Martin Kramer on the Middle East
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Martin Kramer on the Middle East
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Which will make peace, bomb Iran? | Martin Kramer

Which will make peace, bomb Iran? | Martin Kramer | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Jeff Goldberg: “Which candidate is better positioned to jump-start Mideast peace negotiations? If you guessed the one who already has a Nobel Peace Prize on his shelf, you guessed wrong. Which candidate is better prepared to confront Iran militarily? If you guessed the Republican with an aviary of national-security hawks working on his campaign, well, wrong again.” Speculation indulged here: http://goo.gl/8AyVs.

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Who Will Investigate The Leaks? by Elliott Abrams

Where are the calls for a special prosecutor to investigate the leak after leak coming from this White House on the most sensitive intelligence operations, leaks whose only thread is that they make the president look tough? Until a serious investigation is launched, these leaks will continue and the damage they do to American intelligence operations will continue to mount.

 

• Who Will Investigate The Leaks? by Elliott Abrams http://t.co/JrpTvcQ8

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We Are All Persian Grammarians Now by Sohrab Ahmari and James Kirchick

There is something deeply pernicious about the attempt to whitewash the grossly anti-Semitic ideology of Iran’s leadership—as if nitpicking over repeated mistranslations of one statement could exonerate Iran when nearly two dozen other choice utterances refer to Israel in eliminationist terms. Reasonable people can disagree about what should be done with respect to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but not about the overt hostility embedded in the Iranian leadership’s rhetoric on Israel.

 

• We Are All Persian Grammarians Now by Sohrab Ahmari and James Kirchick http://t.co/hvyBcQqD

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On Iran, We'll Probably Get Fooled Again by Bret Stephens

The regime in Tehran has treated the West the way a shark would a squid.

 

• On Iran, We'll Probably Get Fooled Again by Bret Stephens http://t.co/T4ccLZ8C

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Will Lebanon Help Iran Circumvent Sanctions? by Shimon Shapira

Will Lebanon Help Iran Circumvent Sanctions? by Shimon Shapira | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

The whole purpose of the missile arsenal Iran has built in Lebanon – numbering over fifty thousand missiles and rockets – is to deter Israel from attacking Iran. 

 

• Will Lebanon Help Iran Circumvent Sanctions? by Shimon Shapira http://t.co/il4CWgWl

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Israel and Iran: The Grounds for an Israeli Attack by Elliott Abrams

Israel and Iran: The Grounds for an Israeli Attack by Elliott Abrams | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

President Obama, like many world leaders, has called an Iranian nuclear weapon “unacceptable.” He is right, and that should remain the US position—not just that it would be a bad outcome, not just that we would be angered by it, but that we refuse to accept it and, as the president also once said, will prevent it. If we are unwilling to act, or to act soon enough, it should be our position that Israeli action is justifiable.

 

• Israel and Iran: The Grounds for an Israeli Attack by Elliott Abrams http://bit.ly/IUnA6c

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Israel's deep-sea dominance by Guy Bechor

Israel's deep-sea dominance by Guy Bechor | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

This is the significance of the submarines: Iran could theoretically strike Israel with missiles, yet it knows, according to foreign reports, that Tehran may pay an existential price. Even if Israel's offensive and defensive capabilities are destroyed, the blow against Iran shall arrive from the sea – and it will most certainly arrive. Once Israel will possess six submarines, and possibly more, it will signify Israeli control over a huge area.

 

• Israel's deep-sea dominance by Guy Bechor http://bit.ly/It4xzE

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Gary Sick, Discredited but Honored by Emanuele Ottolenghi (with update)

Gary Sick, Discredited but Honored by Emanuele Ottolenghi (with update) | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

The so-called "October Surprise" plot that briefly enthralled the American public twenty years ago is one of the most influential political conspiracy theories in U.S. history. Columbia professor and Carter administration Iran official Gary Sick has replied to my piece in the Spring 2012 issue of the Middle East Quarterly, in which I disputed his long-standing allegation that incoming Reagan administration figures persuaded the Iranians to hold U.S. hostages until after the 1980 election to ensure Carter's defeat.

 

• Gary Sick, Discredited but Honored by Emanuele Ottolenghi http://bit.ly/IJEc2t

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Netanyahu interview, Welt am Sonntag (English original)

Here is a simple fact that apparently has eluded Mister Grass: Israel doesn’t seek to destroy Iran, Iran seeks to destroy Israel and openly calls for it and works for it by building atomic bombs for that expressed purpose. What do we do with such statements? In every society you have extreme statements. A society is not judged by those statements but by how the leadership responds to them. And I think the fact that there was a broad condemnation by the leaders of Germany is important and positive. I am concerned that there is an undercurrent of support for this, at best it reflects a great ignorance on the facts that I have just put forward.

