JERUSALEM – With President Obama’s policy on Iran now internationally recognized as a failure and with the White House taking heat for Obama’s declared support of an Islamic group’s right to build a mosque near Ground Zero, the president is in a desperate bid to change the topic quickly.

The “solution”: Israeli and Palestinian direct talks in Washington, D.C.

Yesterday, Iranian and Russian engineers began the weeklong operation of loading uranium fuel into the Bushehr nuclear power plant, a major milestone as Tehran forges ahead with its atomic program, despite Obama’s attempt at U.N. sanctions.

The Bushehr facility may be under the close supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, but this is the same incompetent organization that failed to stop North Korea from obtaining a nuclear arsenal. It’s the same agency that says it didn’t even know that Syria was building a nascent nuclear reactor until Israel struck that clandestine facility in 2007.

Russia claims it will inspect the Bushehr reactor regularly to verify that it is not being used for a nuclear weapons program. An agreement between Moscow and Tehran dictates the Iranians must return the spent fuel rods to Russia, but this means the world must in part rely on Iran not to smuggle some of those rods to other plants for further enrichment.

Obama has been claiming that Iran is more isolated then ever and that his policies of dialogue and sanction threats are working.

First, however, this is untrue. Iran has cultivated alliances with Central and South American countries, is doing business with Russia and China, is aided by North Korea and is in partnership with Syria and Hamas in Gaza while Tehran nearly controls the decision-making process in Lebanon as well as that country’s military.

Second, even if Iran were isolated, it wouldn’t matter much. The main U.S. goal concerning Iran was supposed to be to stopping Iran from going nuclear. That goal has now completely failed.

Meanwhile, Obama is also under increased attack from all sides of the political spectrum after declaring at a Ramadan event two weeks ago his support for the right of the Cordoba Initiative to build a 13-story, $100 million Islamic cultural center and mosque near Ground Zero.

Couple this with a hasty American retreat under fire from Iraq, and one thing becomes certain: Obama must quickly change the topic.

And so the White House quickly arranged a Washington summit between the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to engage in direct talks aimed at creating a Palestinian state.

Sources in both the PA and Israel told WND the Obama administration did not impose any preconditions for this summit, a move that is completely out of character for the U.S. president. It was Obama, after all, who urged Israel to halt all Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem just as a precondition for indirect negotiations.

The sources believe this summit may be mostly to repair damaged White House public relations by showing some movement on at least one Middle East front.

Israeli officials are particularly concerned Obama may be trying to imply the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the central impediment to peace in the Middle East, while it is Iran that has been fueling the insurgency against U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and is the driving force behind escalations in Lebanon, Gaza and elsewhere.

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