US Opinion and Commentary

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The U.S.-Iran Conflict that Never Happened

Posted January 20th, 2016 at 4:08 pm (UTC-4)
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Cruz and many Republicans … see an enfeebled United States fecklessly pursuing rapprochement with an appeased and emboldened enemy. Obama, in contrast, dwells in his public statements less on what happened in recent days than on what could have happened and what could yet happen.

Peril and Opportunity: The Nuclear Deal and the Expansion of Iranian Influence

Posted September 10th, 2015 at 12:13 pm (UTC-4)
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The U.S. needs a strategic partner in the region that is not a non-state actor, and with the rise of ISIS, Iran is seemingly the only regional player with enough vested interests to ensure a lasting presence to combat the growing threat. Prior to the signing of the nuclear deal, the U.S. and Iran demonstrated a mutual interest, defeating ISIS. The deal strengthens this partnership by giving Iran what it wanted, a nuclear program, and what the U.S. needed- a strong regional player.

Iran Deal Features Defense Backstop

Posted September 7th, 2015 at 11:21 am (UTC-4)
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By US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter   Today, the Iran deal provides the opportunity to address an even greater nuclear threat. Congress should support it because, once implemented, the deal will remove a critical source of risk and uncertainty in a vitally important but tumultuous region.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Iran Nuke Deal

Posted September 4th, 2015 at 10:00 am (UTC-4)
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From an op-ed published in USA Today on Sept. 7, 2015
“On Iran, the deal will prevent that nation from getting a nuclear weapon in a comprehensive and verifiable way…. The military option is real today and, as Secretary of Defense, I will be sure that remains true well into the future.”

With Nuke Deal in Hand, Obama Urged to Reassert US Presence in Mideast

Posted September 2nd, 2015 at 3:12 pm (UTC-4)
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The vote counting on Congressional approval of the nuclear deal with Iran is over. When Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) announced her support for the deal Wednesday, it gave President Obama enough support to ensure the plan could not be stopped by Congress. Six years ago, Obama won the White House by promising to get the United States out of the Middle East. His legacy with the Iran nuclear deal puts the U.S. at the center of what could be a new world order.

The Sources of Opposition to the Iran Agreement

Posted July 28th, 2015 at 11:39 am (UTC-4)
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If the current debate were being conducted solely on the merits of the agreement, the outcome would be almost a no-brainer; the agreement is obviously much better than the alternative of killing the agreement … And yet the agreement’s political fate on Capitol Hill does not reflect that.

Obama Presents a False Dichotomy on Iran

Posted July 24th, 2015 at 1:54 pm (UTC-4)
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President Obama and his supporters have done a terrific job of framing the debate over the Iran nuclear agreement as a choice between taking the deal or opting for war … This is a superb debating technique, and it has put critics on the defensive. But it is a false dichotomy.

Parsing the Iran Deal

Posted July 15th, 2015 at 3:23 pm (UTC-4)
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A full court press is on from all perspectives of the Iran nuclear deal. President Obama held a news conference Wednesday and sent Vice President Biden to Capitol Hill to try to gain supporters for the deal. Republican criticism of the deal continues and some Democrats are voicing concerns, if not outright rejection. Most Democrats are holding their opinions until they see all the deal’s details. Many are already finding devils within those details.

How Iran’s Economic Gain from a Nuclear Deal Might Affect Its Foreign Policy

Posted July 13th, 2015 at 1:02 pm (UTC-4)
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In 2013, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimated that the United States had $3.6 trillion in unmet infrastructure needs, equal to 25% of its GDP … (Iran) is certainly adding infrastructure at a faster pace — it is building more subways and high-speed roads than the United States, in a much smaller territory.

Overtime in Vienna

Posted July 10th, 2015 at 1:31 pm (UTC-4)
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Talks between the P5+1 and Iran are now in quadruple overtime. The original deadline of June 30 to reach a comprehensive nuclear weapons deal has been extended for the third time on Friday. The British Foreign Secretary says progress is being made, but “it’s painfully slow.” US Secretary of State John Kerry said “we will not rush and we will not be rushed” into an agreement. With the world hanging on every drop of information, many have taken to reading the tea leaves from Vienna.

Why the Iran Endgame is So Tortuous

Posted July 9th, 2015 at 2:39 pm (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin Successful diplomacy requires an astute mix of psychology and substance. The past few days of Iran nuclear negotiations have featured plenty of both, with long sessions devoted to arcane technical issues interrupted by raised voices and threats to walk away rather than accept an agreement that does not meet respective bottom lines. […]

Endgame in the Iran Negotiations: The Choice Is Tehran’s

Posted June 10th, 2015 at 9:53 am (UTC-4)
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If negotiations are to be brought to a successful conclusion, Supreme Leader Khamenei must decide that he wants an agreement…

Europeans Do Heavy Lifting on Iran Nuclear Negotiations

Posted May 27th, 2015 at 11:16 am (UTC-4)
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Ambassadors to the US from France, Germany and the United Kingdom said none of their governments were about to accept a bad deal with Iran, but one which would relieve sanctions gradually in return for verifiable curbs on the Iranian nuclear program.

The Fate of the Iran Deal in Congress

Posted May 8th, 2015 at 12:36 pm (UTC-4)
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The best thing that can be said about the 98-1 Senate vote approving Iran-related legislation on Thursday was that it did not make a flawed bill any worse.

‘When a Nation Is Threatened, Democracy Is an Impossible Dream’

Posted May 7th, 2015 at 1:15 pm (UTC-4)
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Obama’s openings to Iran and Cuba could make plain that U.S. military and economic aggression damages rather than empowers people struggling for freedom.