Tag Archive for nuclear weapons

Squandering a Chance with Iran

President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Under pressure from hardliners in Congress and Israel, the Obama administration backed away from what could have been a historic agreement with Iran over limiting its nuclear program. Instead coercive diplomacy has become almost an end in itself, as Gareth Porter explains.

The Risks of No Iran-Nuke Deal

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks sith Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu about Iranian Nuclear Talks in Vienna. (State Department photo)

Facing Republican/neocon pressure, President Obama balked at a final deal with Iran over its nuclear program, extending talks but increasing chances that political forces in Iran might repudiate more moderate leaders favoring a deal, a risk that ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar says would not serve U.S. or Iranian interests.

Why JFK Still Matters

john-f-kennedy-35

Since John F. Kennedy’s death, there’s been little presidential rhetoric that was not either bombastic and self-serving – Reagan’s “tear down this wall” – or cringingly dishonest – Nixon’s “I am not a crook” or Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Which may be why JFK still inspires many, writes Beverly…

Will the Iran Deal-Wreckers Prevail?

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei sitting next to President Hassan Rouhani and addressing the cabinet.

Iran appears ready to sign an agreement tightly constraining its nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief, but neocons and other U.S. hardliners appear determined to wreck the deal, which could make Mideast tensions even worse, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Obama Slammed for Iran Outreach

President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

American neocons are furious that President Obama reportedly sent a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei apparently urging concessions on nuclear talks and referencing joint interests in combating Islamic State radicals, but the letter may reflect smart diplomacy, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Israel Tests the Bounds of Its US Clout

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own "red line" on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

Israeli resistance to deals on Palestinian peace and Iran’s nuclear program has strained U.S.-Israeli relations and will test if Congress is more loyal to Prime Minister Netanyahu or President Obama. But the tension underscores a deeper division between the two countries, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Russia’s Key Role in Iran-Nuke Deal

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani talks by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 18, 2013, discussing developments in the talks between Tehran and the world powers as well as ways to end the bloodshed in Syria. (Iranian government photo)

Though the Ukraine crisis drove a wedge between Presidents Obama and Putin, their cooperation remains crucial to a negotiated agreement to constrain but not end Iran’s nuclear program, as Gareth Porter makes clear in reporting on a possible breakthrough for Inter Press Service.

Neocon Sabotage of Iran-Nuke Deal

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

Congressional neocons are determined to sink negotiations to constrain but not end Iran’s nuclear program – all the better to get on with bombing Iran at the heart of their agenda. They are now disguising their sabotage as a constitutional argument, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

A Mysterious Iran-Nuke Document

Yukiya Amano, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, speaking to the United Nations

A mysterious document has been used for a half dozen years to derail nuclear talks with Iran, but its origins remain dubious and one expert says it’s been used to take international inspectors “for a ride,” as Gareth Porter reports for Inter Press Service.

Unshackling US-Iran Policy from Distrust

An Iranian man holding a photo of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

The neocons still hope that by torpedoing a deal restricting Iran’s nuclear program that they can open a route to “bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” – one of Israel’s longstanding priorities. But such a course could make a bad situation in the Middle East worse, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.