The Daily Talking Points

News and Views Relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for August 6th, 2010:

  • Washington Post: Robert Kagan attended the White House briefing on Iran sanctions and writes that a large number of journalists in the room simply got the story wrong by concluding that the sanctions might result in a new diplomatic initiative with Tehran. Kagan reports that President Obama, “repeatedly acknowledged that the regime may be so ‘ideologically’ committed to getting a bomb that no amount of pain would make a difference,” and that the real message from White House officials was, “that the administration wanted everyone to know how tough it was being on Iran.”
  • ABC News: Christiane Amanpour also attended the White House briefing on sanctions and reports that Obama, “believes the costs of the sanctions are going to be higher than Iran could have anticipated, but he is not sure yet whether that cost-benefit analysis will override ‘what may be an ideological or nationalistic commitment to nuclear weapons.’” Amanpour reports that Obama commented that diplomacy and engagement could bring, “a thaw in what has been 30 years of antagonism between our two countries,” and told reporters, “I consider Iran a country of enormous potential.”
  • Washington Post: Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren continues the narrative that Iran is behind Hamas missile attacks, missiles launched from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula into Jordan and Israel, and the skirmish earlier this week between the IDF and the Lebanese Armed Forces, which Oren characterizes as “nominally independent,” implying that the presence of a Hezbollah television crew somehow connected them to the incident.  The squeeze imposed by sanctions, suggests Oren, is being felt in Tehran and, “[m]any observers feel that, when confronted by the sanctions’ implacability, the Iranian regime will opt to negotiate or, according to an alternative scenario, trigger a Middle East war.”

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.