 

• Netanyahu interview, Welt am Sonntag (English original) http://bit.ly/JjiXmZ

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Back from the Threshold: The last chance for diplomacy to stop Iran by Michael Herzog

Back from the Threshold: The last chance for diplomacy to stop Iran by Michael Herzog | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

In any diplomatic solution, the P5+1 must insist on terms which will set the Iranians significantly back from their existing threshold capacity. These should include the cessation of uranium enrichment above 3.5%, the shipping out of Iran of any uranium enriched above 3.5%, the closure of the enrichment facility in Qom and the introduction of unfettered inspections. Under these terms Iran could be allowed to maintain limited 3.5% enrichment capacity and material in a well monitored site.

 

• Back from the Threshold: The last chance for diplomacy to stop Iran by Michael Herzog http://bit.ly/I358up

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The Talks With Iran by Elliott Abrams

The head of the U.S. delegation, Wendy Sherman, requested a private one-on-one meeting with the head of the Iranian delegation. As I write this, there are conflicting reports as to whether her request was accepted or rejected, but all accounts are very clear on one point: she was the one asking, not Saeed Jalili. This action ensures that the United States appears to Iran as a suitor, anxious for these talks to succeed– and apparently more anxious than is Iran.

 

• The Talks With Iran by Elliott Abrams http://on.cfr.org/HTJFoo

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Squandered leverage over Iran by Michael Singh

Rather than maintaining a narrow focus on closure of the Fordo plant and suspension of Iran’s program of highly enriched uranium, the United States should insist that Iran suspend all of its uranium enrichment activities, take steps to address International Atomic Energy Agency concerns about its nuclear work, including coming clean about its weaponization research, and submit to intrusive monitoring and verification.

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Graphic: How an Israeli pre-emptive attack on Iran could play out, National Post

Graphic: How an Israeli pre-emptive attack on Iran could play out, National Post | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

What would an Israeli first strike on Iran look like? The National Post graphics team takes a look.

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Latest Leak: Obama the Computer Warrior by Jonathan Tobin

Leaks like these can only add to the level of distrust the Israelis feel for the administration’s intentions on Iran. The administration’s effort to enhance its image via these stories is a poor substitute for a genuine commitment to do whatever it takes to end the nuclear threat that can’t be stopped by viruses alone.

 

• Latest Leak: Obama the Computer Warrior by Jonathan Tobin http://t.co/qtqWhOoL

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Is Iran Destroying Nuclear Evidence?by Jonathan Tobin

The possible destruction of evidence at Parchin is just one more indication that Iran’s negotiating strategy with the West is a ruse intended to create delays that will enable the regime to get closer to its nuclear goal. With the P5+1 talks scheduled to resume next month, this development ought to place even more pressure on President Obama and his European allies not to give in to Iranian demands for acquiescence to continuance of their nuclear project or the lifting of sanctions.

 

• Is Iran Destroying Nuclear Evidence?by Jonathan Tobin http://t.co/tL6TXuKl

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How Tehran is outflanking Obama by Michael Singh

How Tehran is outflanking Obama by Michael Singh | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

To change this and give negotiations a chance of succeeding, Iran must be presented with a different bargain: end its nuclear weapons work or face devastating consequences. Iran must be convinced that continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability will threaten, rather than ensure, the regime’s ultimate survival, and that talks are not a substitute for but a complement to a broader strategy, which includes ratcheting up the pressure on Tehran and bolstering the credibility of the U.S. military option.

 

• How Tehran is outflanking Obama  by Michael Singh http://t.co/YvAjwDR8

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Avoiding the Containment Trap with Iran by Michael Singh

Avoiding the Containment Trap with Iran by Michael Singh | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Any nuclear deal which stops short of fulfilling the U.N. Security Council's repeated demand for the full suspension of uranium enrichment by Iran, among other things, holds the possibility of eroding U.S. influence in the Middle East, undermining U.S. deterrence broadly, strengthening the Iranian regime, and damaging the integrity of the global nonproliferation regime. Washington tends to exaggerate the benefits of a deal with Iran, given the short lifespan of past agreements, and underestimate these long-term costs.

