken several towns in Anbar province, advancing closer to the capital.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants inspecting abandoned Iraqi army vehicles at an undisclosed location close to the Iraqi-Syrian border, in the district of Sinjar, northwest Iraq (AFP Photo / HO)

Last week, Washington hinted to Tehran on the sidelines of separate nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, that it would be open to some level of cooperation to roll back advances made by ISIS.

Netanyahu emphasized his country’s fears that any sort of cooperation with Iran – not just in Iraq but at the negotiating table – would cause the international community to drop its collective guard, helping the Islamic state to acquire nuclear weapons.

"What is, I think, being discussed in the case of Iran by the international community is that you remove most of the sanctions and Iran gets to keep most of the capabilities, most of the stockpiles, most of the ability to manufacture the means to make nuclear weapons," Netanyahu said. "... This would change history. It would be a monumental mistake."

“And I think by far the worst outcome that could come out of this is that one of these factions — Iran — would come out with nuclear weapons capability,” he said. “That would be a tragic mistake. It would make everything else pale in comparison.”

However, Iran’s religious authorities remain cynical of Washington’s offer of cooperation in Iraq.

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accused Washington on Sunday of exploiting the violence to regain control of Iraq putting the republic “under its hegemony” and rule of “its stooges,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA news agency.

An image uploaded on June 14, 2014 on the jihadist website Welayat Salahuddin allegedly shows militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) capturing dozens of Iraqi security forces members prior to transporting them to an unknown location in the Salaheddin province ahead of executing them (AFP Photo)

US Secretary of State John Kerry rejected these claims saying the "US is not engaged in picking or choosing any one individual... it's up to the people of Iraq to choose their own leadership."

Washington has been trying hard to avert blame for the basket-case conditions now afflicting this nation of some 36 million people ever since March 20, 2003 when the United States opened a military offensive against Iraq under the pretext that the Baathist government of Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction – claims later determined to be false.

From March 2003 to mid-2011, the people of Iraq lost an estimated 460,000 civilians during the war and occupation by the US and allied forces, statistical research compiled by the PLOS (Public Library of Science) Medicine journal revealed in October 2013.

ISIS mocks Michele Obama on twitter

Following the withdrawal of US troops in 2011, Iraq sank even deeper into sectarian conflict, as the country’s Shiite majority squared off against the Sunni minority, many of whom were supporters of the usurped Ba’athist government.

2013 was the bloodiest year in Iraq since 2008 with over 7,000 civilian deaths.

Comments (62)

 

orange monkeybat 26.06.2014 01:05

"ever since March 20, 2003 when the United States opened a military offensive against Iraq under the pretext that the Baathist government of Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction – claims later determined to be false"

Nice slant! Couldn't be that those weapons were ushered into Iran/Syria or anything. Nah, never happens.

 

Nanette 25.06.2014 18:57

"US is not engaged in picking or choosing any one individual... it's up to the people of Iraq to choose their own leadership." Did Kerry say this with a straight face? It is to laugh.

 

John Dillinger 25.06.2014 13:48


I could continue and tell you the greatest of these tragedies is where killing our own planet for resources that arent needed. Few would be accept this level of knowledge and truth. And don’t expect the mega oil giants to hand it out to a public.
But the control of oil in this our civilization ensures kings sit in thrones
There is no such substance as royal DNA public?
We haven’t needed fossil fuels as an energy source for quite awhile
Control of all knowledge has prevented this from becoming public
Portions of this higher knowledge are still referred today as phenomenon and mysteries
But not for everyone ö¿~

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