‘Iranian threat to Israel fabricated by international war lobby’
The Israeli Prime Minister has visited the US to express his concern about the consequences of a historic phone call between Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, and his US counterpart, Barack Obama.
Benjamin Netanyahu said he came to Washington to "tell the truth in the face of the sweet-talk and onslaught of smiles," which is how he described the Iranian leader's recent speech at the UN.
But despite the rhetoric from the Israeli PM, author of
“Myths, Lies and Oil Wars”, F. William Engdahl, believes
that the reset in US-Iranian relations is real.
RT: Do you think there really has been a thaw between
Iran and the US or is it just a way to ease public
F. William Engdahl: I think there’s been a back channel
between Iran and Washington, and the Obama administration to try
to prepare the state for this. And after the election of [Iranian
president Hassan] Rouhani, the way was clear with [Mahmoud]
Ahmadinejad and his kind of populous rhetoric out of the way for
a genuine dialogue between Washington and Tehran. All appearances
point to that.
RT: Iranian president Rouhani has signaled that he'd like to resume flights between the US and Iran. Isn't it too early for steps like that?
FWE: I think that it’s not at all too early for steps like
that. I think the point is to get the sanctions removed as
rapidly as possible from Iran. I was in Tehran in February of
this year and the sanctions are hurting the common Iranians. And
this is a hawkish lobby in the [US] Congress that pushed this
through earlier this year and later last year. And I think that
has to be taken down as a first step towards bargaining in good
faith on the nuclear issue.
RT: There's been a lot of speculation about Obama's
strained relationship with Netanyahu. Is it bad enough to
prevent the US from remaining Israel's international
FWE: I think there’s no question that the Obama
administration – especially, in the second term – has
dramatically distanced itself from this very-very tight
relationship that’s been in place for decades since the time of
president [Jimmy] Carter [who was in office in 1977-81] with
Israel and Washington – the strong Israeli lobby, AIPAC, think
tanks and lobby groups in and around Washington. And for that
reason [Israeli prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu made an
unprecedented backing of [Republican presidential candidate in
the 2012 election] Mitt Romney, including financial backing
through Sheldon Adelson, his good friend and Vegas casino owner,
to back the opposition to Obama because he felt that Obama was
distracting from that ‘tail wag the dog’ relationship between
Tel-Aviv and Washington. And that’s a major-major
RT: We spoke to one Israeli journalist who told us the majority of Israelis see Iran as a genuine threat. Do they have grounds to feel that way?
FWE: I don’t think so. Iran hasn’t waged an aggressive war
on any nation for more than a century-and-a-half. And I certainly
don’t think they’re insane enough to launch a war on Israel,
which is armed to the teeth with nuclear submarines and other
weaponry that would really not be to the advantage of Iran at
all. I think this is a fabrication by a certain international war
lobby in Washington, perhaps in Britain, France and certainly
around the Israeli defense industry and certain circles in
Israeli intelligence around Netanyahu that want to have Iran a
boogeyman to justify the continued support of Washington to
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.