Iran's Sequel to North Korea's Nuclear Playbook - Claudia Rosett (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
North Korea offers Iran a prime example of how a rogue state can parlay nuclear climbdown deals into time and opportunity to cheat - reaping benefits while still working toward nuclear weapons.
Having cheated its way through a series of deals going all the way back to the nuclear freeze of the 1994 Agreed Framework under President Clinton, North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un appears to be honing his nuclear weapons program.
Since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution, North Korea has been one of Iran's closest allies. At the UN General Assembly just last week, a North Korean diplomat called Israel a "cancer" in the Middle East - reading from Iran's diplomatic script.
Given North Korea's long entanglement with Iran, U.S. negotiators need to recognize that Iran's nuclear projects may not stop at Iran's borders.
In 1985 Iran's new president Hassan Rouhani began a six-year stint as Commander of Iran's Air Defense Force; during that same period, North Korea began supplying Iran with weapons, including knock-offs of Soviet Scud missiles.
The writer is journalist-in-residence with the FDD.
Israel Protecting the West Against Iranian Nuclear Threat - Davis Lewin (Henry Jackson Society)
Netanyahu's Israel now stands as a small, unfairly burdened but potently consequential last straw between our own security and Tehran terrorizing us with nuclear weapons for generations to come.
Israel alone now carries the mantle of history as the guarantor of our truly credible red lines.
It was the credibility of Israel alone that got effective sanctions installed. It was Netanyahu's credible red line - much made fun of when he literally drew it from the UN podium a year ago - that focused President Obama's and every other mind.
The writer is political director of the Henry Jackson Society.
Report: Syria to Station Aircraft in Iran - Eli Leon (Israel Hayom)
Syria has signed an agreement with Iran to station its jets there to protect them, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported Sunday.
German intelligence sources said the deal was signed in November 2012, and Syria has already transferred aircraft to Iran.
"Defensible Borders" Saved Israel in Yom Kippur War - Efraim Inbar (Jerusalem Post)
One important factor that led to the IDF's recuperation after the initial surprise of the Yom Kippur War in 1973 was the fact that the fighting started at defensible borders and not in proximity to Israel's heartland.
The "1967 borders" could have hardly allowed the IDF to regroup and counterattack.
This is an important lesson for the future that seems to have been internalized by a significant part of Israel's decision-makers.
The writer is director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University.
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- Kerry Appears to Reject Iran's Call for New Nuclear Proposal - Anne Gearan
Warming relations between the U.S. and Iran do not mean that the U.S. will back off its demands about Iran's nuclear program or roll back missile defenses in Europe aimed at intercepting an Iranian attack, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif was quoted in state media Sunday as saying that the U.S. should bring new proposals to a nuclear bargaining session next week.
Kerry appeared to reject that, saying Iran still hasn't responded to the last offer put forth in February by the U.S., Russia and others. It's too early to say whether the thaw begun at the UN last month will lead to a change in U.S. policy, Kerry said.
- Egyptian Attacks Are Escalating Amid Stalemate - David D. Kirkpatrick
The lethal conflict between Egypt's military-backed government and its Islamist opponents has escalated with an expansion of attacks against government targets.
A rocket-propelled grenade tore a foot-wide hole in a satellite-transmission dish in the affluent Cairo neighborhood of Maadi, a heavily guarded precinct that is home to many embassies and diplomats.
The violence was the latest evidence that the new government installed on July 3 by Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi had failed to neutralize the Islamist opposition.
(New York Times)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- IDF Arrests Two Palestinians in Psagot Attack - Yaakov Lappin
The IDF arrested two Palestinians from the West Bank town of al-Birah on Tuesday for the attack
on Saturday night that wounded a nine-year-old Israeli girl in Psagot. (Jerusalem Post)
- Largest Funeral in Israel's History for Former Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef - Daniel K. Eisenbud
At least 800,000 Israelis attended the funeral in Jerusalem of former Sephardi chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who died Monday at age 93. (Jerusalem Post)
- Steinitz: Iranian Economy 18 Months Away from Collapse - Herb Keinon
The Iranian economy is 18 months away from collapse, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Monday.
He said international sanctions have caused about $100 billion in damage to Iran's economy. In addition, inflation in Iran is currently 40% a year and unemployment is 25-30%. The rial, Iran's currency, has been devalued by 180%, and the country has a negative economic growth of 5.4%.
- Rouhani Has Revealed His True Nuclear Intentions - Jeffrey Goldberg
The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, the putative moderate on whose shoulders great American hopes have been placed, is proud of the work he did to advance his country's nuclear program - and also of his efforts to stymie Western attempts to stop that work.
In May, shortly before he was elected, Rouhani appeared on state-run IRIB TV: "We halted the nuclear program?" he asked, rhetorically. "We were the ones to complete it! We completed the technology."
