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.
If President Obama wins a second term, Iran is signaling it would be ready for improved relations with the United States and the West. One sign of that shift in attitude was the toned-down speech by Iran’s President Ahmadinejad at the UN, notes Danny Schechter.
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.
The Obama administration’s plan to remove a group of violent Iranian émigrés from the U.S. terror list suggests a readiness to pursue the-enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend strategy that put the United States on the side of Osama bin Laden and Islamic extremists in Afghanistan in the 1980s, says ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.
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.