Published: march 21, 2010; Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
US-Israel Tensions Attract Interest from Iranian Media
The US-Israel tensions have drawn considerable attention from Iranian media this week. Major dailies and news websites have reported on the disagreements between the American administration and the Israeli government over the continuation of building in Jerusalem, and even emphasized the statement of Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, who was quoted by Israeli media this week saying that the relations between the two countries were undergoing the worst crisis in 35 years (Asr-e Iran, March 15).
According to the assessment of some Iranian media, it is indeed a profound, significant crisis in the relations between the two countries. Fararu, a website which extensively reported on the current crisis in Israel-US relations, noted that the relations between the two countries chilled following the election of Obama as president, and that the US administration took a stance contrary to that of Israel regarding Israel’s threats against Iran. In Fararu’s view, the reactions of the American administration to the policy of the Israeli government in recent days indicate that even though it is a “family dispute”, it is nevertheless deep and its impact on the Middle East peace process remains to be seen (Fararu, March 16).
It is also the view of the conservative daily Vatan-e Emrooz that the crisis in US-Israel relations is real and severe. According to the daily, the visit of Vice President Joe Biden was meant to solve the disagreements between Israel and the US on promoting the peace process after the failed visit of George Mitchell. Despite Biden’s declarations on the US commitment towards Israel, his visit failed when Israel declared its intention to build in East Jerusalem, and the strong friendship between the two countries took a severe blow. The daily believes that the current crisis in the relations between the two countries also has an impact on the US policy towards Iran, since Israel’s defiant measures against the US during Biden’s visit derailed the vice president’s attempt to take advantage of his visit to promote new psychological warfare against Iran and carry out a project aimed to contend with Iran (Vatan-e Emrooz, March 16).
In contrast, the conservative daily Siyasat-e Rooz played down the current crisis in US-Israel relations. Referring to the tension prevailing in Jerusalem in recent days, the daily criticized the silence of the international community and Arab leaders over Israel’s policy and the “crimes of the Zionists”. The daily reported that while the top advisor of the US president criticized Israel’s decision to build new housing units in Jerusalem, he completely ignored the situation in the Gaza Strip and Israel’s action against the holy sites of Islam in Jerusalem. According to the daily, this is an indication of the Americans’ desire to take advantage of minor developments to conceal the Israelis’ crimes (Siyasat-e Rooz, March 16).