These are not the words of someone who wants to end Iran's nuclear program. Rouhani's statements sound like those of a man who is proud of the program and believes he may have devised a way to carry it to completion. (Bloomberg)
See also Video: Rouhani Tells Iranian TV How He Broke Nuclear Pledge (Times of Israel)
- U.S. Should Hold Firm in Iranian Nuke Talks - Michael Singh
The charming self-assurance projected by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani masks a desperate need to make a deal. U.S. military credibility may be at low ebb, but Iran cannot discount U.S. and Israeli military threats. An attack by either would not only set back Iran's nuclear efforts, but would expose the weakness of its military and the hollowness of its bombastic rhetoric.
Rouhani will surely seek to alleviate Iran's suffering at the minimum price to its nuclear options. But a limited nuclear agreement that leaves Iranian capabilities in place, even if subject to enhanced inspections, will not build confidence or stability.
Furthermore, an agreement that leaves Iran's nuclear fuel fabrication capabilities and weaponization research program in place will permit Tehran in the future to expel inspectors and resume its march toward nuclear weapons, as North Korea did.
Avoiding this risk will require an agreement that rolls back rather than simply halts the progress of Iran's nuclear program. Negotiating such an agreement will require a stiff spine from the Obama administration; the U.S. may need to increase the pressure on Iran even further and defer hopes of rapprochement until a sustainable nuclear accord is concluded. The writer is managing director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
- How Not to Negotiate with Iran - Bret Stephens
Iran lies and prevaricates - about the breadth of its nuclear programs; about their purpose; about the quality of its cooperation with UN nuclear watchdogs; about its record of sponsoring terrorism from Argentina to Bulgaria to Washington, D.C.; about its efforts to topple Arab governments (Bahrain) or colonize them (Lebanon); about its role in the butchery of Syria; about its official attitude toward the Holocaust.
How should the U.S. negotiate? Mark Dubowitz from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who helped design some of the most effective sanctions against Iran, offered this:
"Effective on October 16, any financial institution providing Iran with access to, or use of, its overseas financial reserves for any purpose with the exception of permissible humanitarian trade will be cut off from the U.S. financial system." The idea is to push forward Iran's "economic cripple date" ahead of its "undetectable breakout date" - the moment when the regime can build a bomb in secret before the West can stop it.
(Wall Street Journal)
- The Ayatollahs Will Not Give Up Iran's Nuclear Program - Zvi Mazel
The Iranian regime is based on the legacy of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who launched the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, set down its principles and passed them to his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The two main points of that legacy are first, that the country be ruled by a religious authority, and second, that the Islamic Revolution led by him be permanent.
By permanent Islamic revolution, Khomeini and his successor meant not only that Iran will forever be ruled by a cleric authority, but that the Iranian model of a Shia regime must be exported first to the countries of the Middle East and then to the U.S., a symbol of the decadence of the West and referred to as "the Great Satan." The writer, a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a former ambassador to Romania, Egypt and Sweden.
The Root of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister's Office)
From Prime Minister Netanyahu's address at Bar-Ilan University on October 6, 2013:
See also The Nature of Peacemaking according to Netanyahu - Haviv Rettig Gur
- The Israeli-Palestinian conflict started in 1921 on the day on which the Palestinian Arabs attacked the immigration hostel in Jaffa.
Many Jews were killed in this attack, including the well-known writer Y.H. Brenner. This attack was not about territory or settlements; it was against Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel.
- Later there were more attacks: In 1929, the ancient Jewish community in Hebron was brutally slaughtered. It had existed there nearly uninterrupted for close to 4,000 years. After that, there were repeated and methodical attacks against the Jewish community in Israel in 1936 and in 1939.
- Later on there was the Partition Plan of 1947, wherein it was proposed that there be an Arab state - they didn't say Palestinian state - and a Jewish state. The Jews agreed, the Arabs refused.
- Even before 1967, for 19 years, the Arabs had us in a chokehold with the sole goal of uprooting us, of extinguishing our lives. What was that about? There were no territories then either. There was no occupation, unless Tel Aviv is considered occupied.
- The root of the conflict was and remains that which has been repeated for over 90 years - the profound objection by the hard core of Palestinians to the right of the Jewish people to its own country in the Land of Israel.
- An essential condition for reaching a genuine resolution remains the reversal of the refusal to recognize the right of the Jews to a nation-state of their own in the land of their ancestors.
Netanyahu's demand for Palestinian recognition of the Jewishness of Israel is the key to understanding his theory of the conflict and his view as to why the Oslo process 20 years ago failed.
The Palestinians cannot bring themselves to end the conflict, Netanyahu believes, because they cannot bring themselves to compromise with an enemy they view as completely evil.
They see Israelis as interlopers robbing another people of their national home. Even Palestinian moderates share this basic view of Israel as an evil, but one too well entrenched to remove.
Thus, any Palestinian leader who seeks peace with Israel finds himself undermined by the perception among his own people that he is accommodating evil rather than pursuing justice.
The Palestinians don't need to become Zionists, Netanyahu believes, but they need to perceive that Jewish demands, too, are rooted in justice. Only then will their domestic constituencies be capable of engaging in peacemaking.
(Times of Israel)
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