Watch Reports of Iran’s Nuclear Progress Add to Tensions with West on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
In a statement that was notable chiefly for the fact that it was issued before the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report is scheduled to be made public, a White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor, said Iran “is continuing to violate its international obligations” despite the imposition of sanctions that severely restrict the country’s oil revenue. [New York Times]
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION maintains that “there is time and space” for diplomacy, as news of new advances in Tehran on developing the type of uranium it takes to easily convert the material into a bomb is about to surface. That it could come in the middle of the Republican convention foreshadows a new conversation that could develop quickly.
Transcript from the video above from “The News Hour”:
MARGARET WARNER: So what does this do, when you heard — well, we ran a quote from Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel about we have had these alarming reports. What do you think this does to the calculation of other players involved in this, particularly Israel?
LEONARD SPECTOR: Well, I think Israel is getting very nervous as this plant comes to completion. And it has a reason to be.
And, of course, their initial reaction in a sense is to think about military action. We don’t want to see that, certainly, because we have been embroiled in two wars in the region. The country is weary of this. And that is not a direction we want to take. But the pressures of the election here and the pressures from Israel may be very strong and create a new kind of dynamism.
This development has the potential of strengthening Prime Minister Netanyahu’s hand, which even if it doesn’t lead to an altercation, which the right has been pimping for weeks, could bring Pres. Obama to make assurances so this doesn’t become more of a political football than it usual is in a presidential election year.
It’s easy to analyze that Mitt Romney would enjoy this conversation and may utilize the subject over the next week. However, I don’t think it’s going to play the way it has in the past. People are far wearier of neoconservative foreign misadventures because they’re more educated on the risk and fall out, not to mention the cost, than they used to be, so betting the American public would relish the fight, when even Israelis don’t want Netanyahu to strike Iran, is a very bad bet.