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Jennifer Rubin, writing at The Washington Post, cites Sen. Bob Menendez and two former Defense Department officials in telling us that time and options are running out on Iran. Is it time for the U.S. to, at least, give Israel the means with which to succeed at doing what we refuse to do?
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We are quickly running out of options to halt Iran’s attainment of a nuclear weapons capability. In wasting years trying to “engage” Iran, then attempting to stall sanctions and recently rolling them back for virtually no tangible gain — all the while continually talking down the military threat — the president and his secretaries of state have systematically foiled our best options for peacefully dismantling Iran’s nuclear weapons threat
Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 at 9:46 AM | Stand For Israel
Well, that happened.
When the situation in Ukraine began, many Middle East observers were concerned that Russia would, eventually, hold the nuclear talks with Iran hostage if the West responded to Russian aggression in Crimea with anything resembling backbone. And, as we reported in this morning’s Stand for Israel Daily Dispatch, Russia is making those concerns seem reasonable.
Remember that Russia was a key component of bringing Iran to the negotiating table with the West over it’s nuclear program — negotiations we have repeatedly criticized. Russia was also the key to the international effort to rid Syria of chemical and biological weapons.
The wise thing for the Obama administration to have done at the outset of the Ukraine crisis — and, conveniently, the right thing to have done all along — would be to have ended the farcical nuclear talks with Iran and the process with Syria in order to limit how much the U.S. requires Russian cooperation. Russia has never cared about Iranian nukes or Syrian chemical weapons, and their actions yesterday were totally foreseeable.
It’s not too late for the Obama administration to correct all of these problems; to do the right thing on Iran and Syria and to demonstrate to Russia that we’re serious about our tough talk on Crimea. It’s time to consider pulling out of the Iran and Syria talks.Comments (19) »
Thursday, March 20th, 2014 at 8:20 AM | Stand For Israel
Writing at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin discusses a letter signed by 83 U.S. senators demanding that the Obama administration’s final goal in Iran talks is the inability to enrich uranium. Unfortunately, the letter doesn’t carry with it the force of law, so while the Senators may be patting themselves on the back, it ultimately amounts to a polite request:
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But the amorphous language it employs about what would happen if the agreement the administration produces with Iran falls short of that standard left considerable doubt as to whether failure would result in the passage of the crippling sanctions that the Senate tried but failed to pass earlier this year. Combined with the weaker language of a similar Iran letter signed by 395 members of the House of Representatives, the administration will interpret these developments as a green light to pursue a deal with Iran that will fall considerably short of the standard set in the Senate letter.
Thursday, March 20th, 2014 at 8:14 AM | Stand For Israel
Much has been made — including by us — of the similarities between a previous Iranian weapons-laden boat bound for Gaza, the Karine A, and the ship captured last week. Now, Elliott Abrams, former National Security Advisor under President George W. Bush, writes at the Council on Foreign Relations that the incident reminds us about the foolishness of U.S. diplomatic efforts with the Palestinians (half of their putative state is controlled by the entity meant to be on the receiving end of the arms) and Iran (the origin of the weapons):
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Whatever peacemaking Secretary Kerry is undertaking with Palestinian authorities in Ramallah, Hamas remains in charge in Gaza and is dedicated to violence. But the larger issue this time is the donor rather than the recipient. While we talk of outreach to Iran and unclenched fists, Iran continues to be the largest state sponsor of terrorism.
Monday, March 10th, 2014 at 8:21 AM | Stand For Israel
Israel’s latest voice in Washington has both the safety of Israel and of the United States on his mind. Ambassador Ron Dermer is an Israeli who was raised in the U.S., and sees Iran’s nuclear aspirations as a very real threat to both allied nations:
How is Iran’s nuclear program not just a problem for Israel, but a problem for America as well?
Dermer explained it’s “because we’re [Israel] the Little Satan to Iran [and] you’re [the United States] are the Great Satan.”
“The only thing you put on an ICBM is a nuclear warhead. That’s it,” he continued. “And they’re designed to be propelled, to be sent, thousands of miles across the ocean to try to reach you.”
And as the United States and Israel stand together as allies, Dermer realizes that the greatest American friends of the Holy Land are Christians:
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“I believe that the Christian community in the United States — the tens of millions of Christians, of evangelical Christians, throughout this country — can stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel and beat back any attempts to delegitimize, to libel, to malign Israel,” he said.
Thursday, March 6th, 2014 at 11:36 AM | Stand For Israel
Jonathan Tobin writes at Commentary that U.S. policies in the Middle East and the assumptions they’re based on are thrown into serious doubt by the capture yesterday of a shipment of Iranian weapons headed for Gaza. What does this episode mean for the ongoing negotiations over negotiations and America’s insistence on more dialogue?
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The breakup of that alliance demonstrated Hamas’ belief that they no longer needed Iran’s assistance. But things have changed since the start of the Arab Spring when the Islamist group thought it could count on support from Egypt and Turkey to make up for the money and arms it got from Iran.
Thursday, March 6th, 2014 at 8:41 AM | Stand For Israel
Despite some similarities between the Karine A – another Iranian weapons ship headed to Gaza — Itamar Rabinovich points out some key differences between the impact the 2002 event had on President George W. Bush and the likely impact — Rabinovich doesn’t think there will be much — on President Obama:
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Washington is often described as “a one crisis town.” The crisis that dominates the agenda is obviously the Ukrainian one. If the president and his men have the time and patience to reflect on and deal with Middle Eastern issues, it is the difficult Israeli Palestinian negotiation that would be first on their minds.
Thursday, March 6th, 2014 at 8:32 AM | Stand For Israel
In the early hours this morning, the IDF stopped an Iranian ship trying to smuggle weapons to terrorists in the Gaza Strip. See footage of the operation here:
The IDF has posted more information on its blog, including a video explaining what was seized and how the operation protects the Holy Land:
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“The IDF will continue to operate against the Iranian attempts to arm regional terrorist organizations, who intend to continuously ignite our borders,” said IDF Spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. ”We will continue to employ all the necessary means in order to prevent the armament of terrorist organizations and will combat the Iranian smuggling attempts that threaten the security and sovereignty of the State of Israel.”
Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at 9:18 AM | Stand For Israel
Writing in The Washington Post, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz argues — as we have argued here — that an Iranian nuclear weapon would make the entire region (and, thus, the entire world) susceptible to nuclear proliferation on a scale never before seen. It would mean nothing less than the end of the post-World War II nuclear non-proliferation regime:
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As for the Sunni-Shiite arms race, the critical reaction to an international agreement would be not in Washington but in Cairo, Ankara and Riyadh. Even if the Western powers express confidence in Iran’s commitment and pledge a vigorous economic and military response to any Iranian violation, regional players will render their own judgments.
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 at 7:54 AM | Stand For Israel
Former Bush Administration National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams writes at the Council on Foreign Relations that there is a connection between Russian actions in Ukraine and the Iranian drive for a nuclear weapon — a weak America emboldens our enemies and undermines our allies and interests:
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Those who are wondering whether we need to pass sanctions legislation now and put more pressure on Iran should take all this into account. Like Putin, the ayatollahs likely see our failure to act in Syria (indeed our willingness to be “rescued” from action by Putin) as a sign that they can drive a hard bargain indeed with us over their nuclear weapons program, giving up nearly nothing and getting sanctions relief.
Monday, March 3rd, 2014 at 8:34 AM | Stand For Israel