The Daily Talking Points

News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for January 25:

  • The Washington Post: The Post’s editorial board says that “last weekend’s meetings in Istanbul between Iranian representatives and a six-nation coalition can only be seen as a serious setback” for the Obama administration’s sanctions policy. The op-ed asserts, “Iran made no effort to negotiate,” but the lack of progress might make it easier for the administration to find support for more sanctions. Instead of following this approach, the editorial board suggests that the administration shift its focus from “seeking to bargain with the regime” to emphasizing support for the Green movement. Supporting the Green movement “could also send an important message to Iranians: that the international coalition seeks not to punish them but to weaken the government they despise,” they conclude.
  • The Wall Street Journal: The Journal’s editorial board responds to the terrorist attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, suggesting that perhaps the latest attack in Russia will make the threat of terrorism be taken more seriously. “Mr. Putin tends to view the West as his rival and prefers a softer line toward the world’s main sponsor of terrorism, Iran,” says The Journal. “But the Domodedovo attacks are a reminder of the global nature of this threat, and of Russia’s own stake in defeating terror at home and abroad.”
  • National Review Online: The Foundation for Defense of Democracies‘ Benjamin Weinthal writes on National Review’s The Corner blog that negotiations with Iran have become a “repetitive motion disorder” and “compulsive rituals.” Weinthal urges the P5+1 not to schedule another negotiating session since the West’s willingness to negotiate has “has permitted the tyrants in Tehran to secure much-needed time to develop its nuclear technology and missile program.”  “The only cure at this stage is not more negotiations, but sanctions, more sanctions, and even more sanctions,” he argues. But, “[r]epetitive-motion negotiations — without vastly intensified sanctions pressure — are only solidifying the regime’s iron-clad rule.”

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.