|By John Branch, The San Antonio Express-News|
Iran on the Verge of a Diplomatic Triumph - David Frum
- The rulers of Iran stand on the verge of scoring a stunning diplomatic triumph over the U.S. Even more impressive: They did it all on bluff.
- A year ago, the rulers of Iran faced disaster. Their currency had lost 3/4 of its value, due in largest measure to the tough economic sanctions signed into law by President Obama at the beginning of 2012. Inflation was raging, unemployment was surging. And their most useful regional ally, Syria's Bashar al-Assad, seemed doomed.
- Today, the U.S. is coordinating bombing missions with Assad. Iran has obtained considerable sanctions relief. Its currency has strengthened, inflation has abated, and foreign trade and investment are reviving. The U.S. has progressively reduced its demands for nuclear limits on Iran.
- The New York Times reports that the Obama administration has retreated from the longstanding demand that Iran dismantle its nuclear centrifuges, allowing its nuclear-enrichment capacity to remain intact, marking the latest in a series of American climb-downs.
- On the present trajectory, any final agreement will leave Iran paused on the verge of nuclear-weapons capability - and this time, with the U.S. having signed away any non-military means of preventing Iran's final drive to complete a bomb.
- The U.S. - which began the nuclear talks from a position of strength - has acted throughout the negotiations like the weaker party. The U.S. visibly hungered for a deal, and Iran took advantage of that hunger.
Netanyahu to Obama: Don't Allow Iran @ Nuclear Threshold
- Matt Spetalnick
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told President Obama that he must make sure that any final nuclear deal with Iran does not leave it at the "threshold" of being able to develop nuclear weapons. "As you know, Mr. President, Iran seeks a deal that would lift the tough sanctions that you worked so hard to put in place and leave it as a threshold nuclear power," Netanyahu said. "I firmly hope under your leadership that would not happen."
Iran Is a Greater Threat than Islamic State - Melanie Phillips
- "To defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this week.
- It is perplexing that Iran is not being treated by the West as the threat that it so patently is, despite its serial atrocities against Western interests. In Britain, the main anxiety is not about a nuclear Iran but the possibility that Israel might attack it.
- This week the British home secretary, Theresa May, observed that "the lesson of history tells us that when our enemies say they want to attack us, they mean it." She was talking, however, not about Iran but about the Islamic State, which she described as planning to establish "the world's first truly terrorist state."
- But that's precisely what Iran already is. And if the Islamic State with its 25,000 followers is such a threat, why isn't Iran, with its standing army of more than half a million and its terror proxies, rocket arsenals and imminent genocide bomb, seen as immeasurably more dangerous?
- Iran is the world's principal terrorist regime. It is surely beyond irresponsible to allow it to become a nuclear-capable power.
- The alternatives for the U.S. and its allies are stark. Either they support Israel in fighting Iran as the principal enemy of the West - or they crumble before Iran and thus inescapably empower its attack on the West.