Israeli Security Leaders vs. the Pro-Strike Crowd
June 14, 2012 | Edited by Benjamin Loehrke and Leah Fae Cochran
Ex-Spy Chief: Don’t bomb Iran - Israel’s former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, continues to warn Israeli leaders against a military attack on Iran. However, Dagan also believes that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense minister Ehud barak are not bluffing in their support for an attack.
--"If Israel will attack, there is no doubt in my mind that this will also provide [Iran] with the justification to go ahead and move quickly to nuclear weapons," Dagan said. Jeffrey Goldberg has the story in The Atlantic. http://bit.ly/OCT8SC
Time to do what, exactly? - An extremely hawkish pro-Israel group, the Emergency Committee for Israel, released a new tv ad discounting efforts at diplomacy, knocking the president, and urging that “It’s time to act” against Iran. Buzzfeed has the story and the video.
--EW editors’ thoughts: ”Time to act” must be polling better than “Hey, let’s go to war again!” http://bit.ly/Kwnsk6
Obstructing a deal - Washington’s negotiating strategy with Iran is being driven to failure by congressional obstructionism and a poor understanding of what sanctions can achieve, writes Trita Parsi in The New York Times.
--To create the political space for talks to succeed, Parsi argues for lawmakers to: (1) Use sanctions to leverage concessions from Iran, and (2) Be realistic about what the sanctions can achieve - don’t expect regime change. http://nyti.ms/NzfExI
SSBNX CRS Report - “Navy Ohio Replacement (SSBN[X]) Ballistic Missile Submarine Program: Background and Issues for Congress” by Ronald O’Rourke. April 5, 2012. http://bit.ly/NAKF4k
USEC bailout -The Department of Energy is contributing $88 million to a recently privatized uranium enrichment company that has been struggling to develop new centrifuge technology. If the federal funding stream continues, taxpayers will be on the hook for 80% of the project’s $350 million research and development program.
--Critics like Rep. Ed Markey call this bailout a “total waste of taxpayer dollars.” Supporters of the bailout make the jobs argument and say the U.S. needs the program to develop domestic capabilities to produce tritium for use in nuclear weapons. Steven Mufson of The Washington Post has the story. http://wapo.st/LGYLOR
Quote - “This is a complex issue and we need to be patient but we're on the right track...Sometimes the process slows down and sometimes it accelerates but overall I'm optimistic about the final outcome," said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi during a news conference in Tehran with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Reuters has the rest of the story. http://reut.rs/NAOpml
Kristof in Iran - Nick Kristof of The New York Times writes of his recent trip in Iran, “while Iranians are far from monolithic, one feature was ubiquitous: the warmth of Iranians when they discovered I was American”.
--Since his last visit in 2004, he notes that Iranians are avoid criticizing the regime on the record. Iranians also face serious economic difficulties, in part due to sanctions. http://nyti.ms/NANTVz
Report - “Unleashing the Nuclear Watchdog: Strengthening and Reform of the IAEA” by Trevor Findlay.
--The IAEA is a “bargain for international peace and security,” writes Findlay. To strengthen it, “the Agency needs the renewed support of all its stakeholders, but especially its member states, in depoliticizing the Agency’s governing bodies; complying fully with their obligations; providing the organization with the necessary legal and other authorities; and contributing, in cash and kind, to all of the Agency’s activities.” http://bit.ly/MJ5YvJ
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