The Daily Talking Points

News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for November 30, 2010:

  • The Wall Street Journal: In his weekly column, Bret Stephens asks “Are Israeli Likudniks and their neocon friends (present company included) the dark matter pushing the U.S. toward war with Iran?” After analyzing the WikiLeaks documents, he concludes that, “Arab Likudniks turn out to be even more vocal on that score.” Stephens goes on to argue that the need for missile defense has not been overblown because, “we learned that North Korea had shipped missiles to Tehran that can carry nuclear warheads as far as Western Europe and Moscow.”
  • The Atlantic: Former New York Times investigative reporter Raymond Bonner blogs that the WikiLeaks documents have shown “…that Israel is, as Jeffrey Goldberg notes, [is] not alone in wanting decisive action to stop Iran’s nuclear program.” Bonner repeats the alleged comments from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and King Hamid of Bahrain, both of whom reportedly urged a U.S. military strike on Iran’s nuclear program, and observes that “this the same chilling language, which the American public is accustomed to hearing from hardline Israeli officials.” He finishes his post by speculating that the death of an Iranian nuclear scientist on Monday might be the work of Saudi Arabia, UAE or Kuwait because it is “easier for one of those countries to have infiltrated, or recruited, and less likely to be caught, because they could be confident Iran would blame Israel or the United States.”
  • FrumForum: Executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), Noah Pollak, writes that this WikiLeaks release is “obliterating the Gulf-side Middle East” worldview of leftists and realists that had promoted negotiations with Iran and Syria, a withdrawal from Iraq and a policy of pressuring Israel to stop settlement construction. Pollak, attacking the “linkage” argument, blogs that Washington’s Arab allies are not alienated by the close U.S.-Israel relationship. Instead, “we now know that what’s really alienating the Arabs is America’s reluctance to use its power to confront Iran and enforce a security architecture in which Israel is America’s most capable client.”
  • National Review Online: The Foundation for Defense of Democracies‘ Benjamin Weinthal observes that WikiLeaks has  “forced [Arab world leaders] to come out of the diplomatic closet and declare Iran’s regime the number one enemy in the Middle East.” Now that the Arab world’s opposition to Iran’s nuclear program is known, says Weinthal, it’s time to ratchet up sanctions against the Islamic Republic’s energy and financial sectors. Weinthal stops short of calling for military action again Iran but concludes that the WikiLeaks information “vindicate[s] Israel’s longstanding position on the need for swift and powerful action against Iran’s out-of-control regime.”

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.


One Comment

  1. They can push all they want, but the U.S. isn’t going to war. Even we aren’t stupid enough to start a new war in the Gulf, not with Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea and an economic crisis on our hands.

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