It’s Time to Abandon the Iran Deal

During a recent Senate hearing, the White House Iran envoy, Robert Malley, offered a dismal view of the prospects for a nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic, claiming that the administration is “fully prepared to live with and confront the reality” of not reaching a deal. Then, yesterday, Tehran announced it was shutting off the cameras used by nuclear inspectors at its uranium-enrichment sites, meaning that there are now no remaining checks on its path to a bomb. Eric Edelman and Charles Wald argue that the administration should immediately abandon negotiations and adopt a new plan to curb Iranian aggression, rather than allow the mullahs to draw out talks indefinitely.

Foremost, this means supporting Israel’s freedom of action, [as it has] borne the heaviest burdens of holding the line against Tehran. The United States should swiftly transfer key weaponry for which Israel already is arranging procurement, including KC-46A refueling tankers, additional F-35 aircraft, precision-guided munitions, and missile defenses.

Building on strategic opportunities created by the Abraham Accords, the Biden administration should find ways to incorporate Israel’s highly capable forces into U.S.-led joint military exercises, operations, and maritime-security task forces with its Arab partners. Additionally, serious efforts are urgently needed to build an effective region-wide air defense and shared early-warning system to counter Iran’s alarming advances in missiles and armed drones. The United States should also explore ways to facilitate the transfer of Israel’s world-class air-defense systems to the Gulf.

A potential Middle East summit next month, when the president visits Israel, offers the perfect opportunity to announce formally this strengthened U.S. approach . . . and to mend diplomatic fences with Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Both of these vital partners have been deeply alarmed by the persistence of Plan A and have begun hedging toward some combination of China, Russia, and Iran.

Read more at The Hill

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy


The Right and Wrong Ways for the U.S. to Support the Palestinians

Sept. 29 2023

On Wednesday, Elliott Abrams testified before Congress about the Taylor Force Act, passed in 2018 to withhold U.S. funds from the Palestinian Authority (PA) so long as it continues to reward terrorists and their families with cash. Abrams cites several factors explaining the sharp increase in Palestinian terrorism this year, among them Iran’s attempt to wage proxy war on Israel; another is the “Palestinian Authority’s continuing refusal to fight terrorism.” (Video is available at the link below.)

As long as the “pay for slay” system continues, the message to Palestinians is that terrorists should be honored and rewarded. And indeed year after year, the PA honors individuals who have committed acts of terror by naming plazas or schools after them or announcing what heroes they are or were.

There are clear alternatives to “pay to slay.” It would be reasonable for the PA to say that, whatever the crime committed, the criminal’s family and children should not suffer for it. The PA could have implemented a welfare-based system, a system of family allowances based on the number of children—as one example. It has steadfastly refused to do so, precisely because such a system would no longer honor and reward terrorists based on the seriousness of their crimes.

These efforts, like the act itself, are not at all meant to diminish assistance to the Palestinian people. Rather, they are efforts to direct aid to the Palestinian people rather than to convicted terrorists. . . . [T]he Taylor Force Act does not stop U.S. assistance to Palestinians, but keeps it out of hands in the PA that are channels for paying rewards for terror.

[S]hould the United States continue to aid the Palestinian security forces? My answer is yes, and I note that it is also the answer of Israel and Jordan. As I’ve noted, PA efforts against Hamas or other groups may be self-interested—fights among rivals, not principled fights against terrorism. Yet they can have the same effect of lessening the Iranian-backed terrorism committed by Palestinian groups that Iran supports.

Read more at Council on Foreign Relations

More about: Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy