Tag Archives: nuclear negotiations

Sanctions lifted now, Iran? Think again

The world must have been hallucinating when the great powers announced that framework agreement with Iran that calls for the Iranians to scale back dramatically their nuclear development program.

Many of us out here thought for sure the economic sanctions on Iran would be lifted after the Iranians complied with each step of the agreement.

Now we hear from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that he wants the sanctions lifted before he puts his name on an agreement.


I must have been dreaming the agreement that was announced. How can the Iranian leader say with a straight face that the sanctions must go and then he’ll sign?

That’s how these things are supposed to go.

President Obama is facing a tough choice here. Does he stick with the agreement and try to talk Rouhani out of his nonsensical demand or does he possibly walk away from the deal?

Some on the right think he needs to walk away. Maybe, but not yet.

I think that the head of state of the world’s greatest military and economic power needs to tell Iran — through intermediaries, of course — that the sanctions are going to remain until the Iranians do what they’ve agreed to do. They’ve agreed to scale back their centrifuges and they’ve agreed to strict inspections from international observers.

If they comply with all they’ve agreed in principle to do, then the sanctions can come off.

Not before.



New sanctions against Iran? Now?

I make no apologies about my unwavering support for Israel in its struggle against the forces committed to its destruction.

Having visited the country and seen it up close over an extended period of time, I get that Israel must be on constant alert against its enemies.

However, it seems to me the speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, is playing a dangerous game of brinkmanship involving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He’s invited Netanyahu to speak to a joint congressional session on Feb. 11 to make the case that the United States should impose additional sanctions against Iran while it is in the middle of negotiations that seek to rid Iran of its ability to develop a nuclear weapon.


Isn’t it true that we have just one president of the United States?

Well, Barack Obama wants to complete the negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. He said he would veto any bill that piles on more sanctions against Iran — at this critical moment.

This is a difficult and dangerous gambit that Congress is playing.

Congressional leaders believe they’ve been left out of the negotiation process. So they’re going to interject themselves into this tumult by adding more sanctions against Iran.

Why now? Why not let diplomacy — which brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place — complete its task? If the negotiations fail, if Iran decides to proceed with its nuclear program — and threaten yet again to blow Israel to pieces — then all bets should be off.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday quoted an unidentified Israeli intelligence official as saying that adding sanctions “would be like throwing a grenade into the process.”

Speaker Boehner is having none of it. He wants to circumvent the White House by inviting Netanyahu — who’s got his own political troubles at home — to make his pitch for additional sanctions.

I totally understand Netanyahu’s perspective. His country has gone to war several times in the 67 years of its existence against nations that have vowed — and actually sought — to destroy Israel. Iran has threatened Israel directly many times since the Islamic Revolution overthrew the shah in 1979. The Israelis likely have plans drawn up already in case the need arises to launch a pre-emptive air strike against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

But we’re in the midst of a delegate negotiation that shouldn’t be rattled by additional sanctions that well could end these talks — and destroy any prospects for a potential binding settlement.