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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Kerry and State throw the Israeli and Iranian people under the bus

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is due to release a report on Thursday regarding Iran and its nuclear program. Without having seen the report, its contents are a foregone conclusion: It will swear off 'regime change' and the use of force, and beg Iran to behave itself.
"We are not in a regime change mode," said the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing on the Islamic Republic. "Just as we abandon calls for regime change in Teheran and recognize a legitimate Iranian role in the region, Iran's leaders must moderate their behavior and that of their proxies, Hizbullah and Hamas."

Kerry praised the Obama administration's focus on diplomacy with Iran, adding that "engagement alone is not a strategy and talks are not an end in themselves."


"Sanctions - even coordinated, multilateral sanctions - are a blunt instrument with an imperfect track record. When it comes to Iran, the verdict on them is mixed at best," he said. "Sanctions slowed Iran's nuclear program, but they did not prevent it from acquiring the capacity to enrich uranium on an industrial scale."

Still, he described sanctions as "far more likely" to succeed that military force when that possibility was raised by witness Nicholas Burns, a top State Department official in the Bush administration tasked with the Iran portfolio.

"I don't see Iran negotiating seriously if there isn't a marriage between diplomacy and the threat of force. It's a language they understand," said Burns, who recommended that the Obama administration to reiterate the possibility that force could be used.

In response to Burns's comments, State Department Spokesman Robert Wood said later Wednesday that, "Our policy's very clear. We're pursuing diplomacy, a two-track approach with our other partners … and that's where our efforts are focused." Burns emphasized that he didn't think force should be seriously considered in the near term, and also cautioned that "I don't think it could work" if used later on.
The sanctions are ineffective because they were too weak from the outset, and because they are not and maybe cannot be universally enforced. By dropping 'regime change' as an option (and in any event, it is an option that time has passed by when it comes to the nuclear issue), the Obama administration leaves the only choices as accepting a nuclear Iran or taking military action. Obama will not take military action. But someone else just might.


At 5:54 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The US wants to use the stick on Israel and the carrot on Iran!
Hasn't it gotten things backwards?

Hopenchange, indeed!

What could go wrong?

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I'm sorry but what WILL throw the iranian people under the bus is these "crippling" sanctions you seem to be calling for. do you remember what happened to iraq? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_sanctions

why it wont work: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/features/readinglists/what-to-read-on-economic-sanctions

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


I agree that the sanctions won't work and I have said so on numerous occasions (if nothing else because they won't be enforced).

Would you favor military action?

If not, do you have another solution?

I'd be happy to foment rebellion in Iran, but it's kind of late for that.


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