Over the weekend, several newspapers noted comments by Foreign Secretary William Hague warning Iran’s nuclear ambitions could plunge the Middle East into a ‘new cold war’, and spark nuclear proliferation across the region. The Independent noted comments from Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak on the Iranian threat. The Independent, Times, Daily Telegraph and the Observer reported that Iranian battleships entered the Mediterranean heading to Syria. A leader in the Times highlighted the danger the Iranian regime poses, and discusses whether sanctions are enough to rein it in. The paper also highlights Israeli fears of more attacks on Jewish or Israeli targets around the world.
In the Israeli media on Sunday, Yediot Ahronot and Haaretz report that General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, doubted Israel’s intention to launch an imminent strike on Iran. The papers also widely cover the expected visit of several senior US officials for talks on Iran. Ma’ariv leads on the tense weekend in southern Israel, in which four Grad rockets and two Qassam rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Israel Hayom and Yediot Ahronot have comment pieces discussing the case of the Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike. Israel Hayom also focuses on another cyber attack aimed at Israeli banks.
The UK and international media today continues to focus on Iran. The Times, Daily Mail and the Sun focus on Tehran’s announcement that it is stopping sale of oil to the UK and France. A Times editorial looks at Iran’s nuclear announcement, whilst another covers possible Israeli action against Iran. The Guardian and Independent report on General Martin Dempsey’s comments, while the Daily Telegraph and Independent include Foreign Secretary Hague calling a potential Israeli strike against Iran ‘unwise’. The Financial Times concentrates on Iran’s progress in expanding its uranium enrichment programme and Israeli concerns. The paper also runs a comment piece looking at relations between Israeli and US leaders on the Iranian issue. The Guardian devotes an editorial to the West’s relationship with Iran. Meanwhile BBC Online announces that Egyptian officials are likely to delay their presidential elections as they cannot agree on a date. Syria remains in the focus too, with the Independent noting that weapons and fighters are now joining from neighbouring Iraq.
The Israeli media today focuses on high level discussions between senior Israel and US officials. Haaretz reports on American assessments that differences exist in the Israeli leadership regarding a strike in Iran. Israel Hayom notes that the cut in Iranian oil supply will also affect Israeli oil prices. All papers note the resignation of the Prime Minister’s bureau chief Nathan Eshel following a plea bargain over the allegations of harassment. The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz cover details of the recent negotiations with the Palestinians. The Jerusalem Post quotes senior IDF officers in the Southern Command who emphasise the need to respond to the ongoing attacks from Gaza. Yediot Ahronot and Israel Hayom, meanwhile, continue to follow the industrial dispute of the rail unions.