Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today meets with President Obama in Washington to discuss mostly Iran and its mission to obtain nuclear weapons. In a press conference ahead of the actual meeting, Obama reaffirmed that the United States has Israel’s back in a possible showdown against Iran. However, the Netanyahu thanked Obama but said that Israel needs to be able to defend itself, “by itself” which puts Obama in a bit of an awkward spot.
However, Obama is still taking a strong stance against Iran and there aggressiveness in the Middle East. Despite the strong stance, Obama has said that diplomacy is still the best option and a viable option instead of going to war.
Iran, which has elections coming up this week, has said that they are continuing forward with plans to create nuclear weapons. However, according to US intelligence sources, Iran has not physically began building a nuclear weapon. In other news, the US and European sanctions on Iran have left its economy in a rough spot. Iranian inflation is high and the country announced last week that they will take any currency, including gold, for their oil. This act of desperation has shown the embargo against Iran is working but will it be enough to have them abandon their nuclear weapon bid?
The EU has taken a very strong stance against Iran, which is unfortunate for Iran because a lot of foreign transactions go through the EU. Along with this, the West’s stance against Iran is beginning to gather interest of neighboring areas such as Japan and other Asian countries. It should be interesting to see if and to what degree other nations get on board with sanctions against Iran.
In a feeble attempt for retaliation against the West last week, Iran announced that a pipeline in Saudi Arabia had exploded, limiting $oil production. Initially, when the report broke, oil prices soared above $110. However, Saudi Arabian officials called the report bogus and said that no pipeline has burst.
As we continue this war of words with Iran, one most ask how much more we can take. We are both strangling each other economically. Iran has pushed oil to year highs putting the fragile economic recovery at risk and the West’s oil sanctions have given Iran recessionary environment with high inflation and rising unemployment. In the end, both sides will most likely give up for the interest of the people and economic prosperity, we hope.