If Official Washington were a place where sanity prevailed and true American national interests were protected, there would be calls for cooperation with Iran to address the crisis in Iraq, but that would upset a big part of the neocon agenda, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.
In the face of sustained injustice, there is an understandable desire to detect hopeful signs of change, small victories that boost the spirits of those fighting to make things better. But those shimmers of hope can often prove to be mirages in the harsh geopolitical desert of the Middle East, warns Lawrence Davidson.
The Israeli government and the neocons have long felt they can dictate U.S. policy in the Mideast, including demands for military strikes against “enemies.” But President Obama’s push for diplomacy on Syria and Iran may be challenging that longstanding reality, writes Lawrence Davidson.
Israel, Saudi Arabia and other enemies of Iran hope to poison improved U.S.-Iranian relations by blocking sanctions relief for Iran, even at the cost of losing new restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, an emerging dilemma assessed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
With new Iranian leadership eager for détente, a negotiated settlement over its nuclear program is within reach. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears determined to torpedo an agreement and press ahead toward war, a prospect that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar addresses.
Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani renounced again any Iranian interest in building a nuclear weapon and proposed serious negotiations with the West. But the question remains: Will the Obama administration spurn Rouhani’s offer of an olive branch? ask Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.