'O-bama' means 'he is with us' in Farsi
Photo: AP
The day after
Analysis: In second term, Obama will seek to pressure Netanyahu into jumpstarting peace talks
President Barack Obama will not "take his revenge" on Netanyahu for supporting Romney during the election campaign, and during his second term America will stick to the principles that have been guiding its Mideast policy over the past decade. However, if Netanyahu is reelected, it appears that the Obama administration will seek to pressure him into jumpstarting the peace talks with the Palestinians.


This is not about the "peace process" the Right tends to ridicule, but about Washington's wish to seriously examine a possible outline for an agreement between the Jewish state and the Palestinians.


Netanyahu will be asked to publicly declare what concessions Israel would be willing to make vis-à-vis the borders of a future Palestinian state.


As for the Iranian issue, experts at a London research institute told me a few days ago that "O-bama" means "He is with us" in Farsi. Four years ago the Iranians believed that Obama, as opposed to George W. Bush, would launch open negotiations to resolve what the experts in London refer to as the "schizophrenic relations" that have existed between the two countries since Ayatollah Khomeini's rise to power.


Sources familiar with the past year's low-key talks between Obama's representatives and representatives of the ayatollahs' regime in Tehran are convinced that the countries will engage in open negotiations aimed at normalizing their relations.


In the framework of these talks the sides will seek an agreement that would halt Iran's efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Obama will strive for a diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis, while Israel will follow the inevitable process with suspicion.


Romney, by the way, agrees with Obama's diplomatic approach to the Iranian crisis. He too prefers talks to sending American warplanes to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.



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