News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for December 28, 2010:
- The Weekly Standard: The Foundation for Defense of Democracies‘ Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz write that the Obama administration’s sanctions against Iran have “assiduously avoided punishing any major European, Russian, or Chinese transgressor of U.S.-mandated sanctions,” and that they must now “ratchet up significantly the pain in Tehran while encouraging our allies to continue to do more than they’d originally thought possible.” They advocate that the administration expose the role played by the Iranian Republican Guard Corps in the crude oil exporting supply chain and then sanction foreign companies which participate in this trade. “Current sanctions and the regime’s atrocious economic management have brought hard times. For the United States and its allies to be successful, the times need to be made a good deal harder still,” they conclude.
- The Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin, writing on her Right Turn blog, picks up on the Weekly Standard’s report on NATO forces capturing a member of Iran’s Qods Force who was serving as a Taliban commander. “Iranian citizens may be pinched by sanctions, but the regime continues to support terrorism, attack U.S. troops and pursue its nuclear program,” writes Rubin. Her post, published on December 27th, noticeably overlooks a retraction of the claim, issued by NATO, on December 24th, which read, “The International Security Assistance Force has determined a cross-border weapons facilitator detained Dec. 18 is not a member of the Iranian Qods force, as was originally reported.” (emphasis added)
- The Washington Examiner: American Enterprise Institute Fellow and former UN Ambassador John Bolton opines that Obama’s Iran policy has hinged on a “naive belief” that Iran will engage in negotiations about its nuclear program and has, “…continued to make progress toward obtaining deliverable nuclear weapons, and suffered only minimal economic sanctions as a result.” Bolton suggests that the administration is pursuing a path of containing a nuclear Iran but, “This is almost certainly wrong, since Iran’s leaders do not see human life the same way that Moscow’s atheists did.” He concludes, “Weakness inspires our adversaries, and dispirits our friends, invariably to our collective disadvantage. And in that sense, Barack Obama is truly one of the most provocative presidents in American history.”