Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney put some space between himself and President Obama on Middle East policies by suggesting a return of U.S. troops to Iraq and drawing the “red line” for Iran around the fuzzy concept of nuclear “capability,” notes Adil E. Shamoo for Foreign Policy in Focus.
The Obama administration is hesitant to close a deal with Iran in the last weeks of Campaign 2012, but is eyeing a likely agreement if President Obama is reelected. Iran appears ready to accept a phase-down of its nuclear project for sanctions relief, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
Despite doubts from many quarters, President Obama appears to have backed down Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu from his demands for an explicit American “red line” to attack Iran’s nuclear program and from Netanyahu’s own suggestions of a unilateral Israeli bombing strike, writes Gareth Porter.
Word from Tehran and Washington is that the nuclear dispute might be resolved soon after the U.S. elections, assuming President Obama wins. But some American neocons are hoping that whatever the result on Nov. 6, they can hijack the sanctions policy for “regime change,” as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s gimmick of hoisting a crude drawing of a bomb to illustrate the alleged Iranian nuclear threat has prompted derision and has distracted from his claims about existential threats. But perhaps he was more interested in another kind of distraction, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.
The expectation at the annual UN General Assembly has been for Iran’s President Ahmadinejad to come across as wacky while the U.S. media lauds Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu for his seriousness, except that the script went differently this year, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett note at RaceForIran.com.
Exclusive: While Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was belligerent in tone at the UN, he signaled a retreat on substance, postponing his threatened attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. That suggests he is reading the U.S. polls and thinks he may have to deal with President Obama in a second term, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
President Obama has infuriated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by rejecting his demand for a “red line” on war with Iran if it achieves the “capability” to build a nuclear weapon. The clash has led Netanyahu to brazenly intervene in the U.S. election, but is that all that new, asks Lawrence Davidson.
In his swan song to the UN General Assembly, Iran’s term-limited President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is stirring up the usual media outrage with remarks on gays, freedom of speech and Israel. But the West still ignores a substantive Iranian proposal on uranium enrichment, writes Gareth Porter at Inter Press Service.
Tough-guy posturing in Washington continues to push the United States toward another collision course in the Middle East, as two politically motivated actions ratcheted up tensions with Iran. Ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar sees troubling parallels with the march of folly that led to war in Iraq.