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
Intent on killing the Iran nuclear deal, Netanyahu and Trump have dispensed with logic and are relying on emotion, confusion, and fear to try to achieve their objective. By Paul R. Pillar Benjamin Netanyahu’s display of a cartoon bomb before the United Nations General Assembly nearly six years ago received much ridicule but at least was grounded in some facts about uranium enrichment levels and how they relate to the ability to make a nuclear weapon. These days, Netanyahu doesn’t reprise that part of his General Assembly speech, and it’s not because of the ridicule. It is because the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action…Read More... | 4 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
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
It’s high time for the United States to interject some realism into discussions about Iranian missiles. By Greg Thielmann Iran’s January 29 flight test of a medium-range ballistic missile helped prompt an ominous if ambiguous warning by U.S. National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on February 1: “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.” Since it is facing so many other international crises, it is curious that the new administration gives such a prominent place to Iranian missile testing, which poses no existential threat to the United States or its allies and is not prohibited by the Iran…Read More...
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...
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