• Israel’s leaked news of ‘secret meeting’ between U.S., Iran to help Romney
By Richard Walker
In an effort to stir up pro-Israeli forces operating inside the United States, the Israeli government is leaking information that the Obama administration has been holding secret talks with Iran to discuss the Persian country’s nuclear program.
Israel hyped rumors about secret talks in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election. It will undoubtedly pursue the same strategy in the weeks and months ahead. Israel’s worst fear is that direct talks with Iran will focus on a diplomatic solution and undermine the drumbeat of war.
Israeli strategists had hoped their revelation about secret talks would be an October surprise that would negatively impact Obama’s re-election chances and hand the White House to Mitt Romney, a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The New York Times got in on the act, saying rumors of talks between the Obama White House and Tehran were real. But all the efforts by the Israeli lobby and its friends in the mainstream media to make the issue a major one in the election fell flat.
On Election Day, pro-Israeli media pundits expressed outrage when more reports surfaced of meetings in Bahrain between Iranian-born Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett and Iranian government representatives. The outrage found its way into some U.S. mainstream media outlets, but did not carry the political punch Netanyahu and his friends in Washington had hoped for.
Those commentators who treated the reports like they were a great revelation were ignorant of the fundamental rules of governing. Across the globe, inter-governmental exchanges take place on a regular basis, even between sworn enemies, as a way of trying to establish clearer lines of communication and a framework for formal talks that offer solutions to seemingly intractable issues.
Israel knows only too well that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Obama administration functionaries have had ongoing exchanges with Iranian government representatives. It is a strategy that has been encouraged by Moscow and Beijing and approved by Britain and France. The manner in which the secret talks issue entered the mass media news was typical of the way Israel constantly seeks to shape Washington’s foreign policy.
A report of direct talks was first floated in the Israeli popular newspaper, Yediot Ahronot. Within hours, Israeli news outlets said the report had been confirmed by “Reza Kahlili,” a shadowy figure, who has appeared publicly on several occasions, wearing a face-mask. Kahlili claimed he is a former Iranian Revolutionary Guard officer now acting as a CIA agent. He has been prone to making ridiculous assertions about Iran. One was that Iran was planning nuclear suitcase bombings of thousands of targets in Europe and the U.S.
The bottom line is Netanyahu fears Washington and Iran entering into direct negotiations because it will deprive him of a bogeyman as he seeks reelection and war against Iran.
Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.