Views From the Iranian Opposition
November 20, 2009
As Obama ratchets up the rhetoric against a dithering (heh) Iran, an opposition leader offers this advice: The international spokesman for Iran's main opposition movement called for President Barack Obama to increase his public support for Iranian democrats and significantly intensify financial pressure on Tehran's elite military unit, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Unfortunately, the spokesman thinks the regime is incapable of cutting a deal with the West over its nuclear program, because that program is fundamental to its very survival.
Washington Diarist: Unmending Wall
November 19, 2009
The absence of Barack Obama from Berlin on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall may be explained in many ways, and one of the explanations may be his view of the world. He is kein Berliner. No, he is not soft on communism, not least because there is no longer any communism, at least of the classical kind, to be soft on. In the video message that was broadcast to the commemoration--it allowed him once again to have the stage to himself, and to describe his own election as a climactic event in “human destiny”--Obama spoke all the right words for all the right sentiments.
What is NIAC?
November 16, 2009
On Friday, TNR Contributing Editor and Washington Times national security reporter Eli Lake published a blockbuster scoop about the National Iranian American Council, (NIAC), and it's founder, Trita Parsi. I recently wrote about Parsi's appearance at the J Street conference, where he waived away concerns about the Iranian regime's warnings about destroying Israel and compared such invocations to statements issued by the United States about Iran's nuclear program.
Moments of Truth for Obama
November 09, 2009
I agree with Jason, it simply looks as though we're not getting anywhere with Tehran. This means Obama will have to make two momentous choices in the coming weeks. First, how many troops will he send to Afghanistan? Second, how long will he indulge Iranian stalling tactics before moving to a push for strict sanctions. On the Afghanistan decision, it appear that Obama is headed towards something on the order of 30,000+ troops. On Saturday the New York Times called this a "middle option." That's based on reports that Stanley McChrystal's request included an option for 80,000 more troops.
‘With Them or With Us’
November 05, 2009
Almost three decades ago, a group of radical Islamist students, dressed in army fatigues or covered in scarves and black chadors, forced their way into the American embassy in Tehran. According to some accounts, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, then a student at a second-tier technical college in Tehran, was invited to join the hostage takers. He declined, saying he would join only if they would also occupy the Soviet embassy in Tehran.
Frankly, I cannot imagine a more devastating reproach to the president and his presidency than this anguished cry from the streets of Tehran. Shame to Obama that the Iranian democrats should actually wonder: "which side are you on?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-yLLZ3JGfM But, Mr. President, "which side are you really on?" This morning, on the thirtieth anniversary of the Islamic regime's takeover of the U.S.
A Huge Majority of Americans Would Support Military Action Against Iran
November 01, 2009
I know that we don't (and we shouldn't) make our foreign policy by public opinion polls. But, while 63 percent of Americans believe we should try negotiations (which, of course, we've been doing so ad nauseum that even Hillary Clinton has gotten impatient), 64 percent are quite sure they won't work. So what do we do then? Sixty-one percent say it is more important to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it requires military action.
October 27, 2009
After years of stalemate, negotiations over Iran's controversial nuclear development program seemed to progress last week when an Iranian delegation in Vienna agreed to the export and modification of its low-enriched uranium. The resulting optimism did not last. Officials in Tehran demurred, insisting that they needed more time to study the proposal and could not meet Friday's deadline to ratify the agreement. While Iran's stonewalling came as a disappointment to the United States, it did not come as a surprise.
October 13, 2009
At the Non-Proliferation Treaty meeting beginning today in New York, Iran will try to shift the discussion to Israel’s nuclear weapons by proposing that the Middle East become nuclear-free. As historian Jeffrey Herf wrote at TNR Online last October, this is similar to a ploy the Soviets used in the 1980s: Our negotiations with Iran are not off to a good start. After the initial meeting in Geneva on October 1--with Iran on one side and Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the United States on the other--Iranian representatives said they had agreed to send processed uranium to Russia.
Today At TNR (October 5, 2009)
October 05, 2009
The Never-Ending Lunacy of Betsy McCaughey, by Michelle Cottle Did the Senate Just Kill a Crucial Ingredient of Health Care Reform? by Jonathan Cohn How Marrying Marilyn Monroe Ruined Arthur Miller’s Genius, by Adam Kirsch Dionne: Should Obama Let Afghanistan Trample His Domestic Agenda? by E.J. Dionne Jr. From Maverick to Mothball: What’s Happened to John McCain Since 2008? by Jesse Zwick The Shabby Don Who Embodied Old Oxford Culture, by G.W. Bowersock Peretz: From Chicago to Tehran, Is Obama Being Blinded by His Own Narcissism?