The Daily Talking Points

News and views relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for November 10, 2010.

  • The Jewish Week: James D. Besser analyzes the impact of the midterm election on the Obama administration’s Iran strategy and concludes it “may indirectly lead to greater U.S. flexibility on the issue of Israeli military action to stop [Iran’s] nuclear program.” Shoshana Bryen, director of strategic policy for the hardline neoconservative Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) told Besser, “If you’re talking about the military option, you’re not talking about a single strike. If you want to go to war against Iran, that’s a choice, but I don’t think there will be a lot of support for that in the U.S. military, which is already involved in two wars.” Besser considers it unlikely that the GOP leadership would push for a strike as long as the Pentagon remains opposed to the action. Even David Harris of the American Jewish Committee says “outsourcing responsibility for Iran” to Israel would be “an abdication of U.S. responsibility.”
  • National Public Radio: Alan Greenblatt examines how 100 new Republican members of Congress will impact on U.S. foreign policy. In examining the Obama administration’s Iran policy, Greenblatt interviews Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the hawkish American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and reports, “Pletka predicts that Republicans in Congress will push back if Obama continues his policy of seeking diplomatic engagement with Iran, as that nation continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions.”
  • WINEP Policy Watch: In a briefing from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), Ehud Yarri discusses the conjoining of Iranian Shia Islamism with that of Sunni Hamas in the Occupied Palestinian Territories through a booklet being circulated in Gaza. Writes Yarri, “Titled The Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Revolution in Iran, this new publication represents the most important attempt to date to connect the growing cooperation between Hamas and its Iranian mentors to religious affinities, rather than political expediency.”  He cites the booklet as a PR effort aimed at showing the two groups as “natural partner(s)” despite the usually deep-cutting sectarian divide between Shia and Sunni Muslims.

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.