Monday, April 19, 2010

Obama U-Turn on UN penalties for Iran, defensible borders for Israel

Obama has done away with two key elements of US-Israeli strategic relations: His administration has given up on stiff UN Security Council sanctions on Iran over its nuclear drive, and gone back on the longstanding American commitment assuring Israel of recognized and defensible borders in any future accommodation with its Arab neighbors.

In the administration's message of congratulations to Israel on its 62nd Day of Independence, US Secretary of state Hillary Clinton mentions "recognized borders" while omitting the traditional "defensible."
debkafile's Washington sources report that following the talks held by Presidents Obama and Hu Jintao in Washington last week, the Administration is apparently engaged in a debate about whether to push for tough sanctions against Iran at the Security Council and run into opposition from China and other countries - or go for a quick UN General Assembly resolution, which would be non-binding.
The view William Burns, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, offered the House foreign affairs committee last week was that a UN resolution would clear the way for the European Union and other countries to "amplify the impact" of whatever sanctions are agreed on. Burns avoided mentioning the Security Council and indicated that the administration had little hope of any effective action on Iran by the world body.