One of the more fascinating aspects of the Syria debate has been the divide between policymakers and academics over the question of credibility and reputation in international politics. In essence: Does Washington's reversals of course in Syria signal to allies and adversaries alike that the U.S.
WithAmerican and Iranian negotiators streaming into Geneva for the next round of nucleartalks, there's been no shortage of official rhetoric coming from Washington.The Obama administration argues that the deal wrests real concessions from theIranians in exchange for only modest sanctions relief.
Your humble blogger continues to be interested in the divide between current/former policymakers and academics over the meaning and significance of "credibility" in international affairs. I have bent over backwards to suggest that maybe, just maybe, policymakers know something we don't.
While lawmakers are still debatingthe merits of the interim deal with Iran, Washington seems to agree on at leastone thing: sanctions work. The U.S. program to cut Iran off from theinternational financial system is widely viewed as successful -- the onlydebate in Congress is whether to ratchet up sanctions now, or later.
From Ian:Bayit Yehudi's Ben-Dahan: Kerry giving legitimacy to terror, not a worthy mediatorBayit Yehudi deputy minister Eli Ben-Dahan lashed out at US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday night, saying that he had given legitimacy to terror and was not worthy to serve as mediator to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
As the United States and other worldpowers resume nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva, Barack Obama's administrationis pushing hard not only to wrap up a short-term nuclear deal with the roguenation, but also to dissuade Congress from imposing any new sanctions on theIranian nuclear program.
Correction 10/2/13 11:50 A.M.: An earlier version of this story noted that the mention of "Israel" was the first by an Iranian leader in decades. This is incorrect; in fact, even hardline Iranian leaders like Mahmoud Admadinejad have done so from time to time. We regret the error. And we thank Adam Kredo and Noah Pollak for bringing this to our attention.
By all indications, Iran's new president wants a deal with the United Stateson its nuclear program and has the authority to negotiate one. As predictablyas the sunrise, hard-liners in the United States and Israel are dismissing thepossibility on various grounds.
Syria'sBashar al-Assad may have thrown a wrench into Iranian President Hasan Rouhani'splans for nuclear negotiations with the West -- if the United States learns theright lessons from the Syria experience.Itis by now conventional wisdom that Iran emerged as a clear winner in the U.S.-Russiadiplomacy on Syria.
Congresshas spent the past three years imposing tough sanctions on Iran that aredesigned to cripple its economy and force Tehran to abandon its nuclearambitions. In recent weeks, a parade of congressmen and senators have demandedthat those sanctions stay in place, never mind the nuclear talks betweenWashington and Tehran.
I think it's safe to say that the Middle East is in flux. It's during moments like these, when uncertainty seems to be pretty high, that a grand strategy is useful. A key point of a good grand strategy is to guide action when new circumstances present themselves.
So I see that Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to brief the Senate on why it should cool it with the Iran sanctions did not go terribly well. At all. Republican senators sharply criticized the administration’s closed-door presentation to the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, an appeal that was designed to convince them to hold off on a new round of sanctions against Iran.
Iran, the perennial bad boy of the international community,has suddenly become the diplomatic darling at this year's U.N. General Assemblysession, mounting a charm offensive that has many U.N. diplomats askingthemselves: Can this be real? SHARE: More... In anticipation of President Hasan Rouhani's diplomaticdebut before the 193-member U.N.
The world's nuclear weapons proliferators watch each other. Theylook for warnings and opportunities in how their peers are treated. Iran haltedits nuclear weapons development after Saddam was toppled for several years.Libya's Muammar al-Gaddafi also got cold feet.
I feel deeply honored and privileged to stand here before you today representing the citizens of the State of Israel.We are an ancient people. We date back nearly 4,000 years to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We have journeyed through time, we've overcome the greatest of adversities, And we reestablished our sovereign state in our ancestral homeland, the Land of Israel.
Optimism about the possibility ofimproved U.S.-Iran relations, fueled by the election of the moderate HasanRouhani and a series of positive signals from both countries' governments, is running upagainst the hard realities of what it would take to get a nuclear deal doneand provoking resistance from powerful constituencies on both sides. Despite arecent charm offensive by U.S.
Iran's new president, Hasan Rouhani, is on a charm offensive in advance of his visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly next week. Most recently in an op-ed published Friday in the Washington Post, he has signaled his willingness to enter new negotiations with the United States over Iran's nuclear program. And that comes as little surprise to former U.S.
Right-wing extremists are pissed off at the thought of peaceKerry and his little cabal of imperialistic interventionists failed to force Obama into bombing Syria and failed in their attempt to make Kerry "President for Foreign Affairs." But that's not going to slow down McCain and Lindsey Graham, ironically, two of Kerry's top allies in the power struggle.