The Daily Talking Points

News and Views Relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for August 26th, 2010:

  • Reuters: John Irish reports that French President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned Iran that, “If a credible agreement [over its nuclear program] cannot be reached, Iran’s isolation would only worsen.”  Sarkozy continued, “And in the face of worsening threat, we would have to organize ourselves to protect and defend states that feel threatened.”  Sarkozy has said he supported the start up of the new nuclear power plant at Bushehr, fueled by Russian fuel rods, as long as it adheres to international law. (Commentary‘s Jennifer Rubin is encouraged, calling Sarkozy’s comments “Better Than Nothing.”)
  • Associated Press (via Yahoo): Nasser Karimi reports that Tehran is proposing to jointly assemble nuclear fuel for the Bushehr nuclear plant alongside Russian technicians. The U.S. and Western allies agreed to lift their opposition to the Bushehr on the condition that Russia handle all the nuclear fuel. “We have made a proposal to Russia to create a consortium under Russian license to do part of the work in Russia and part in Iran,” the head of Iran’s atomic energy agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, told the Iranian state-run Press TV. Moscow is reported to be studying the new proposal.
  • International Herald Tribune: Avner Cohen and Marvin Miller make the case for Israel ending its longstanding policy of nuclear opacity.  “International support for Israel and its opaque bomb is being increasingly eroded by its continued occupation of Palestinian territory and the policies that support that occupation. Such criticism of these policies might well spill over into the nuclear domain, making Israel vulnerable to the charge that it is a nuclear-armed pariah state, and thus associating it to an uncomfortable degree with today’s rogue Iranian regime,” they write. “Indeed, while almost all states publicly oppose the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran, there is also growing support for dealing with this problem in an ‘evenhanded’ manner, namely, by establishing a nuclear weapons free zone across the entire region.”  The authors emphasize that international support for Israel and its policy of opacity is eroding as Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories drags on.  (Ali wrote about Cohen and Miller’s op-ed yesterday.)

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.



  1. I can’t imagine that Israel would ever agree to a nuclear-free Middle East. Strip Israel of its nuclear weapons and it would have to change fundamentally (probably having to abandon the very idea of a Jewish state) or die. A nuclear-free Middle East means the end of Israel within 50 years.

  2. No Jon, that Israel will be the Israel of prophecy (or at least a better chance of being the Israel of prophecy), the one that is created for the righteousness of it’s citizens. Of course, I think the Messiah is supposed to have made his identity known first.

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