Iran Seeks Chemical and Biological Weapons as Well as Nuclear Ones

As early as 1984, the Islamic Republic was manufacturing agents to be used in chemical weapons; several U.S. intelligence assessments have concluded that it continues to develop and maintain such weapons. And while Tehran may not yet have fully operational biological weapons, there is no doubt that it can produce them on short notice. Alan Goldsmith cautions Washington against ignoring the dangers these programs pose:

The Trump administration has rightly called out Iran for its continuing chemical-weapons activities. . . . The U.S. should also engage in vigorous diplomacy to encourage foreign governments to pay more attention to Iran’s chemical-warfare program. Further, if Washington has intelligence on Iranian chemical-weapons sites, it should consider seeking a “challenge inspection” of [these] sites by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons . . . and ask other countries to join in this request.

[In addition], Washington should better integrate [its assessment of the dangers of] Iran’s chemical and biological weapons into America’s [overall] policy on Iran. For example, the Trump administration has issued twelve demands on the Iranian regime as prerequisites for the end of U.S. sanctions and restoration of normal diplomatic relations. . . . The U.S. should [add] a thirteenth demand: a full accounting and dismantlement of Tehran’s chemical- and biological-weapons programs.

As the Syrian regime has shown in recent years, chemical weapons [can indeed cause] the mass destruction of human lives. The same holds true for biological weapons. It is past time for the U.S. and other responsible international actors to act with seriousness to ensure that Iran, one of the world’s worst rogue regimes, cannot use or threaten the use of such weapons to advance its malign agenda.

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Read more at United against Nuclear Iran

More about: Chemical weapons, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy

What Donald Trump Gets Right about Israel and the Arabs

Oct. 17 2019

With a brisk history of American policy toward the Jewish state, Michael Doran highlights the failure of those who have seen a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict as paramount to U.S. interests, and the success of those who have instead made a clear-eyed assessment of Middle Eastern geopolitics. Too often, writes Doran, “Israel’s conflict with the Arabs has functioned as a screen onto which outsiders project their own psychodramas”: a skewed perspective that led to the failed Oslo Accords and to the misguided condemnations of American moves like the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem. (Free registration required.)

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Read more at Foreign Affairs

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, US-Israel relations