Netanyahu appears to have inoculated himself against looming corruption charges due to the dramatic developments on the security front. As war with Iran looms, why does the old formula work so well? On Wednesday night, the day after Trump announced his withdrawal from the Iran deal, in between Israeli airstrikes in Syria, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported the Likud’s highest polling numbers in a decade — 35 seats, five more than it holds today. [tmwinpost] Is it really that simple? Netanyahu, 12 years in office, facing multiple corruption investigations and a possible indictment, just pulls out the magic security card…Read More... | 5 Comments
Pulling the U.S. out of the deal — or provoking Iran to pull out — would mean abandoning the least bad option for dealing with an Iran that can produce highly enriched uranium. By Peter Jenkins Abbas Araghchi was in London last week. Araghchi, one of Iran’s deputy foreign ministers, was a negotiator of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the July 2015 agreement designed to resolve international concerns about the nature and intent of Iran’s nuclear program. Toward the end of an interview with the BBC on February 22, Aragchi was asked whether the JCPOA would “collapse if the United States [were] not…Read More... | 1 Comment
Much like President Trump is undermining his predecessor's other flagship achievement, the Affordable Care Act, the president is attacking the Iran nuclear agreement piecemeal. The result will be tragic. By Paul Pillar Don’t be either fooled or relieved by President Trump’s waiving, for now, of nuclear sanctions on Iran, and thus his forgoing of an explicit withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. Trump still is determined to destroy the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), though not necessarily in the way he threatens, or in a way some have feared. He is set on destroying the JCPOA partly because of…Read More... | 2 Comments
Netanyahu is repeating the claim that, following the nuclear deal, Iran will soon amass an arsenal of a hundred bombs. That couldn't be farther from the truth. By Shemuel Meir Speaking at the Jerusalem Post's Diplomatic Conference on December 6th, 2017, Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that, within a decade, Iran stands to emerge from the nuclear deal with not one atomic bomb but “a nuclear arsenal of 100 bombs and more.” He called upon the ambassadors present to report this to their respective foreign offices and have their countries help the U.S. President fix the “flawed” Iran nuclear deal right away. [tmwinpost] Netanyahu had…Read More... | 2 Comments
Endless threats and the inclination toward a preventative strike are likely to push Israel into an arms race and a much wider and unnecessary war of attrition with Iran. By Shemuel Meir Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu are striving together to cancel the JCPOA nuclear agreement with Iran. Even Netanyahu’s new mantra, that he only wants to “fix” the deal, is actually mean to bring about its cancelation in a slightly more roundabout way. Subjecting Iran to new conditions would lead it to abandon the deal, thereby causing its collapse. [tmwinpost] Alongside the attempts to kill the agreement, however, an…Read More... | 4 Comments
Trump seems determined to go forward with a very hostile program toward Iran, and, although a baseless U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal seems unlikely, even the so-called 'adults in the room' are looking for a pretext. By Mitchell Plitnick Donald Trump rarely tries to hide his intentions. When he intends to do something reckless that will seriously compromise not just U.S. security but that of the entire world, he is not shy about sharing. The prime example of this is Trump’s determination to destroy the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal struck between the P5+1 and Iran…Read More...
From a White House flirting with a policy of regime change to a changing political reality in the Gulf to the terror attacks in Tehran, the Iranian nuclear deal's survival is anything but guaranteed. By Derek Davison The Iran nuclear deal—Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA—is facing multiple threats, and whatever hope there may once have been that it could serve as a basis for improving U.S.-Iran ties is probably gone. Between the Trump administration’s emerging focus on Iranian regime change and recent instability in the Persian Gulf, simply maintaining the deal itself is proving to be a serious…Read More... | 1 Comment
Many fear that a Trump presidency will, by default, favor Netanyahu and his policies. But if Trump’s past statements on Israel are precedent, what will matter more is whether the 'dealmaker' gets to broker the ultimate deal. We’re not even a week in, and the panic is palpable. “Trump Election Already Bad News for Palestinians,” reads one headline. Settlement construction will surely spike. “The era of the Palestinian state is over.” But for even the most casual observer of the Middle East, these pronouncements are nothing new. And despite the official statements from Jerusalem and Ramallah, the leaders of Israel…Read More... | 5 Comments
Whether Trump outright tears up the deal or simply orders his administration to take punitive actions against Iran, the end result may be the same: goodbye to the nuclear deal. By Derek Davison There will be plenty of time to dissect Donald Trump’s surprising victory over Hillary Clinton in last night’s presidential election, and what a President Trump will mean for American foreign policy generally. But one thing is clear: the nuclear deal negotiated between the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China) and Iran may very well be among the first casualties of the incoming Trump…Read More... | 17 Comments
AIPAC may have lost the battle against Obama's Iranian nuclear agreement, but the conservative lobbying group appears to have come out on top nonetheless — to the tune of $30 million. By Eli Clifton Last year, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) led the charge against the Obama administration’s efforts to reach a diplomatic resolution to concerns about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. Indeed, in many ways, AIPAC became the face of the opposition to Obama’s signature second-term foreign policy initiative. AIPAC committed to spending $20-40 million in television commercials opposing the deal and threw its considerable lobbying weight against the agreement.…Read More... | 2 Comments
Yet the deal's opponents continue to focus on how it could, possibly, one day, under certain circumstances, go wrong. By Derek Davison The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is reporting that Iran has so far complied with its obligations under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which went into effect in January and limits Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons. The IAEA report, which is confidential but was apparently shown to the Reuters news agency, “did not point to any violations in Tehran’s observance of the deal”: “Throughout the reporting period, Iran had no more than 130 metric tonnes…Read More... | 2 Comments
The exact same talking points that were used to oppose the Iran deal before it was ever signed, are now being recycled in an attempt to show it has failed. Not so fast. By Ali Gharib There is going to be a storm of hot takes to mark the upcoming anniversary of the Iran nuclear deal. And the first drops are already falling. The take that caught my eye at this early stage is a curtain-raiser exemplar of neoconservative thought a year after the accord. It comes our way in the pages of the Weekly Standard, authored by Michael Makovsky, the…Read More...
In declaring that there are no existential threats to Israel, the former defense minister joins a litany of current and former security officials who have spoken out in favor of the Iran nuclear deal. By Ali Gharib When world powers led by the United States signed a nuclear deal with Iran, American neoconservatives and other pro-Israel hawks were positively apoplectic. Mark Kirk, the Republican senator from Illinois who enjoys a consistent windfall of pro-Israel campaign cash, said that the deal was worse than the Munich agreement with Nazi Germany. The Wall Street Journal opinion page’s Bret Stephens actually used that as a headline: “Worse than…Read More... | 4 Comments
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