Tuesday Iran Talking Points
from LobeLog: News and Views Relevant to U.S.-Iran relations for December 7th, 2010:
Commentary: J.E. Dyer, writing on Commentaryâ€™s Contentions blog, says that talks with Iran are futile and â€œthe current process of negotiation and inspection is worse than irrelevant. It is counterproductive â€” because it gives Iran time.â€ Dyer describes Iranâ€™s announcement that it is producing yellowcake from its uranium-processing facility as â€œpulling a â€˜North Koreaâ€™â€ and argues that the costs of negotiations have gotten too high. He concludes, â€œToday the cost includes Iranâ€™s posting all its biggest weapons-program triumphs after UN sanctions were first imposed. Ultimately, the cost is likely to be much higher.â€
The Wall Street Journal: The WSJâ€™s hawkish editorial board opines that North Koreaâ€™s artillery bombardment of a South Korean island was a â€œbarbarousâ€ act and questions Chinaâ€™s role as Pyongyangâ€™s â€œprincipal apologist, protector and enabler.â€ The editorial board raises the stakes, asking what role North Korea and China had in proliferating nuclear technology to Iran. The Chinese metals and metallurgy company LIMMT, a company sanctioned by the Bush administration for proliferation, is â€œperhaps the largest supplier of weapons of mass destruction to Iran,â€ according to former Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau in accusations made last year. The Journalâ€™s editorial board writes that China â€œ[pledges] good faith in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and materiel, especially to Iran,â€ but China is a major proliferator of nuclear technologies to both Iran and North Korea.
Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin writes up a letter by a group of Senators looking to push President Barack Obama to express the view, as an unnamed Senate staffer put it to Rubin, that â€œsanctions need to keep ratcheting up.â€ Written by Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Joe Liberman (I-CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bob Casey (D-PA), and later signed by Mark Kirk (R-IL) and John McCain (R-AZ) (as updated by Rubin), the letter says Iran â€œcannot be permitted to maintain any enrichment or reprocessing activities on its territory.â€ â€˜No enrichmentâ€™ has widely been seen as a (long since violated) Israeli red line, while the U.S. under Obama has mentioned Iranâ€™s rights to nuclear enrichment as an NPT signatory. Rubin comments: â€œLike Margaret Thatcher, these senators are warning the president not to go â€˜wobbly.â€™ Letâ€™s see if he listens.â€
Commentary: Evelyn Gordon, blogging on Contentions, compares Iran with the Communist government of North Vietnam in the run-up to that war. While the U.S. seeks compromise with Iran now, and sought it with North Vietnam then, Gordon writes, the U.S.â€™s â€œopponentsâ€™ aim is often total victory.â€ She writes that with pressure on Iran more out in the open after WikiLeaks disclosures that show strong Arab hostility, Iran is returning to the negotiating table because it â€œfeels pressured.â€ â€œSo Iran, cognizant of the Westâ€™s weakness, has taken out the perfect insurance policy: as long as itâ€™s talking, feeding the Westâ€™s hope for compromise, Western leaders will oppose both new sanctions and military action,â€ concludes Gordon. â€œAnd Tehran will be able to continue its march toward victory unimpeded.â€