The Daily Talking Points

News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for February 5-7:

  • The Weekly Standard: The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Benjamin Weinthal blogs that U.S. senators “have reached a breaking point” with Germany’s “recalcitrant position about shutting down Iran’s main financial conduit in Europe—the Hambug-based European-Iranian Trade Bank (EIH).” Weinthal cites a letter signed by eleven senators which calls on the government of Germany to shut down the bank. Weinthal interprets the letter: “In short, the senators are charging the German government with being an accomplice to busting Iranian sanctions, and in connection with not stopping Iran’s drive to obtain nuclear weapons.”
  • The Weekly Standard: Weekly Standard senior editor and Hudson Institute visiting fellow Lee Smith opines on the Obama administration’s continued habit of “project[ing] weakness” in the Middle East. “It was the June 2009 uprising following the Iranian elections that first showed Obama’s mettle. While millions of Iranians took to the streets to demonstrate, the administration dithered for two weeks before taking a stand,” says Smith, offering an example of the administration’s “weakness and passivity.” Smith goes on to suggest that “every regional ally—from Jerusalem to Riyadh” told Obama that engaging Iran was a “fool’s errand” and denies the widely accepted concept of linkage. “[Obama] was a president who kept insisting on the centrality of an Arab-Israeli peace process that everyone else in the region understood was a nonstarter.”

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.


One Comment

  1. So Lee Smith suggests Obama reached out to Iran when all the (leaked) evidence shows that those overtures were pure cosmetics, as perfunctory as “how’s it going?” Did you see that display of empathy? Outrageous!

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