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Mon, Nov 5, 2012 | RubinReports | By Barry Rubin

What is the likelihood for international action on Iran’s nuclear issue following these secret talks? As Richard Miniter points out in his book “Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him“, it was at the urging of Valerie Jarrett, that President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions (January, February, and a third time in March 2011) before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission. Obama’s closest adviser Valerie Jarrett persuaded him three times to hold off, according to the book. In this handout from the The White House, U.S. President Barack Obama talks with Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett during a briefing in the Oval Office May 6, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

The Obama Administration is secretly negotiating with Iran and the effort is being headed by no less than presidential advisor on domestic affairs Valerie Jarrett, an old friend of Obama’s who is widely viewed as the closest friend of the president. The exchanges are reportedly being held in Bahrain.

Jarrett was born in Iran of missionary parents but has no actual foreign policy experience or special knowledge about the country and its Islamist regime. The story was broken by Alex Fishman, defense correspondent of Yedi’ot Aharonot, Israel’s largest newspaper. Fishman is considered to be a reliable reporter with good sources in the Israeli government.

While the story’s Hebrew-language version says the information comes from Israeli officials that passage was not included in the English-language version. Perhaps this change was an attempt to make it seem less confrontational toward Obama on the eve of the election. But the story should be taken very seriously.

Earlier, the New York Times, citing senior administration officials, reported that such secret talks were being conducted. The Obama government officially denied the story.

The intention is to conduct serious talks with Iran once the U.S. elections are finished, certainly if Obama wins but perhaps during the period leading up to his departure from the White House on January 20 if he doesn’t.

Israel, however, was not informed about these talks. Perhaps in connection with this situation, a super-hardline Iranian commander of the Basij paramilitary group denounced secret talks with the United States.

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