The Daily Talking Points

News and views relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for November 17, 2010.

  • FrumForum: Arsen Ostrovsky highlights an interview with Bahazad Massawi, a former Iranian Air Force pilot who defected to France. The segment aired on Israeli Channel 10 News. Writing on David Frum’s blog, Ostrovsky says that Massawi described Iran as “the world’s biggest supporter of terrorism” and that “Ahmadinejad creates terror and incites war in the region.” Ostrovsky opines, “far too many people still choose to turn a blind eye or seek to rationalize this.”  He ends by asking, “How long will the world continue to ignore the voices of brave people like Bahazad Masawi before it’s too late?”
  • Weekly Standard: In both the print and web editions of the magazine, Hoover Institution fellow Tod Lindberg reports on the Halifax International Security Forum, where Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) raised eyebrows with his belligerent rhetoric on Iran, that was part of a weekend long burst of hawkishness against Iran. (Jim Lobe wrote about Graham’s comments, noting that Atlantic Council chairperson and former Sen. Chuck Hagel said such war talk was “dangerous.”) Even Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) asserted that Iran needed to know the United States was serious. “All in all,” writes Lindberg, “Graham’s performance was a tour de force. First, it was a bucket of cold water in the face of anyone harboring the impression that the United States would drift without comment toward eventual acceptance of an Iranian bomb.” Just a few days later, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in turn threw cold water in the faces of those who hope the likelihood of a U.S. attack on Iran is on the increase.

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.