The stand-off on Iran’s nuclear program has reached a new crescendo this week after President Obama’s speech to the powerful Jewish lobbying group the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) at its policy conference on 4 March 2012. This speech was followed by a meeting between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu on 5 March in which Netanyahu applauded Obama’s remarks and said that his government had managed to put Iran on the list of immediate global concerns.2 Over the last few months, Israeli and US officials have been escalating the rhetoric on Iran’s nuclear program and the options for ending the stand-off. But it seems that the Obama administration is only prepared to give Iran one option: cease all nuclear activity without conditions or negotiations. In his speech, Obama commented that ‘Iran’s leaders still have the opportunity to make the right decision’.3 That is to say, fall in line with US wishes and thus avoid greater sanctions, or risk even harsher measures, possibly a bombing campaign against its nuclear facilities or even an invasion.

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