 

• Avoiding the Containment Trap with Iran by Michael Singh http://bit.ly/Jo7Ae5

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On Iran, it’s time for Obama to set clear lines for military action by Jamie Fly and Matthew Kroenig

A more reasonable set of red lines would include advances that would greatly shrink Iran’s dash time to a bomb, such as building additional covert facilities, installing advanced centrifuges at Natanz or Qom, maintaining larger stockpiles of low-enriched uranium, enriching beyond 20 percent, kicking out international inspectors, or conducting certain weaponization-related research. Clearly articulating the red lines that Iran cannot cross would place the last clear chance to avoid a confrontation squarely on its shoulders.

 

• On Iran, it’s time for Obama to set clear lines for military action by Jamie Fly and Matthew Kroenig http://wapo.st/JyRHoZ

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Rethinking Our Approach to Iran's Search for the Bomb by Anthony H. Cordesman

Rethinking Our Approach to Iran's Search for the Bomb by Anthony H. Cordesman | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Iran is building up a major long-range missile force as a way of both compensating for its conventional weakness, and deterring US and Southern Gulf pressure or escalation if Iran uses asymmetric forces. These missiles, however, are more terror weapons than serious forces as long as they are limited to conventional warheads. They have limited payloads of high explosives, poor accuracy, and low lethality compared to precision-guided bombs and air-to-surface missiles. Iran’s nuclear efforts make far greater sense when they are considered in this context.

 

• Rethinking Our Approach to Iran's Search for the Bomb by Anthony H. Cordesman http://bit.ly/KmgmwY

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Beware a Bad Deal with Tehran by Amos Yadlin and Yoel Guzansky

Beware a Bad Deal with Tehran by Amos Yadlin and Yoel Guzansky | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Israel would find it hard to live with a situation in which Iran could at any moment decide to break out toward rapid nuclear-weapons manufacturing thanks to an extensive nuclear infrastructure and a significant amount of enriched uranium. However, international recognition of the legitimacy of Iran’s nuclear capabilities would place Israel in a strategic dilemma. It would be difficult for Israel to justify any offensive move against these capabilities without support from America or important elements of the international community.

 

• Beware a Bad Deal with Tehran by Amos Yadlin and Yoel Guzansky http://bit.ly/KxNxZN

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Iran’s Missing Nuclear Fatwa by Lee Smith

Iran’s Missing Nuclear Fatwa by Lee Smith | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Has Iran’s Supreme Leader issued a fatwa prohibiting the manufacture and use of nuclear weapons? U.S. policymakers, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, seem to think so. They believe that such a fatwa, or religious ruling, may prove critical in negotiations to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions short of a bomb. Unfortunately, no one can find the fatwa. And even if it did exist, it would appear that it is nothing more than a ploy to sow confusion among Iranian adversaries—especially the United States.

 

• Iran’s Missing Nuclear Fatwa by Lee Smith http://bit.ly/InCWzo

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The bitter truth about Iran by Chuck Freilich

The bitter truth about Iran by Chuck Freilich | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

 Diplomacy and sanctions should be pursued during the coming months, while the window of opportunity for doing so still remains open. Ultimately, however, the choice will come down to one of two danger-fraught alternatives: living with a nuclear Iran through containment and deterrence, or military action. Whichever approach one favors, we owe it to ourselves to face up to this painful choice honestly.

 

• The bitter truth about Iran by Chuck Freilich http://bit.ly/JaQjq3

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Life in the Iranian-Kurdish village of Palangan, photos by Amos Chapple

Life in the Iranian-Kurdish village of Palangan, photos by Amos Chapple | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Amos Chapple is a New Zealand photographer with Lonely Planet. Over the winter he visited Iran's Kurdish region to photograph the near-vertical Palangan village.

 

• Life in the Iranian-Kurdish village of Palangan, photos by Amos Chapple http://bit.ly/HHz24E

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Sanctions or strike: Five Israeli experts weigh in on Iran, Israel Hayom

Sanctions or strike: Five Israeli experts weigh in on Iran, Israel Hayom | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

Israel Hayom hosts special discussion: Experts in Middle Eastern and international politics discuss the Iranian nuclear threat, whether Israel can trust the U.S. and whether the era of American deterrence in the region is over. Experts: Efraim Inbar, Eytan Gilboa, Joshua Teitelbaum, Ze'ev Maghen, Hillel Frisch.

 

• Sanctions or strike: Five Israeli experts weigh in on Iran, Israel Hayom http://bit.ly/IMb3C

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Iran: The Haggling Begins by Walter Russell Mead

Iran: The Haggling Begins by Walter Russell Mead | Martin Kramer on the Middle East | Scoop.it

If Iran can take Israel out of the military picture through playing for time at the negotiating table with the six powers handling the file (the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany), it will have gained some significant breathing space, and handed a significant political defeat to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

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