The Daily Talking Points

News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for December 11-13, 2010:

  • The Wall Street Journal: Ronen Bergman, a military analyst for the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, opines that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has barely been able to contain his satisfaction over WikiLeaks cables showing Arab leaders so afraid of Iran that “they even appear to be doing their best to persuade the United States to attack Iran’s nuclear installations.” Bergman acknowledge that Arab leaders are not prepared to join forces with Israel against Iran because “the Palestinian problem has not been solved,” but comes up short of fully endorsing a “linkage” argument. “Unless the concerned states of the Middle East drastically change the way they collaborate (with the U.S. acting as mediator), the campaign to stop Iran from getting the bomb will be lost,” he concludes.
  • The Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin, the neoconservative Post blogger, writes that it’s “time to reset Iran policy.” Rubin says the current dual-track policy of pressure and engagement is failing on both fronts and dismisses the need to build international consensus on any matter related to Iran. She suggests robust support for the Green Movement, to “continue and enhance espionage and sabotage of the Iranian nuclear program” (including assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists — the “ultimate targeted sanction”), making “human rights a central theme in our bilateral and multilateral diplomacy,” and “begin[ning] to make the case and agree on a feasible plan for the use of force.” She contends that an attack on Iran will not allow the current regime to consolidate power. In conclusion, Rubin writes: “The goal should be to do what we can to accelerate the regime’s collapse while we work to retard or force surrender of its nuclear program.”
  • The Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin, writing on the Post’s Right Turn blog, interviews Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT). Lieberman tells her that statements from EU and Russian officials indicating support for limited Iranian enrichment”‘is the wrong message’ to send to a regime that has ‘such a pattern of deceit.'” He argues that should Iran get a nuclear weapon, “the consequences are so disastrous for us and our allies” that “it’s time to get tough.”

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.