Dennis Ross, who was until recently President Obama’s principal adviser on the Middle East, says that we still have time and space to prevent the nuclearization of Iran, which he admits would represent an existential threat to our foremost ally in the region, as well as a significant security threat to the United States:
Why Iran wants nukes, by Ray Takeyh in the WaPo:
A clerical oligarchy trapped in a mind-set conditioned by conspiracies and violent xenophobia paradoxically views both American entreaties and sanctions as an affirmation of its perspective. Offers of diplomatic dialogue made in respectful terms are seen as indications of Western weakness and embolden the [...]
The USG finally finds a border worth respecting:
U.S. officials considered conducting a covert mission inside Iran to retrieve or destroy a stealth drone that crashed late last week, but ultimately concluded such a secret operation wasn’t worth the risk of provoking a more explosive clash with Tehran, a U.S. official said.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is apparently preparing for active hostilities, according to the UK Daily Telegraph:
An order from Gen Mohammed Ali Jaafari, the commander of the guards, raised the operational readiness status of the country’s forces, initiating preparations for potential external strikes and covert attacks.
Western intelligence officials said the Islamic Republic [...]
Tehran is in deep, public denial over implications that its nuclear program is being deliberately sabotaged:
On Monday, Isfahan residents reported a blast that shook tower blocks in the city at about 2.40pm and seeing a cloud of smoke rising over the nuclear facility on the edge of the city.
“This caused damage to [...]
While the rest of the world dithers over harshly worded memos and infinitesimally graded sanctions, ratcheted up ever so slightly, one at a time, the Iranian regime has been busily building up its weapons fabrication and delivery systems. And would have been busier still, were it not for one after another unfortunate mishaps. At [...]
The IAEA is looking into Iran’s nuclear program, concerned about the possibility that the mullahcracy is hedging on promises made when the country signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The leader of the free world, concerned about being seen as a leader of the free world, is again taking a back seat:
An imminent report [...]
Writing in the WSJ yesterday, Max Boot bewails our president’s insufficient engagement with the Iraqi government on the status of US forces remaining in theater after the 2011 draw-down deadline negotiated by his predecessor:
The recent negotiations were jinxed from the start by the insistence of State Department and Pentagon lawyers that any immunity [...]
We spent eight years, close to a trillion dollars, and the lives of 4000 US servicemen to change Iraq from a national security threat into a weakly functioning democracy in the Arab Middle East. At least 100,000 Iraqi citizens lost their lives in that transition. We had the opportunity to establish an toehold in [...]
SecDef goes on record to state that a grass roots revolution in Iran – a “Persian spring” – is only a matter of time:
Panetta, a former CIA director who took over the Pentagon’s top job in July, was asked on the Charlie Rose television show whether the Arab Spring might spread to non-Arab [...]