Writing on the front page of today’s New York Times, Scott Shane finally states what should have been obvious to anyone paying attention to the steady drumbeat from the war mongers over the last couple of years:
Echoes of the period leading up to the Iraq war in 2003 are unmistakable, igniting a familiar debate over whether journalists are overstating Iran’s progress toward a bomb.
Shane notes that this time, as opposed to 2003, the Obama administration is trying to calm the war rhetoric instead of inflaming it as the Bush administration did in 2003.
However, the the bellicose
Israel war lobby in the US Senate is more than willing to take up the cause of war as the only answer. A “bipartisan” group consisting of Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), James Risch (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Charles Schumer (D-NY) has penned a letter to President Obama, trying to take away the major negotiated settlement which could avert war. In the letter, they state:
Second, we believe it is absolutely essential that the United States and its partners make clear to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran that we intend to continue ratcheting up this pressure-through comprehensive implementation of existing sanctions as well as imposition of new measures-until there is a full and complete resolution of all components of illicit Iranian nuclear activities. This must include, at a minimum, the full, verifiable, and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities and heavy water-related activities, as required by multiple UN Security Council resolutions.
This is a pre-emptive strike by the
Israel war lobby in the Senate to prevent a negotiated settlement in which Iran suspends its work enriching uranium to the 20% level. From an editorial in today’s Washington Post:
In fact, it appears likely that Tehran perceives talks as an opportunity to undermine sanctions. Mr. Jalili’s letter referred to negotiations “based on step-by-step principles and reciprocity,” language that could describe a proposal originally put forward by Russia last year. Moscow outlined a sequence of steps in which Iran would receive relief from sanctions in exchange for incremental actions to satisfy the IAEA. Iran rejected the idea, but now the P5+1, urged on by the Obama administration, is discussing a modified version. Reportedly, it could grant some sanctions relief if Iran suspended only its higher-level enrichment of uranium, and surrendered material enriched to that 20 percent level.
Clearly, the war mongers in the Senate are demanding that sanctions be ratcheted up substantially, with complete capitulation by Iran being the only way to remove any sanctions. In other words, the Senate group is demanding that negotiations be structured in a way that they are doomed.