Mitchell Reports | March 12, 2013
>>> a week before president obama 's first visit to israel as president, u.s. intelligence officials warn congress today that sanctions have not done enough to deter iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon .
>> clearly the sanctions have had profound impact on iran 's economy. at the same time, at least publicly, overtly that has not prompted a change in the iranian leadership, specifically the supreme leader 's approach?
>> with general clapper went on to say, joining me now is israel 's ambassador to the united states , michael orrin. welcome, gooed to see you. but what general clapper went on to say is they do not yet know what the supreme leader , who has sole control over this decision is going to do. that said, what does prime minister netanyahu want to hear from president obama next week in israel on the subject of iran .
>> good afternoon. president obama is coming to israel next week, his first trip abroad and his second term, we're delighted, excited that he's coming. it's going to be a very momentous trip in term of what the president is going to be doing in israel . he's going to be visiting sites that highlight our ancient past, the dead sea skrols, the jewish roots of the jewish stakes, he'll be going to our equivalent of the arlington national cemetery , laying a wreath there, he'll be talking to young people , talking about israeli innovation and talking about the common future, binding the united states and israel . we will be talking about the issues that are on the table for not just for israel but for many states in the region. including efforts to reanimate the peace process , to deal with the revolving and evolving situation in sirria and with iranian nuclear program . and what we want to hear again that the reiteration of america's commitment, that the president has said many times of his commitment to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons , we subscribe to that goal and we subscribe to the formula of combination of escalating sanctions with a credible military threat. that convinces that supreme leader that he's not paying a price for nothing at the end of the day , he's not going to have this device, at the end of the day there will be a credible military threat.
>> joe biden told apec that the president of the united states does not bluff and there is a credible military threat. that said, the prime minister told the u.n. general assembly that spring is the red line . has the timeframe moved? is there more time? or are we, we're now a week away from spring. in fact the president will be in israel on the first day of spring. are we now in a danger zone as far as the prime minister is concerned?
>> we say we're in a red zone . taking the old football equivalent of the last 20 yards before the goal line . we're definitely within the red zone . and the door for diplomacy for sanctions is open, but it's not a big door and it won't be open indefinitely. and it's important i think that the united states understands this. secretary of state kerry said something very similar. and i think that we have a close and intimate dialogue with the united states about how to realize our common goal of preventing iran from acquiring those nuclear weapons .
>> it's very clear that the administration wants to press hard, certainly secretary kerry does, but this coming from the white house as well. press hard on the israel /palestinian negotiations which have been dormant for years. the white house has been criticized, as was secretary clinton, frankly for not engaging enough. they didn't see very much traction there. is the prime minister open to a new approach? with the palestinians? i know you'll say, you need to have a peace partner and there's been criticism on all sides. but is there time to reengage on that, which people in the region now really want to see?
>> i think the criticism, actually frankly haven't heard about the president's inaction or secretary of state clinton's inaction to the peace process is not founded. they were quite active and at the end of the day , none of us succeeded in bringing the palestinians back to the negotiating table. they went unilaterally to the u.n. to achieve tefrt without peace. unilaterally recognized palestinian state and they embarked on a path of reconciliation with hamas recognized by the united states and the quartet as a terrorist organization , not helpful efforts on the part of the palestinian authority . yes, there is time. we are very interested in returning to negotiations. we'll say openly we're willing to negotiate today, not tomorrow, in washington, d.c., and ramallah in jerusalem. in all the core issues, border security , recognition, jerusalem.
>> all of those issues in order to reach a solution.
>> is there give on the latest expansion and objections to the way the map is being redrawn?
>> we don't think the map is being redrawn. i think that the majority of the, majority of the so-called expansion have been in areas which have been widely assumed will be part of israel in the context of any peace arrangement. we know that settlements aren't the great obstacle. in 2005 , we ripped up 21 settlements from gaza to advance the peace process and we didn't get peace, we got rockets from hamas. settlements are a subcategory of borders and territory which is very much impacted by security arrangements, if there's greater security arrangements, we can show greater flexibility on borders.
>> michael orrin. mr. ambassador, thank you so much for previewing the trip and we'll see you in the holy land next week.
>> thank you, see you there.