Hawks on Iran

In response to a worrying trend in U.S. politics, Lobe Log publishes “Hawks on Iran” every Friday. Our posts highlight militaristic commentary and confrontational policy recommendations about Iran from a variety of sources including news articles, think tanks and pundits.

Weekly Reads/Watch:

– News: Barack Obama accelerated cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear program, the New York Times reports
– News: U.S. officials among the targets of Iran-linked assassination plots
– News: After Talks Falter, Iran Says It Won’t Halt Uranium Work
– News: Think tank publishes satellite pictures said to show Iran nuclear cleanup
– Opinion: Moving Away from War with Iran
– Opinion: Predictable Responses to the Baghdad Talks
– Opinion: Iran nuclear talks succeed just by continuing
– Opinion: The Iran-Negotiations Marathon
– Opinion: Terrorists? Us?
– Opinion: Tehran’s Noise Is All Bluster
– Watch: Insider’s Account of Iran’s Nuclear Negotiations
– Podcast: Assessing the Baghdad Nuclear Talks
– Report: Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council   resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post: The blogger who wants the U.S. to go to war with Iran on Israel’s behalf agitates for a U.S. war with Iran, again:

With a competent and responsible administration, we’d be very publicly drawing up a military option, putting ships in the region and consulting with Congress about our options. We might even discuss with Israel its “red lines” — and let that discussion become public. We would be justified in taking all steps needed to unleash a military option and/or to support Israel in the event of hostilities. But we don’t.

But while Rubin thumps her neoconservative chest in alleged support for Israel, the majority of Israeli defense chiefs oppose an attack on Iran. Hmmm…

Mark Dubowitz, US News: The director of the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies who has reportedly been a main architect of the Obama administration’s Iran sanctions policy advocates military strikes on the Islamic Republic:

“The last thing the president wants is an attack before the election in November—especially an Israeli attack,” says Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Still, it might be possible to take out Iranian facilities where the obstinate regime is believed to be producing nuclear centrifuges, Dubowitz says.

“The centrifuge-production facilities are the key choke points for the broader program,” Dubowitz says. “If Israelis know where they are and do bomb them, a strike like that could set the program back 10 years. And I think the Israelis have a pretty good idea where they are. Those facilities would be central to any military plan.”

Danielle Pletka, Washington Post: The long time hawk and vice president of the American Enterprise Institute argues that the U.S. should intervene in Syria because it will serve as a “blow” to Iran:

Another political virtue is the impact intervention would have on Iran. Ousting Tehran’s last reliable satellite regime and replacing it with a Sunni, democratic government would reassure our friends in the region that Washington is determined to stand up to Iran when necessary. Even those who oppose involvement in the Syrian conflict allow that the loss of Assad would be a blow to the Islamic republic.

Michael Ledeen, Pajamas Media: The neoconservative pundit and Foundation for Defense of Democracies “freedom scholar” advocates U.S.-backed regime change in Iran:

Sanctions will neither stop the Iranian nuclear program nor stop the Real War. Only a change in regime can accomplish that.  To that end, sanctions could be a positive force if they were combined with support for the Iranian opposition.  Just ask the Revolutionary Guards how serious the resistance is:  the RG just deployed an additional eight thousand soldiers—some in uniform, others in plain clothes–in the streets of Tehran.But no Western leader cares to help the Iranian opposition, even verbally.  When  those leaders say “no option is off the table,” they mean some day there might be a  military attack against Iran.  But  financial and tactical assistance to the Iranian people willing to actively fight for freedom is totally off any Western  strategic table;

Jasmin Ramsey

Jasmin Ramsey is a journalist based in Washington, DC.



  1. A reference page where we could click on each of these individuals and pull up their pro-war statements would be great if possible.

  2. when do we come up with a category for unhinged supporters/antagonists of certain regimes. Let’s get off the ME for a moment. There are clearly some Cuban refugees who, after decades harbor so much resentment toward their former Island home, they’d like to see everyone starve and suffer, just to exact a measure of revenge. These are people so enamored with a state that they’d (like many a jilted and deranged lover) would rather destroy it than let it live on it’s own.

    These people are entitled to their opinion, and we are entitled to characterize those opinions anyway we like. When do we describe these fanatics and unhinged and beyond all reason?

  3. What strikes me in all of this so-called Iran issue or rather US-Iran-Israel triangle is two things.
    1- Pettiness and meanness of the American government/regime. Here is a most advanced civilization feeling threatened by a small and insignificnat 3rd rate power. I am not talking about US military might versus Iran’s, I am referring to resources of a huge and advanced country versus an underdeveloped one.
    It is not just military versus military tat for tat, but industrial resources and human resources tat for tat. A country like America which is capable of enduring an attack, and rebuilding the same towers which were reduced to rubble many times over, for instance versus a country which is bugged for years and does not know it! This reveals a lot about capitalism in its pinnacle, that its most powerful represenative has to prostrate itself before a medieval kingdom(Saudi Arabia) and a tiny but vociferous country (Israel) against a tin-pot country that was not able to defeat a country 1/4th of its size in 8 years of war. What happened to America’s self-confidence? While economy of the whole world was on the brink, Obama wastes time on sanctioning Iranian oil – hence further damaging economy with higher oil prices – wastes time on choosing targets for drone strike in Pakistan or sanctioning cyberwar on Iran. Vow!
    2 – Second, what does this all say about democracy in the United States? How could the populace tolerate, for example, pandering of all of the who is who in DC from president down to interests of a minority in annual meetings of AIPAC or jewish republicans? Or the president of US begging the president of a tiny country to stop a single settlement and is offering incredible rewards for this, and can’t get his way?
    Or the same people who led us to Iraq war not only do not face any accountability but are still are the most influential opinion makers? Or that the administration appointees have to be vetted by AIPAC? What happened to the American people? Where are they?

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