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A Bulwark piece about the attacks on Iran’s nuclear facilities speculates that it was the work of Israel, the US, or the awesome Avengers Assemble! combo of both countries’ forces. The Bulwark writer says:
As the New York Times reported last week, they apparently are the result of joint U.S.-Israeli operations designed to set back Iran’s nuclear and military programs. They come following Iran’s lack of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which passed a resolution last month calling out Iran on this problem.
I share your astonishment that the resolution did not accomplish anything – I mean, they called them out. Surely a few Mullahs retired to their private chamber to have a good hot sob over the humiliation. Gosh darn it, we’re doing our best not to make nuclear weapons, but it’s hard! Can you give a guy a break?
Iran seems to be banking on a Joe Biden victory in November. After all, not only was Biden part of the administration that negotiated the deal, but he pushed wary Senate Democrats to approve of it and even bragged about the deal in his primary campaign ads. His longtime aid and likely national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, was a key negotiator in the talks leading up to the JCPOA.
So with the prospect in sight of the United States returning to the JCPOA and lifting the sanctions, the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government in Israel are apparently trying to set back Iran’s capabilities while they have the chance.
True. Also, vote Biden! Because Trump. Here comes the reasoned analysis:
But all parties might be mistaken. Whoever wins in November will have unprecedented leverage over Iran. The regime’s popularity is at an all-time low—one recent defector has suggested that it is in single digits, according to internal estimates.
Iran’s economy is in free fall—both because of the U.S. sanctions and the incompetence and corruption of the regime’s leaders. The regime’s handling of the pandemic has been catastrophic, with over 200 daily deaths. And the people are only blaming the regime for their problems, not any foreign power.
It is difficult to see the Biden administration not take advantage of the situation for a more favorable agreement, especially as the U.N.-imposed arms embargo will soon expire under the terms of the resolution that adopted the JCPOA.
A Biden administration will embolden all those Iran hawks on the left who are champing at the bit, eager to craft a new deal on the harshest possible terms. That’s why they’re Democrats! Unsparing advocates of American interests! This time they won’t be kneecapped by Obama’s negotiators, no sir – like sharks who can detect a minute particle of blood in the vast ocean, they will bore in hard, and place stern restrictions on Iran’s missile program, prohibiting them from testing ICBMs until 2039.
It’s brilliant strategy: wait until your foe is on the ropes, then stop your barrage, help him back to his corner, daub some Vaseline on the cuts, and ask that the next round be postponed until your adversary is feeling better. The writer admits that diplomacy hasn’t really been the bee’s knees:
Four decades of Western engagement with Iran has failed to modify the regime’s behavior, internally or externally. Even the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement failed to change Iran’s behavior outside of its nuclear program.
Imagine that. Even the Obama administration’s nuclear agreement failed to change Iran’s behavior outside of its nuclear program. Complete shock, that. Also, it failed to change Iran’s behavior inside of its nuclear program, but c’mon, we had a framework. We had a process. We had a dialogue.
You know what has worked? Making a lot of bad stuff in the hands of some bad people blow up. But that’s not how you make partners in a process that makes a framework for dialogue.
Question for the Biden voters here: do you think the institutional anti-semitism of the left – I’m sorry, the anti-Zionist sentiment, totally different thing – will have an impact on Biden’s ability to take a stance on international security and non-proliferation that also aligns with Israel’s interests?Published in