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Israel Analysis: What is on Netanyahu's Mind as He Visits US?

We are still in the stage of diplomacy and sanctions. Based on experience and looking at the example which they (the Iranians) are using, which is probably the North Korean example, you can easily see...the objective is to defy, deceive, and deter the whole world.

Iran is a major, major threat to any conceivable world order. It's clear to all of us that they're determined to reach military nuclear capability.

I would be happy to...end up finding myself wrong based on a future development, but I wonder whether this will be the case.

These were the assertions of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak at an international security forum in Canada on Saturday.

While Barak was wondering whether Iran's desire to make a nuclear bomb will be fulfilled, his Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was reportedly not waiting. Netanyahu, in New Orleans for the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly, asked US Vice President Joe Biden to create a credible threat in the form of a military campaign to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

So, the four rounds of economic sanctions in the last four years against Tehran is insufficient for West Jerusalem, which wants the prospect of US military power days after the Republicans gained the majority in the lower house of Congress. Netanyahu is reportedly prepared to support his argument with intelligence reports saying that Tehran only halted its uranium-enrichment process in 2003 when Washington was still threatening to bomb.

Netanyahu's second subject will be the deadlocked negotiations with the Palestinians. His envoy Isaac Molho and the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, have not produced any tangible results over the last three days. Having been blocked by Washington from going to the Security Council for a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood, Ramallah gave another three weeks of leeway to the Obama Administration. So now the matter is between West Jerusalem and the US.

American officials are expected to tell their counterparts that the package of diplomatic and security incentives is still on the table if Netanyahu agrees to renew the freeze on construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The incentives include advanced fighter planes and an increase in security aid, as well as guarantees of a US veto of any attempt at a unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood and no condemnation from Washington of the Israeli military presence along the Jordan River. 

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