The Daily Talking Points

News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for November 26, 2010:

  • Jerusalem Post: The right-wing English language Israeli daily has a piece by columnist Michael Freund, who revives the push that U.S. President Barack Obama can save his presidency by attacking Iran. “There is one dramatic step that Obama can take that would have a transformative effect, not only on his standing in public opinion but on the world itself: Take aggressive action to stop Iran’s nuclear program,” he writes, thus resurrecting a meme started by Daniel Pipes and adopted by Elliott Abrams, among others. “The thought of the would-be Hitler of Persia getting his hands on a nuclear weapon is one that should send shivers down the spine of every Israeli and every Westerner,” writes Freund. “Imposing punishing sanctions and using military force if necessary to stop the Iranian nuclear program would rally the American public behind his administration and underscore the fact that US deterrence is alive and well.”
  • Foreign Policy: On FP‘s Shadow Government blog, Washington Institute for Near East Policy visiting fellow Michael Singh compares Iran’s diplomatic outreach to Africa with its alleged “shadowy network of arms smuggling, support for terrorism, and subversive activities.” Singh, a former George W. Bush National Security Council official, produces a long list of transgressions, some of them mere allegations. “These activities, taken together with Tehran’s refusal to cooperate with the IAEA on its nuclear activities and callous violations of its own people’s human rights, paint a picture of a regime which pursues its own security by flouting international rules and norms of acceptable behavior,” he writes. He calls for sanctions to be “vigorously enforced” and says Iran’s activities should be a lesson that “even a resolution of the nuclear issue would only begin to address the far broader concerns about the regime and its activities.”
  • Wall Street Journal: In his Capital Journal column, Gerald Seib writes, “The goal of the U.S. and its allies right now is to make sure Iran has to make hard choices.” With Iran denying they are seeking nuclear weapons while pointing to Israel’s arsenal, ” Seib notes this gives a sense of the “gulf” between Iran and the United States. He says “the best the U.S. and its allies can hope for right now is to slow down the Iranian program on the one hand, while increasing the cost of continuing it on the other.” Carnegie Endowment Iran expert Karim Sadjadpour told Seib: “Negotiations likely won’t resolve our dispute with Iran. But they can help contain our dispute with Iran and prevent it from escalating.”

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. RE: “Tehran’s…callous violations of its own people’s human rights” – Michael Singh of WINEP

    …Ordinary Iranians have been the inadvertent beneficiaries of all this political gridlock. Ahmadinejad has used social liberalization as a way to shore up his support over the past year — by encouraging women’s involvement in politics, demanding that youth be free to date and wear clothing of their choice, and similar actions, much to the chagrin of theocrats and parliamentarians. The public has enjoyed greater personal freedoms as a result. Of course, that may only be a temporary reprieve. Domestic unrest over the economy is growing. Whatever their differences, it’s easy to imagine Iran’s warring factions agreeing to put them aside and focus on the real long-term threat to their power: the Iranian people themselves.”

    SOURCE –

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