SHERIDAN, Foreign editor /
President Barack Obama has decided to abandon any serious effort to prevent
Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. He is determined instead to live with a
nuclear Iran, by containment and, if possible, negotiation.
the shifting tectonic plate in the Middle East.
the giant story of the past few weeks which the world has largely missed,
distracted by the theatre of the absurd of Obama's contrived and mock
confrontation with Israel over 1600 apartments to be built in three years'
time in a Jewish suburb in East Jerusalem.
the only semi-intelligible explanation for Obama's bizarre over-reaction
against the Israelis.
Middle East, today, Iran is the story. It is the consideration behind all
not explicitly announced his new position and he and his cabinet secretaries
still make speeches saying they will try to prevent Iran acquiring nuclear
weapons. But if you look at the statements closely you see a steady
weakening of resolve, a steady removal of any threat of any consequence for
something else you should know about Iran. US General David Petraeus, in
written testimony to congress, has revealed that Iran is co-operating with
al-Qa'ida in Afghanistan and Pakistan, facilitating the movement of its
leaders. The Sunday Times of London recently carried interviews with Taliban
leaders who were trained in Iran.
no chance Obama will produce a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal
in his first term in office, which is how he would like to be remembered by
history. There is every chance history will remember him for something
altogether different, as the American president on whose watch Iran became a