US holds off military action in Iran

February 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

US Israel in talks over IranIsraeli officials claim that not enough is being done over the Iran issue, meanwhile the US seeks to calm the situation between the two states. Israel is looking increasingly nervous about its neighbour Iran’s appetite for nuclear weapons. In turn the Obama administration are digging in their heels on the use of sanctions and wants to give Iran more time to feel the bite of their financial punishment.

According to an Obama official Israel fears that once Iran has developed its fortifications it will no longer matter “whether it will take Iran six months or a year or five years to create a nuclear weapon.” A military strike will no longer be appropriate.

The Obama administration wishes to give the sanctions it and the West placed on Iran, in November 2011, more time. These sanctions are aimed at Iran’s central and commercial banks in attempt to cripple the country’s financial system. They also imposed financial restrictions on companies that facilitate nuclear production in the country and on Iran’s oil industry. So far they seem to have had little effect but the Obama administration wants to give them time, arguing that they have not been imposed long enough to take effect.

One of the reasons why the sanctions haven’t had much effect is because Iran has shifted exports from Western costumers, to costumers in South Asia. India is now Iran’s largest costumer of crude oil, importing 550,000 barrels a day. China is not far behind with 250,000 barrels a day.

For now the US seems to have stayed Israel’s hand on the matter, but the two remain in dispute as to the speed at which military action should be taken against Iran.

Another dispute is also poised to emerge between Israel and the United States, the question of what sort of military action should be taken. The Obama administration, and the majority of people in the US, believes that targeted strikes should be made against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Next month Mr. Netanyahu is scheduled to travel to the US to settle this, and other issues, concerning the Israel question. Subscribe to the ICB for the latest updates.

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