Matthews: Will Obama be successful in convincing Netanyahu not to strike Iran?
Senior Deputy Director, Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
How great would it be to be a fly on the wall when Obama and Netanyahu meet today? No doubt Iran and its nuclear ambitions will be at the center of their talks, especially considering that the Iranian elections held just a few days ago resulted in conservatives loyal to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gaining control of the country’s parliament. It is clear from Obama’s recent statements however that while all options (including military) are on the table, he would much prefer to let sanctions continue in hopes that this pressure will bring Tehran back to the negotiation table. With elections on the horizon in the US, Obama clearly does not want to see a crisis escalate into a military conflict while he is campaigning for re-election. Netanyahu will most likely not launch a military strike unless Israel has hard proof that Iran is very close to developing a nuclear weapon and that the US will support him both military and politically. I expect this story to continue to dominate the news media for most of 2012, with no decisions being made until after the US Presidential election is held.