Itongadol.- Two papers discuss the recent arrest of an Iranian spy, which was made public yesterday:
Yediot Aharonot asserts: "It is no coincidence that the Prime Minister\’s Office decided to publish the affair on the eve of Netanyahu\’s meeting with the US President," including the photographs the spy took of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, and adds: "The Americans should put one and one together: On the one hand, the Iranians are smiling at them and on the other they are planning to blow up their embassy." The author remarks: "And if Obama does not get the hint, then the members of Congress – who would be the ones to lift the sanctions off Iran – will."
Yisrael Hayom says: "The Iranians worked methodically, and with due consideration and thorough planning," and assumes that the spy was not working alone. The author notes that the spy was operated not by the Ministry of Intelligence, but by the Revolutionary Guards, which "run terrorist organizations and perpetrates attacks," and avers that by publicizing the affair, "Israel laid an ace on the table: Here is Iran, the same Iran that has recently become the world\’s darling, running spies who are not just walking around Tel Aviv, but who are gathering information on the US Embassy and photographing it as a target for attack. Of course, the Embassy was not the only target that was photographed, but these pictures were released for only one address – the White House."
Two papers discuss possible Western reconciliation with Iran and the resultant possuble lessening of sanctions:
Ma\’ariv discusses the Iranian nuclear threat in light of US President Barack Obama\’s recent telephone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu\’s upcoming visit to Washington and speech to the UN General Assembly. The author suggests that "Netanyahu seems like someone who is sticking his head in the sand in order to escape the global storm that is blowing around him," and says: "It is right now that the lack of a full-time foreign minister is being felt." The paper asks: "Why can\’t the Prime Minister switch fuses and set a honey trap of his own for Rouhani?" by publicly inviting him to Israel in an effort to turn a page in Iran-Israel relations but adds that "This will not happen because Netanyahu is going his own way even if the whole world is going another way."
The Jerusalem Post contends: “Rebuffing what might be a sincere attempt at reconciliation might mean missing an opportunity to halt the Islamic Republic’s march toward nuclear weapon capability via peaceful diplomacy,” but insists: “Under the circumstances, before agreeing to lessen economic sanctions, the US and other nations must insist on verifiable, concrete steps that do not just delay Iran’s breakout date by a few months or a year but that effectively shut down the nuclear weapon program.” The editor suggests that that the US and other nations adopt the ‘Trust, but verify’ policy favored by US president Ronald Reagan during arms control negotiations with the USSR, but warns: “the mullahs running the Islamic Republic, though smarting from economic sanctions, have too many reasons to press ahead with their drive for nuclear weapons capability.”
Haaretz wonders at the puzzling procrastination regarding the pursuit of a governor of the Bank of Israel, and asserts: “Even if the delay can be explained by the desire to find the best possible person for the job, what has happened since [former BOI Governor Stanley] Fischer departed can only be described as an ongoing farce.” The editor calls on PM Netanyahu, the person responsible for naming a new governor, to “end this saga once and for all and find a worthy candidate to lead the Bank of Israel,” and adds: “If he feels that, between the Iranian nuclear program and talks with the Palestinians, his hands are too full now, he must delegate the search and the decision to others.”
[Alex Fishman, Yoav Limor and Shalom Yerushalmi wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Yisrael Hayom and Ma\’ariv, respectively.]