10:21 AM, Feb 26, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Amid reports that a nuclear deal with Iran may freeze that country's ability to produce nuclear fuel for only ten years in exchange for sanctions relief, President Obama appeared to soften his words on the Iran negotiations if not his position. Following a meeting with the Amir of Qatar earlier this week, the president characterized the ongoing talks as trying "to reduce the possibility of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon," and "to verify that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon." These words ("reduce the possibility" and "does not have", as opposed to "will not acquire") stand in sharp contrast to the unambiguous statements President Obama had tended to make over the past several years:
"We are determined to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon." - Mar. 14, 2012
"And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." - Sept. 25, 2012
"Since I took office, I’ve made clear my determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." - Nov. 23, 2013
"At the top of that list is our work to ensure that Iran does not ever acquire a nuclear weapon." - July 8, 2014
"[W]e seek a comprehensive diplomatic solution to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." - Jan. 16, 2015
"[W]e also had a very useful discussion around Iran and the negotiations that are currently taking place to try to reduce the possibility of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. Those negotiations are ongoing. I gave the Amir an update and assured him that our goal here is to be able to verify that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon[.]" - Feb. 24, 2015
Vice President Biden has made perhaps the most unequivocal statement of anyone in the Obama administration on the subject, telling the Saban Forum in December, "We will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon. Period. Period. End of discussion. It will not happen on our watch." But even if Biden himself won two terms in the White House, a ten-year freeze would sunset beyond both his and Barack Obama's "watch."
John Kerry was pressed on the issue while testifying before Congress the same day the president made the softer statement, but Kerry insisted, "The president has made clear — I can't state this more firmly — the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon." However, any details of the deal, Kerry said, will have to wait. "And anybody running around right now, jumping in to say, 'Well, we don't like the deal,' or this or that, doesn't know what the deal is. There is no deal yet. And I caution people to wait and see what these negotiations produce."
8:13 AM, Feb 3, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
Despite raised tensions between the U.S. and North Korea recently, there are secret "talks about talks" taking place behind the scenes between the two countries, according to a new report.
7:33 AM, Jan 26, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama is being knocked by local press for chewing gum today at the Republic Day parade in India.
9:30 AM, Jan 21, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
House speaker John Boehner has invited Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on February 11. The invitation is meant to be a repudiation of President Obama's Iran policy, according to a draft Boehner's prepared remarks this morning to the House Republican conference.
In a recent op-ed, Rand Paul argues for President Obama's foreign policy.12:50 PM, Dec 20, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Senator Rand Paul has an op-ed in Time magazine making the case for normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba as Barack Obama has proposed. It’s a reasonable objective for U.S.
7:34 AM, Dec 16, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom joined former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York
11:27 AM, Nov 15, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama appeared to criticize Australian prime minister Tony Abbott for closing borders to Austrlia due to concern over Ebola.
1:35 PM, Nov 7, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
The Wall Street Journal’s Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee published an important scoop yesterday. President Obama “secretly wrote to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the middle of last month and described a shared interest in fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.” The “letter appeared aimed both at buttressing the campaign against [the] Islamic State and nudging Iran’s religious leader closer to a nuclear deal.”
What good does it do to needlessly publicize the failures of American military operations? 12:54 PM, Aug 21, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Yesterday, in response to the news that jihadi savages had killed an American journalist on YouTube, the Obama administration revealed that there had been a special forces operation that attempted and failed to rescue James Foley. For the life of me, I can't figure out why this was necessary information to reveal, beyond the fact that it was a cheap way of convincing the American people that Obama had been concerned about Foley's plight.
9:01 AM, Aug 12, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Besides centrifuges, uranium enrichment, and sanctions, this month the State Department turned to sets, digs, and spikes in diplomatic efforts with Iran. Samuel Werberg, a press and public diplomacy officer in the U.S.
10:08 AM, May 9, 2014 • By ELLIOTT ABRAMS
Last night Martin Indyk, now the chief assistant to Secretary of State Kerry in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, spoke at length to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. One account of his speech appears here at the Times of Israel's web site.
Talking to Michael Rubin about his new book, Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging with Rogue Regimes.9:31 AM, Feb 22, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School, has just published a very timely book— especially for anyone interested in the likely success of the Obama administration’s diplomatic engagement with Iran.
1:34 PM, Jan 6, 2014 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
The ascension of Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani supposedly represented a “period of hope.” That may be true for Western negotiators hoping to spend more time in Geneva, but not for the Sufis and other religious minorities of Iran, whom the regime in Tehran continues to repress.
9:01 AM, Dec 20, 2013 • By DENNIS P. HALPIN
Now that the hoopla has begun to die down over Kim Jong-un’s execution of his uncle—reportedly Mafia-style with machine guns—the Young General is anticipating his athletes shooting a few hoops under the expert tutoring of Dennis Rodman.