News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for February 23:
- The Wall Street Journal: The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Emanuele Ottolenghi opines, “Arabs’ revolutionary awakening belies Western conventional wisdom in the Middle East,” and repeats a linkage-denying argument that “ordinary Arabs who rose against their regimes didn’t do so because they wanted to free Palestine, but because they wanted to free themselves.” Ottolenghi rejects the linkage argument, a view promoted by the Obama administration, which posits that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a crucial step in addressing regional problems in the Middle East. He concludes, “The conventional wisdom that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the mother of all problems in the region has now been exposed as nothing but a myth. Will Western leaders finally learn?”
- The Waterloo Record: Senior Council on Foreign Relations Fellow Ray Takeyh writes, “it is all too obvious that the only option the United States has in altering the Islamic Republic’s behaviour is to support the ‘green movement.’” Takeyh acknowledges that the “military option” has “now become implausible” and discards the potential of negotiations, observing, “Tehran’s callous leadership, indifferent to the financial penalties of its nuclear truculence, was hardly prone to make cost-benefit assessments and constructively participate in negotiations.” He concludes that the Green Movement should “be beneficiaries of advice and assistance” from the U.S. “Whether motivated by idealism or a desire to advance practical security concerns, the West must recognize that the only thing standing between the mullahs and the bomb is the green movement,” he writes.