The Yomiuri Shimbun
For sake of stability in Middle East, U.S. and Israel should patch up ties
米VSイスラエル 中東安定へ亀裂の修復を図れ

A major rift has emerged between two nations that are longtime sworn friends regarding suspicions over Iran’s nuclear development program. This is an extraordinary situation.
イランの核開発疑惑を巡り、長年の盟友国が重大な対立に陥っている。異例の事態である。
 
At a time when nuclear negotiations between Iran and major powers including the United States, Russia and key European nations are coming into the homestretch, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has delivered a speech to the U.S. Congress in which he publicly slammed the potential agreement being discussed as a “very bad deal.”
イランと米欧露などによる核協議が大詰めを迎える中、イスラエルのネタニヤフ首相が米議会で演説し、協議中の合意案を「非常に悪い取引だ」と公然と批判した。

Elsewhere in his speech, Netanyahu said the “deal will not prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons” and “we’re better off without it.” He insisted on the total abolition of Iran’s nuclear-related facilities. With an Israeli general election set for March 17, Netanyahu likely had political motivations for showcasing his hard-line stance toward Iran.
ネタニヤフ氏は「これでは核開発は阻止できない。ない方がいい」とも述べ、核関連施設の全廃を主張した。17日の総選挙に向け、イランへの強硬姿勢をアピールする政治的な狙いがあるのだろう。

We can describe this speech as only an unproductive action that has poured cold water on the efforts of the international community to seek a peaceful resolution to this nuclear problem.
核問題の平和的な解決を目指す国際社会の努力に水を差す、非生産的な言動と言うほかない。

Netanyahu’s visit to the United States came about through an invitation by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner that bypassed the White House. Boehner and his Republican Party are skeptical about the Iran nuclear talks. In a sign of discontent over this process, U.S. President Barack Obama did not meet with Netanyahu.
ネタニヤフ氏訪米は、イラン核協議に懐疑的な共和党のベイナー下院議長が、政権の頭越しに実現させた。それへの反発もあり、オバマ大統領は会談しなかった。

That these splits between the United States and Israel have been laid so bare is a serious situation. We hope both sides can patch up their relations quickly to help prevent further instability in the Middle East, but little optimism is warranted. The fact that confrontation between the two main U.S. political parties is having a negative impact on U.S. diplomacy also cannot be overlooked.
両国の亀裂がここまで表面化したのは深刻な状況だ。中東の不安定化を避けるには早期修復が望ましいが、楽観できない。米国内の党派対立が外交に悪影響を及ぼしたことも、見過ごせない。

Tread carefully

In November 2013, Iran reached a “first-step” agreement with the United States, Russia and key European nations. Under this deal, Tehran agreed to halt the enrichment of uranium to a concentration of 20 percent and also suspend work on key components of a heavy-water reactor that could someday produce plutonium.
米欧露などとイランは一昨年11月、イランが濃縮度20%ウランの製造を停止し、プルトニウムを生産できる重水炉の建設も中断する「第1段階」措置で合意した。

Both sides are seeking to reach a “framework deal” by the end of March, and a final deal by the end of June. The main pillars of such agreements are recognizing that Iran still has the right to the peaceful use of nuclear power, and that sanctions against Iran will be lifted if it takes steps including reducing the number of centrifuges it operates.
今月末までに「枠組み合意」を、6月末に最終合意を目指している。イランに原子力平和利用の権利を認めつつ、遠心分離器の削減などに応じて、対イラン制裁を解除することが柱である。

Obama has less than two years left to serve in office. There is speculation that the president wants to make this nuclear deal part of his administration’s legacy.
残り任期が2年を切ったオバマ氏には、核合意を政権の「遺産」としたい思惑がうかがえる。

However, he should not be hasty in wrapping up the agreement.
The United States should demand a deal that is comprehensive and verifiable to prevent Iran’s nuclear development.
功を焦らず、イランの核開発を阻止するため、検証可能で包括的な合意を追求するべきだろう。

It also cannot be denied that Obama’s erratic diplomacy vis-a-vis the Middle East has invited this backlash from Israel.
オバマ氏の場当たり的な中東外交が、イスラエルの反発を招いたことも否定できない。

In recent years, Iran — the nation with the largest Shiite majority — has been strengthening its influence in other nations under Shiite leadership such as Iraq and Syria, as well as Lebanon and Yemen.
シーア派大国のイランは近年、同じシーア派政権下のイラク、シリアに加え、レバノンやイエメンでも影響力を強めている。

The United States and Iran share common concerns when it comes to mopping up operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a Sunni extremist organization.
スンニ派の過激派組織「イスラム国」の掃討作戦においても、米国は、イランと利害を共有する。

As a consequence, the Obama administration reached out to Iran, a nation with which the United States has not had diplomatic ties for 35 years.
このため、オバマ政権は、35年間も断交状態にあるイランに接近した。

It has been pointed out that both nations are in a joint struggle behind the scenes in operations against ISIL.
「イスラム国」掃討作戦では水面下の共闘も指摘される。

In some respects, Washington had no option but to approach Tehran. But for the sake of stability in the entire Middle East, it is essential that the United States also gives consideration to its allies in the region, such as Israel and Saudi Arabia.
米国のイラン接近は、やむを得ない面もあるが、中東全体の安定を考えれば、イスラエル、サウジアラビアなど同盟国への配慮は欠かせない。

Obama should do more to carefully explain this new strategy toward Iran and to gain greater support for it.
オバマ氏は、新たな対イラン戦略を丁寧に説明し、理解を得る努力を尽くすべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 8, 2015)

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