The Daily Talking Points

News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for January 13:

  • The Washington Post: The Post’s editorial board writes that the apparent delay of Iran’s nuclear program is “confirmation that the international campaign” has been effective. The editorial board credits the Stuxnet virus, sanctions, and assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists as responsible for pushing back the clock on the Iranian program. “The challenge for the Obama administration, Israel and other allies will be to make use of that window to force a definitive end to the Iranian bomb program,” says The Post. “The administration still hopes negotiations, set to resume Jan. 20, will achieve that end, but most likely it will require a fundamental change in Iran’s hard-line regime,” the article concludes. “From that point of view, five years is certainly not much time.”
  • Foreign Affairs [PDF]: Former Undersecretary of Defense and current Foreign Policy Initiative board member Eric Edelman, along with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment’s Andrew Krepinevich and Evan Braden Montgomery, collaborate on an article entitled “The Dangers of a Nuclear Iran: The Limits of Containment.” The authors reach the conclusion that the U.S. should pursue a three-track approach “that brings diplomacy and sanctions, clandestine action, and the threat of military force into alignment.” The authors call for a significant buildup of U.S. military forces in the Gulf region and acknowledge, “Although finding a peaceful way to preclude Iran from getting nuclear weapons is obviously desirable, Washington will likely have to decide between two unattractive options: pursuing a military strike to prevent Iran from going nuclear or implementing a containment strategy to live with a nuclear Iran.”

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.