Iran

While Obama dithered, Iran profited

Featured image If one headline summarizes 2014, it’s the title of this post (I say so in all modesty). It is a multi-purpose headline — one that applies, at a minimum, to Iraq, Syria, and Iran itself. When it comes to Iraq, no one has stated the facts more clearly than James Jeffrey, who served under President Obama as the U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2010-2012. Here, via the Washington Post, is »

Obama, Cuba and Iran

Featured image In his regular Wednesday email to subscribers (you can subscribe at no cost here), the Weekly Standard’s Jonathan Last draws attention to Allahpundit’s December 18 Hot Air post “White House aides: Obama feels liberated and ready to be the president he always wanted to be.” Allahpunit takes up the implications of the Obama administration’s thawing of relations with Cuba in the context of the administration’s ongoing negotiations with Iran. Submitted »

Assad and ISIS are 2014′s biggest winners, thanks in part to Obama

Featured image During the next few days, pundits will be designating their “winners and losers” of 2014. There can be little doubt about the year’s two biggest winners. Clearly, they are Bashar al-Assad and ISIS. Third place goes to Iran, which finds itself in greatly improved economic shape and within striking distance of becoming a nuclear power. But that’s nothing compared to Assad’s remarkable, turnaround year. As Seth Mandel, quoting NPR, reminds »

Oil, Oil, Toil and Trouble (Update 4)

Featured image There’s a mountain of economic research that suggests predatory pricing, the alleged sin of Standard Oil way back in the Rockefeller “robber baron” days more than a century ago, really doesn’t work, as the predator won’t recoup monopoly gains to make up the loss of profit during the period of predation—the more so the longer the period of price cutting takes. The Saudis likely know this, which suggests their decision »

Castro brothers join line of anti-American tyrants to receive Obama’s largess

Featured image You knew this was coming, right? You knew that, with all of the national elections that will take place during his presidency behind him, Barack Obama would do everything in his power — broadly defined — to assist the Castro regime. President Obama was a good friend to Mohammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s man in Egypt. He has made nice with the mullahs in Iran, bailing their country out of »

What’s the common thread in Obama’s anti-ISIS campaign? Acquiescence to Iran

Featured image How goes the Obama administration’s campaign to “degrade and destroy” ISIS? Badly, according to Max Boot. In Iraq, there have been a few modest successes. But Obama refuses to provide direct support to Sunnis in Anbar and Nineveh provinces, and the Iraqi government, still strongly influenced by Iran, will not supply arms and equipment either. The folly of Obama’s policy in Iraq is self-evident. He relies on proxy forces to »

Questions that perplex Biden

Featured image Following up on the adjacent post, I want to note that Vice President Biden keynoted the Saban Forum conference in Washington this past Sunday afternoon. The Saban Forum is an annual event including American and Israeli leaders from across the political and social spectrum, organized by Haim Saban and the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. The White House has posted the text of Biden’s remarks here. »

Iran caught cheating

Featured image Yesterday morning the Israel Project’s Omri Ceren wrote us to point out Colum Lynch’s Foreign Policy scoop: The Iranians got caught trying to buy parts for their plutonium-producing reactor at Arak. “Remember that when the Iranians cheat,” Omri wrote, “they have two goals in mind.” He elaborated: (1) Most obviously, cheating advances their nuclear program. (2) More subtly, cheating shifts the leverage in negotiations to the Iranian side. #1 is »

U.S. Sanctions against Iran? What’s that about?

Featured image As John has noted, the Obama administration is contemplating the imposition of sanctions on Israel as a response to new settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. So says Haaretz, a reliable Israeli source. When asked about this report, White House press secretary Josh Ernest did not deny it. Neither did the State Department’s spokesperson Marie Harf. At a minimum, then, President Obama wants Israel to believe that »

Clearing my spindle, Iran edition

Featured image I take it that the mullahs who run the show in Iran have been pursuing nuclear warheads to hitch to ballistic missiles for about as long as the regime as been in business. They have sacrificed much in pursuit of their goals and they are within shouting distance of success, mostly minus whatever sacrifice imposed by the sanctions crafted by Congress against the will of the Obama administration. Watching the »

Do sanctions against Iran matter?

Featured image Daniel Pipes argues that the debate over sanctions against Iran, and thus over the P5+1 negotiations, is “peripheral and even diversionary.” He reasons that “the apocalyptically minded Iranian leadership will do everything it can to acquire the Bomb,” and therefore “economic sanctions only serve to slow its course, not to stop” the Iranian nuclear weapons program. For Pipes, all that really matters is whether some government will use force to »

Iran’s win-win

Featured image The deadline for reaching a deal with Iran over its nuclear program expires today without the parties having reached a negotiated agreement. The negotiating period will be extended until July 1 of next year. This development is being reported as “no deal,” but there actually is a deal of sorts here. According to the British foreign secretary, Iran will receive about $700 million per month in frozen assets. In exchange, »

They’ve got a secret

Featured image The latest report from the nuclear negotiations with Iran indicates that they are likely to be extended. The deadline is Monday and “big gaps” remain, despite the Western powers’ strenuous efforts to surrender. Omri Ceren emails a status update suggesting that the negotiations have descended into a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham. Omri’s message expands on »

What happens if we dont reach a nuclear deal with Iran?

Featured image If, as seems likely given that the mullahs have already gotten so much of what they want from the West, no nuclear deal is reached with Iran by the upcoming deadline, what happens then? Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies considered the question in a column for the Wall Street Journal. They discuss five scenarios. First, the U.S. might give up on diplomacy »

The odds are against a nuclear deal with Iran, thankfully

Featured image The Washington Post reports that, as the “deadline” for a nuclear deal with Iran approaches, there is major doubt about whether such a deal can be reached. Michael Ledeen shares that doubt. Michael reasons that, although Obama wants a deal for the usual, narcissistic reasons, “Supreme Leader” Khamenei does not want one. Iran’s economy is doing well enough now that sanctions regime has started to crumble. Why come to terms »

For the Iranian regime, Obama’s the one

Featured image The Iranian regime has always had a pretty good handle on American politics. In 1979-81, it realized that Jimmy Carter was a pushover and that Ronald Reagan meant business. Hence the release of the American hostages immediately after Reagan took office. In 2003-04, the regime realized that George W. Bush meant business. Hence its apparent temporary backing off of its nuclear weapons development program. Soon thereafter, however, the regime saw »

Iranian fantasia

Featured image This past May the Times of Israel reported on a Persian-language animated video that depicts a nuclear attack on Israel. According to the Times of Israel article, the video is called “The Rachel Corrie Message 2: The Point of No Return” and it shows an Iranian reprisal for a failed Israeli nuclear attack on Iran. The Times of Israel article describes the video and provides some useful background. The wish »