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Former Senior U.S. Diplomats Propose Solution to Iran-American Conflict, Former Mossad Chief Says Toppling Syria Might End Iran Nuke Threat

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{ 11 comments… add one }

  • AA February 8, 2012, 12:36 AM

    Tom Pickering is a brilliant technocrat. His plan is starry-eyed naive fake diplomacy.

    Iran wants to tease and taunt. Israel wants to brag and rattle weapons. Obama wants to look like the tough guy.

    …and now along comes this wide-eyed fellow and says, ‘Come on, guys, can’t we all just get along?! Uh, yeah!

    The fearmongering is the objective, silly boy.

  • pabelmont February 8, 2012, 7:49 AM

    I love the idea that Iran would achieve the treasured goal of normalized relations with the USA (ho hum) at the cost of supporting the USA in Iraq and Afghanistan. What a deal! (And, as you mention, nothing there about Palestine). Dear Iran: abandon your friends and the USA will to a small extent remove itself from your list of enemies.

  • Denis February 8, 2012, 10:20 AM

    These pollyanna approaches are entertaining because they are examples of creative thinking, and, who knows?, they may be right. So what? All these guys are doing is stroking their own egos by showing the world they are clever enough to dream up creative solutions to difficult problems. Being right or creative or optimistic is irrelevant. This is not like dreaming up ways to cure cancer where you can go into the lab and test your ideas.

    Go back over the last 3000 years and tell me when was the last time Jews, Arabs, Palestinians, Persians, Bedouins, et al. all sat down and discussed what is best for the Middle East and each of them agreed to give up something for the common weal. The only way to resolve conflicts between these squabbling people is for some external force like the Ottoman’s to sit on them and force them to get along with each other. Once they are forced to get along, some beautiful things can happen.

    @Richard: “Also, the U.S. will have to promise to bring Israel into the NPT and to lobby intensively for a Middle East nuclear free zone. Only the U.S. can compel Israel to do this. Otherwise, it won’t happen.”

    Regretfully, I could not disagree more. There is no conceivable threat or incentive by which the US could now force Israel into the NPT or to give up its nukes anymore than Kennedy could make good on his demand that Israel not acquire nukes. This will not happen in our lifetime anyway, and certainly not by Omama, who has turned out to be a total loser in this area.

    Why do I say this? Example: On Oct09.1973, having lost 500 tanks and 50 aircraft to the Egyptians, Meir threatened Nixon and Kissinger via Ambassador Simcha Dinitz that if the US didn’t jump in and help turn the tide, she would nuke Cairo. This nuke threat, whether stated or implied, based on Israel’s “existential prerogative at all costs” is referred to as the Samson Option.

    IOW, Israel doesn’t have to drop nukes to use them. They know that. But they’ve got no Samson Option if they’ve got no nukes. There is no conceivable circumstance under which Israel would give up its nukes or allow inspections. It is as much a rouge nuclear power as N. Korea.

    In the nuclear context, Moshe Dayan said “Israel must be like a mad dog — too dangerous to bother.” It is this attitude, which is stronger today than ever, that makes the pollyanna-thinking of Pickering and Luers entertaining but borderline delusional. I am sorry to say.

  • PersianAdvocate February 8, 2012, 4:56 PM

    Halevy’s is a confession, “We are willing to kill millions of innocent Iranians in a Persian Genocide to retain Israeli hegemony over all by way of FORCE”.

    Syria’s regime change will solve the Iranian “nuclear problem” indeed…

    • Richard Silverstein February 8, 2012, 6:13 PM

      To be clear, Halevy does not support war against Iran. He wants to contain Iran short of war. His methods of containment may be suspect, but he’s not one of the blood thirsty.

  • Michael Shepard February 8, 2012, 6:01 PM

    The comparison to China 1972 does not fit the situation. The Chinese knew that the US was in a geo strategic competition with USSR, and found entertaining the idea that it could be part of a triangle that scared Russia, and also got back tangible rewards from the US. China had a political ideology, but not a religious one; like the Vietnamese, except for a distaste for our colonial and murderous habits, the Chinese wanted to like us.

    China already had its nuclear weapons and a very formidable military. Mao got a lot more out of Nixon than Nixon got out of Mao, and Nixon knew it and accepted it. We just knew it was time to do business with the Chinese.

    Iran is in the middle of a struggle over the destiny of the region. There are religious differences, cultural differences that matter. Imagine if, in 1972, Nixon had suggested that he planned to put nuclear weapons in Taiwan, and allow Taiwan to dictate the rules of the Pacific. Israel is Iran’s Taiwan. And we all know that Nixon told Mao that Taiwan was out; he was going with the PRC. No US president is going to tell Israel that its status is going to be degraded because of the importance of Iran.

    Egypt was once in the position that Iran is now. It had a choice, and it chose the US plan, and it got 2 billion a year from that point on (1978) and it neutered itself as a regional player. Now, the regime is discredited, the country is utterly broke –except for the US contribution — and it has no influence in the region it once dominated. Who in Egypt would say that it made a good deal?

    So why would Iran humble itself, as Egypt did? To avoid getting hit by Israeli planes? You remember how many men they threw into battle with Saddam Hussein? Iran aint backing down.

  • Kalea February 8, 2012, 7:31 PM

    Nice dream. Remove (yet). Israel is what it is.

  • editorsteve February 8, 2012, 7:54 PM

    Minor point, but where did the idea that 20% enrichment is necessary for a civilian nuclear industry come from? Reactor fuel is generally only 3% U235. A few medical isotopes are so short-lived that they can most easily be made in quantity by decay from uranium or high-flux bombardment by uranium fission products — hence 20% enrichment need — but these things are maybe 0.01% of what a nuclear “industry” is all about. Even in the USA, there are few sites doing this, and materials are routinely flown 2000 miles or more for use, despite short half-lives. Most experiments use easier neutron sources, etc.

    Iran’s insistence that 20% enrichment is vital is one of the issues that make the UN/IAEA nervous about Iran’s nuclear program. To get 10 pounds of bomb-grade 90% enriched uranium, you need only start with less than 50 pounds pounds of 20% enriched stuff. You’d need to start with 3,000 pounds of natural uranium or 300 pounds of 3%-enriched reactor fuel.

  • Simone February 9, 2012, 1:38 PM

    Israel is not interested in “Hegemony” over the Middle East. That is a l i e, pure and simple. It was Iran which started threatened and is still threatening to wipe out Israel by using nuclear weapons.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2097252/Kill-Jews-annihilate-Israel-Irans-supreme-leader-lays-legal-religious-justification-attack.html

    • Richard Silverstein February 9, 2012, 1:55 PM

      British Tory tabloids are not my idea of credible sources when it comes to Iran or any other subject. As for hegemony, ever since Jabotinsky Israel has sought dominance in the region especially in its own sphere of influence. It has sought to dominate all the front line states and any other state that threatens it in any way. This is so elementary a concept as to be beyond dispute to anyone with eye’s in their head that aren’t blocked by smudged pro-Israel glasses.

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