The Daily Talking Points

News and views relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for September 24:

  • Washington Post: In an article focused on President Barack Obama’s address to the UN, Scott Wilson leads with  Obama’s reaction to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s insinuation that the U.S. government played a role in the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Obama told BBC Persian, which broadcasts into Iran, Ahmadinejad’s remarks were “offensive”, “hateful” and unacceptable:  “Particularly for him to make the statement here in Manhattan, just a little north of Ground Zero, where families lost their loved ones, people of all faiths, all ethnicities who see this as the seminal tragedy of this generation, for him to make a statement like that was inexcusable.”
  • Huffington Post: In a Q&A with Shaun Jacob Halper, leading non-proliferation expert Mark Fitzpatrick says he is convinced that Iran wants a nuclear weapons “capability” if not the weapons themselves. Fitzpatrick answers questions on whether there is a legal and moral double standard applied to the nuclear programs of Israel and Iran (legally, says Fitzpatrick, Israel is not party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but morally the answer is more murky); grades Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on how they deal with Iran (both A’s); and on the viability of a sanctions regime and negotiations. While Iran does not have an “apocalyptic worldview” and is not “irrational,”  he’s not sure if the Iranians are “appeasable” if the desire for “a nuclear weapons capability [is] more than anything else.” He concludes, “And if so than no, they are not appeasable.”
  • National Review Online: Anne Bayefsky, a senior fellow at the neoconservative Hudson Institute, compares the speeches of Ahmadinejad and Obama at the UN General Assembly. She writes Obama extended his hand for diplomacy with Iran and used his speech to corner Israel. “Ahmadinejad got the message,” she contends, adding that “Israel is vulnerable with President Obama in office, and Iran has no serious reason to believe that hate and terror will be on the losing end any time soon.” She said the speeches demonstrate that Obama “does not understand the threat facing America and the world from Iran,” and that “Ahmadinejad, therefore, took the opportunity provided by the U.N. to slam the door once more in President Obama’s face.”
  • Commentary:  Jennifer Rubin contrasts President Obama’s UN speech, which she labels “namby-pamby” for its failure to detail military options, with the current push by the far-right Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and a group of House Republicans to escalate measures — including a military strike — against Iran. CUFI’s video accuses Ahmadinejad of committing “incitement to genocide” and urges his prosecution by the International Criminal Court. (Eli has written about the hypocrisy of this tack from right-wing supporters of Israel.) The letter from Republican members of the House calls for Obama to “take whatever action is necessary to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. All options must be on the table.” Rubin laments that Obama is not taking Iran’s threats seriously and that should Israel act unilaterally against Iran,  the U.S. should “stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel.”

Ali Gharib

Ali Gharib is a New York-based journalist on U.S. foreign policy with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia. His work has appeared at Inter Press Service, where he was the Deputy Washington Bureau Chief; the Buffalo Beast; Huffington Post; Mondoweiss; Right Web; and Alternet. He holds a Master's degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science. A proud Iranian-American and fluent Farsi speaker, Ali was born in California and raised in D.C.


One Comment

  1. You know, Jenny Rubin has a point. Israel is a threat to the Jews very existence. Why would Jews, always just a frayed hair from being eliminated via genocidal goyim want to gather on one country. It’s doing the genocidists work for them. They should scatter, disperse through out the world.

    Let’s all join Jennifer Rubin in calling for the dissolution of Israel for the safety of the Jewish people.

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