The U.S. Has Won Its Latest Battle with Iran. But the War Isn’t Over

Jan. 14 2020

With the death of Qassem Suleimani, commander of the expeditionary wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Efraim Inbar considers what will come next:

Tehran realizes that the disappearance of Suleimani from the stage is a great loss and setback. He was a creative officer who understood the usefulness of proxies and a good organizer able to build a motley of proxy militias ready to fight for promoting Iranian interests. His charismatic leadership instilled motivation and esprit de corps. It will not be easy to replace quickly his skills, experience, and honed instincts.

But Iran’s most significant response [is its] declaration that it is lifting all limitations on uranium enrichment. . . . If Washington maintains economic pressure on Iran and makes additional demonstrations of limited use of force, Iran may change course and come to the negotiating table. This is what President Trump wants.

Renewed U.S.-Iran nuclear talks would be very problematic, because the Iranians are skilled and experienced at using negotiations to shield their nuclear program. Their patient negotiating skills are much better than those of the Europeans and the Americans, as evidenced by the nuclear agreement of 2015. The bitter truth is that the Iranian regime will not give up its quest for the bomb, which is its ultimate insurance policy. Only the physical destruction of Iranian nuclear installations will prevent an Iranian bomb.

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Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Donald Trump, Iran, Iran nuclear program, U.S. Foreign policy

Europe Dithers While Iran Enriches

Jan. 20 2020

In May, when Tehran announced that it would no longer abide by the limits set by the 2015 nuclear agreement on its enrichment of uranium, Europe found legal excuses not to react. When, earlier this month, the Islamic Republic went a step further, renouncing any limits on enrichment, the EU—led by France and Germany, both parties to the deal—at last initiated a formal process that might lead to the re-imposition of sanctions. Bobby Ghosh comments on the dangers of European apathy:

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Read more at Bloomberg

More about: European Union, France, Germany, Hassan Rouhani, Iran, Iran nuclear program