The Daily Talking Points

News and views relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for October 26, 2010:

  • Politico: Laura Rozen reports on Dennis Ross‘, a top Obama adviser on Iran and the peace process, presentation to an AIPAC conference earlier this week. Ross addressed the administration’s efforts to pressure Iran, prioritize sanctions and conduct the “creative and persistent” diplomacy needed to “change the behavior of a government insistent on threatening its neighbors, supporting terrorism, and pursuing a nuclear program in violation of its international obligations.” He warned: “[S]hould Iran continue its defiance, despite its growing isolation and the damage to its economy, its leaders should listen carefully to President Obama who has said many times, ‘we are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.'”
  • Weekly Standard: Gabriel Schoenfeld points to a study from the Israeli Begin-Sadat Center that examines various polls conducted over the past few years, and concludes that U.S. public opinion is moving toward confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program. With the U.S. elections coming up, Schoenfeld notes the data shows “a gap between the wisdom of the American people and the wisdom of our elites.” Pointing out that Iran has not been much of a campaign issue, he alludes to the non-interventionism of some Tea Party candidates: “[I]t is unclear what the new crowd of candidates that will likely be elected next week thinks we should do about Iran or much else across the oceans. But at the very least their views probably will not be any worse than those of the goofballs they replace.”
  • Pajamas Media: Martin Kramer, a fellow at WINEP and the Adelson-funded Shalem Center in Israel, states in a long Q&A on Iran that the Persian Gulf is “as crucial to American security as Lake Michigan.” He says that “the world has to ask itself if it can tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran deliberately creating uncertainty, instability, and doubt surrounding the great reservoir of the world’s energy.” Kramer argues for reverse linkage, including the premise that Israel maintains a military occupation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank to deter Iranian attacks.
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Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.