Teheran, 21 Shafar 1434/ 3 January 2012 (MINA/FNA)- Financial Times predicted that US President Barack Obama will be seeking face-to-face talks with Iran in the new Christian year, and also cautioned that 2013 could be the year of the big bust-up between the US and Israel.

      Ahead of the New Year, FT’s experts made predictions about many issues for 2013. Here is part of the predictions. 

       Asked if Obama would start a war with Iran in 2013, Philip Stephens said, “No. To borrow the Churchillian metaphor, the US president intends to try jaw-jaw ahead of war-war. Obama will seek direct bilateral negotiations with Iran. There is no guarantee that (Iran’s Supreme Leader) Ayatollah Khamenei will agree. 

       “US now seems ready for talks that go well beyond Iran’s nuclear ambitions to issues such as a US security guarantee. Benjamin Netanyahu will try to pull Obama in the other direction by urging an early US attack on Iran’s nuclear installations. But after the Israeli prime minister’s support for Mitt Romney in the presidential race and his plan for more Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the White House is in no mood to listen; 2013 could be the year of the big bust-up between the US and Israel.”

       Elsewhere, another expert, Edward Luce responded to the question if the US would return to pre-crisis GDP trend growth of 3 per cent in 2013, and said, “No – growth won’t exceed 2 per cent. Continued Washington wrangling over America’s fiscal future, weak demand for US exports, and a relatively slow recovery in the US housing market will make for another disappointing year of recovery – the fourth in a row. Relative to Europe, the US will continue to be a bright spot. Relative to its own expectations, the US will underperform.” 

      The Israeli Government has expressed its concerns about the repercussions of the US financial crisis “which poses uneasy difficulties before Israel”.

      Official Israeli radio reported Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz saying that the US financial crisis – the so-called “fiscal cliff”   is going to cause big problems for Israel.

      The US crisis revolves in part around tax cuts introduced by the George W Bush administration which are due to end at midnight on 31st December.

       This will add an average of $2,000 to the annual income tax bill for Americans.

       President Barack Obama plans to extend 98 per cent of the tax cuts. The remaining two per cent will remain in place for wealthier US citizens. (T/R-007/R-006).

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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