A Nuclear Deal with Iran Will Not Strengthen Its Supposed Moderates

Citing as a model Richard Nixon’s negotiations with China, which allegedly helped secure the triumph of Deng Xiaoping over hardcore Maoists, supporters of détente with Tehran have argued that the proposed June 30 deal will encourage friendly forces within that regime. Michael Rubin points out the flaws in this argument:

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have predicated outreach to Iran on the idea that rapprochement will strengthen the hand of the moderates against Iran’s implacable ideologues. In a sense, the White House believes it has found a Deng Xiaoping moment in which support for pragmatists can marginalize hardliners permanently and enhance security and cooperation between former adversaries.

Their logic is wrong on three counts. First, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani is no moderate. . . . Second, even if a deal bolsters Rouhani’s popularity, he remains marginal on questions relating to Iranian nuclear policy today. In the Islamic Republic, the president is about style, the supreme leader about substance. . . . And, third, the China model may not be all that it’s cracked up to be. China never joined the West or embraced global peace and tolerance, but rather used its newfound wealth to build a first-world military and bully not only its neighbors but also the United States. Enriching and empowering enemies never works unless, of course, the goal is to lessen the relative power and position of the United States.

Read more at Fox News

More about: China, Hassan Rouhani, Iran nuclear program, John Kerry, Politics & Current Affairs, Richard Nixon

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

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