Iran and the Bomb 2
A New Hope
Who Is Ali Khamenei?
The Worldview of Iran’s Supreme Leader
Why Rouhani Won -- And Why Khamenei Let Him
The Ahmadinejad Era Comes to an Auspicious End
Rouhani's Gorbachev Moment
What Makes a Genuine Reformer?
Getting to Yes With Iran
The Challenges of Coercive Diplomacy
On the Road to Yes With Iran
How to Read the Nuclear Deal
Talk Is Cheap
Sanctions Might Have Brought Rouhani to The Table, But They Won't Keep Him There
Saved by the Deal
How Rouhani Won the Negotiations and Rescued His Regime
Don’t Get Suckered by Iran
Fix the Problems With the Interim Accord
The Nuclear Deal With Iran Was About Trust, Not Verification
Still Time to Attack Iran
The Illusion of a Comprehensive Nuclear Deal
Still Not Time to Attack Iran
Why the U.S. Shouldn't Play Chicken with Tehran
Befriend the Scientists
How to Bring Iran's Nuclear Program Into the Fold
How Israel Can Help the United States Strike a Deal With Iran -- And Why It Should
Bibi the Bad Cop
Can Israel Prevent a Deal With Iran?
Why Israel Is So Afraid
Iran, the United States, and the Bomb
Much has changed in the two years since I wrote “Time to Attack Iran,” but one basic fact hasn’t: diplomacy remains unlikely to neutralize the threat from Iran’s nuclear program. A truly comprehensive diplomatic settlement between Iran and the West is still the best possible outcome, but there is little reason to believe that one can be achieved. And that means the United States may still have to choose between bombing Iran and allowing it to acquire a nuclear bomb. That would be an awful dilemma. But a limited bombing campaign on Iran’s nuclear facilities would certainly be preferable to any attempt to contain a nuclear-armed Iran.
The successful negotiation of an interim deal between Iran and the United States and its negotiating partners has not substantially improved the chances that this problem will be resolved diplomatically. On the most important issue, the two sides are as far apart as ever, at least judging from the way that the Iranian government still makes claims of a “right to enrich” uranium, despite the multiple U.N. Security Council Resolutions that have demanded the suspension of Iran’s uranium enrichment program. Any deal that permits Iran to continue enriching uranium cannot be considered comprehensive in any sense. At present, it is estimated that Iran could dash to a nuclear weapons capability in two or three months. A deal that allows limited enrichment would push that timeline back to about six months, at best. (Some analysts, including Joseph Cirincione and Colin Kahl, have misleadingly claimed that the world still has years to solve the problem because it would take Iran a long time to develop an arsenal of deliverable warheads. But that is beside the point: Whenever the Iranian government develops bomb-grade fissile material, it can then move that material to an undisclosed location, thus taking the West’s military option off the table.) In other words, the comprehensive deal under discussion would put the two sides back where they were
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