Delaying Attack Threat, Israel Hopes for Unrest Inside Iran

Interviewed by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz <http://bit.ly/QpTjQU>, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman expresses the hope that unrest may break out in the streets of Iranian cities. That could prompt the government to freeze or shut down the nuclear program, so that the international sanctions that are making life miserable in Iran would be cancelled.

Foreign Minister Lieberman

In Israel’s multi-party coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s viewpoint is not identical to those of his cabinet ministers; but insight into official Israeli thinking can be found in Lieberman’s remarks.

He tells Haaretz‘s Barak Ravid that Iran’s Islamic authorities may face their own Egypt-style “Tahrir Square” protests, before long.

Lieberman also defends Netanyahu’s use of a cartoon illustration of a bomb with a lit fuse — to represent the nuclear bomb Iran is hoping to build.  “You can laugh,” the foreign minister says, but everyone is now talking about Netanyahu’s demand for a “red line” to define clearly where Iran’s uranium enrichment must stop.

The interview also contains a hint of criticism for Netanyahu’s handling of relations with President Barack Obama.  Lieberman, whose English is poor and has only a minor role in handling relations with the United States, says, “There’s no alternative to a genuine, serious ally like the U.S.”

September 29, 2012

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