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Obama vs. Eizenstat?

12:58 PM, Jul 2, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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In an interview, veteran Democratic foreign policy insider Stuart Eizenstat admits that the Obama administration has not placed all options on the table for dealing with Iran. The Times of Israel reports:

Asked whether he could then envisage the United States, at the head of an international coalition, intervening militarily, Eizenstat said: “Well, I don’t want to say militarily. I want to say ‘intervene with other capabilities.’”

In other words, Eizenstat is saying that America will is not likely ever to use military action against Iran nuke program.

Eizenstat's remarks stand in contrast with what President Obama has publicly stated. "We all prefer to resolve this issue diplomatically," Obama stated at AIPAC's annual conference in March. "Having said that, Iran’s leaders should have no doubt about the resolve of the United States, just as they should not doubt Israel’s sovereign right to make its own decisions about what is required to meet its security needs. I have said that when it comes to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, I will take no options off the table, and I mean what I say." (Emphasis added.)

But one should not discount Eizenstat's statement. His experience in Democratic foreign policy circles is vast.

Consider his biography, especially the parts detailing his experience in sanctioning Iran: 

During a decade and a half of public service in three US administrations, Ambassador Eizenstat has held a number of key senior positions, including chief White House domestic policy adviser to President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981); U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs, and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration (1993-2001).

During the Clinton Administration, he had a prominent role in the development of key international initiatives, including the negotiations of the Transatlantic Agenda with the European Union (establishing what remains of the framework for the US relationship with the EU); the development of the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) among European and US CEOs; the negotiation of agreements with the European Union regarding the Helms-Burton Act and the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act; the negotiation of the Japan Port Agreement with the Japanese government; and the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, where he led the US delegation. 

While it's true President Obama has spoken about leaving options on the table, his inaction toward Iran at this point undermines tough talk--and suggests Eizenstat's assessment is correct. 

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