In a report to Congress authored in April, and posted online earlier this week by Bloomberg News, the Defense Department has once again accused Iran of supporting the Taliban. The unclassified assessment, which is titled “Annual Report on Military Power of Iran,” makes it clear that the U.S. remains the primary focus of Iran’s military and clandestine designs.
Despite all evidence that sanctions are hurting Iran's economy, four rounds of nuclear talks failed to prove that Iran's regime is now more malleable to a compromise. Diplomacy will continue, but with Iranian proposals falling short of Western minimum requirements, it is time to ask whether sanctions are working.
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:
This past weekend the Christian Science Monitorreported that Stuxnet, the original computer virus detected in the American-led cyber war against Iran’s nuclear program, was set to deactivate on June 24. That just so happens to be “seven years to the day after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president.”
Israeli vice prime minister Shaul Mofaz, of the centrist party Kadima, told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C., that talks with the Iranians have failed and that the U.S. should escalate its activity to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
As Josh Rogin reports, almost half the members of the United States Senate joined together to write a letter to Barack Obama, urging the president to give up on Iranian talks if they fail yet again. The letter comes as American diplomats are getting set to meet with the Iranians in Moscow.
In advance of Monday's likely fruitless talks with Iran in Moscow, the Emergency Committee for Israel has released the following ad:
"President Obama has spent four years talking," the voiceover in the ad states, "and Iran has spent four years building ... a secret nuclear site, nuclear fuel near weapons level, long-range missiles. Obama is still talking. And Iran has enough fuel for five nuclear bombs."
The Obama administration’s recent focus on finding a compromise to allow the Iranian regime to maintain some enrichment capabilities “for peaceful purposes” distracts from the underlying nuclear threat at hand.
The future of Iran’s nuclear weapons program depends on one of those strange alignments of justice and personal gain that create eclipses and flood tides when planetary bodies are the actors. It’s important that the world understand these strange circumstances.
A key feature of the negotiations with the Iranians over their nuclear program is doublespeak. To be more precise, you’ll notice that Iranian officials offer different accounts of what they are--and are not--willing to consider. Moreover, the meaning behind their words is often left obscure.