Negotiations With Iran Must “Put Everything on the Table”

MJ Rosenberg voices a well thought out response to Bruce Riedel’s suggestion that deterring a disastrous Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities is best accomplished by: forcing Israel to bring its nuclear stockpile out of the closet; extending the U.S. nuclear umbrella over Israel; bolstering Israel’s second strike capabilities; and giving it entrance to NATO. (See Ali Gharib’s blog on Riedel’s suggestions at the end of August.)

Rosenberg, a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters, writes:

That makes sense, except for one thing.  Israeli hawks (including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu) believe, or pretend to believe, that the Iranian leadership is self-destructive.  They say that they need to hit Iran because, unlike any other country in the history of mankind, Iran would happily commit suicide in exchange for the sheer joy of taking out its enemy.

Rosenberg says Israeli leadership doesn’t believe Iran is suicidal, but the fear of losing regional hegemony, as opposed to an Iranian regime bent on nuclear destruction, is the real issue at play.

He concludes:

The only way to address the issues raised by an Iranian nuclear arsenal is through negotiations.  I’m not talking about the kind of baby step talks both sides are inclined to propose, but real negotiations that put everything on the table: Iran’s nuclear development, Israel’s refusal to sign the NPT and allow inspection, Iran’s threats against Israel and its unremitting hostility, Iranian support for terrorists like Hezbollah and Hamas, US attempts to overthrow the Iranian regime from the outside, and Iran’s roles in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.