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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘diplomacy’

Iran Prepared to Take Military Action Over Disputed Gulf Island

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

AP reports that the Iranian army is prepared for a military confrontation with the United Arab Emirates should diplomacy over a disputed gulf island fail.

“We do not allow any country to carry out an invasion,” ground forces commander Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan told Iranian state television. “If these disturbances are not solved through diplomacy, the military forces are ready to show the power of Iran to the offender. Iran will strongly defend its right.”

The Abu Musa island in the Persian Gulf is controlled by Iran, but the UAE disputes Iranian sovereignty. The island is situated at the entryway to the Strait of Hormuz, which is of critical strategic importance due to the fact that almost one-fifth of the global oil supply passes through it.

Iran has threatened to close the Strait should it be attacked.

 

Diplomacy & Sanctions- Twin Beacons of False Hope

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

The latest in the Obama administration’s campaign to convince an already skeptical public that Iran should not be attacked – by either the US or Israel, is none other than Dennis Ross. A former State Department advisor, NSC official, and special assistant to President Obama, Mr. Ross made his argument in a February 15th New York Times op-ed “Iran is Ready to Talk.”

His opening line sets the tone, if not the accuracy: “Speculation about an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities is rife, but there is little discussion about whether diplomacy can still succeed, precluding the need for military action.” Since he is only the most recent in a long line of Obamite “Talking Heads” on TV and penning op-eds in recent months, it is disingenuous to suggest that “there is little discussion.”

The Obama administration is in full court press mode suggesting diplomacy is the way – the only way. On February 1st, Radio Free Europe reported: “US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on January 31st that a combination of Western sanctions and diplomacy could still persuade Iran to abandon nuclear work which could be diverted toward an atomic weapon.” William H. Luers and Thomas R. Pickering, in a February 2nd New York Times op-ed entitled “Envisioning a Deal With Iran”, wrote: “As the dangers mount in the confrontation between the United States and Iran, both sides will have to raise the doors high for diplomacy to work, and to avoid conflict.” These are only a couple of examples of the endless discussions Mr. Ross must have missed by not reading, listening to, or viewing any American media vehicle in the past several months.

Ross admits from the start that “Many experts doubt that Tehran would ever accept a deal that uses intrusive inspections and denies or limits uranium enrichment to halt any advances toward a nuclear weapons capability, while still permitting the development of civilian nuclear power.” But having said that, he nonetheless claims: “But before we assume that diplomacy can’t work, it is worth considering that Iranians are now facing crippling pressure and that their leaders have in the past altered their behavior in response to such pressure.” When Iran has comparably “altered their behavior” in the past he doesn’t say. But no matter, declares Mr. Ross: “Notwithstanding all their bluster, there are signs that Tehran is now looking for a way out.” Again, the reader is left to guess the signs, since he doesn’t identify any.

As proof of Iran’s growing isolation in the region, Ross points out: “Gone is the fear of Iranian intimidation, as the Saudis demonstrated by immediately promising to fill the gap and meet Europe’s needs when the European Union announced its decision to boycott the purchase of Iran’s oil.” And here, he offers the proof that “Even after Iran denounced the Saudi move as a hostile act, the Saudis did not back off.” Mr. Ross neglects to mention that Sunni Saudi Arabia has been in a tizzy about a nuclear Shi’ite Iran for sometime and not thrilled with the take-it-slow Obama approach. The Guardian (UK) reported last June 29th that Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, warned senior NATO military officials that… “We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don’t,” he said.

“Beginning in 2010, Washington worked methodically to impose political, diplomatic, economic and security pressure, making clear that the cost of noncompliance would continue to rise while still leaving the Iranians a way out,” Mr. Ross explains. “This strategy took into account how Iranian leaders had adjusted their behavior in the past to escape major pressure — from ending the war with Iraq in 1988 to stopping the assassinations of Iranian dissidents in Europe in the 1990s to suspending uranium enrichment in 2003.”

Mr. Ross fails to mention that Iran was attacked first by Iraq, accepted a UN brokered ceasefire after 8 years of combat and destruction, a loss of 500,000 soldiers and civilians, and completely restored its pre-war borders. He fails to point out that assassinations of Iranian dissidents in 1990’s was reduced due to proactive measures of international law enforcement agencies and the fact that most of the wanted dissidents were already killed. And his contention that Iran suspended uranium enrichment in 2003 repeats the canard promoted in the now infamous National Intelligence Estimate, which was wrong when written and again by even the latest International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) report. Iran merely hid its uranium enrichment operations and blithely lied about them, while certain American intelligence officials blindly bought it out of political expediency.

Ross maintains that “The Obama administration has now created a situation in which diplomacy has a chance to succeed.” Although he admits that “It remains an open question whether it will.” Meanwhile, he suggests Israel gamble on its national survival. Given their foreign policy record thus far, that is a scary contention.

Title: Our Last Best Chance, The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Title: Our Last Best Chance, The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril


Author: King Abdullah II of Jordan


Publisher: Viking


 


 


   Whether this is a memoir or autobiography or whether this book was written as an article of regional diplomacy, King Abdullah does come across in this book as a quite sincere person making a valiant effort at regional diplomacy, who is trying to quell terrorism in the Mideast and raise the social and economic levels of his countrymen.

 

   As should be expected from any Arab leader, we read his viewpoints about the Arab-Israel conflict showing certain prejudice of the Palestinian people, but quite uncharacteristically, Abdullah shows his independence and some even-handedness in not holding Israel entirely responsible for the current situation.

 

   We read of past and current Jordanian-Israeli collaboration on security and economic development platforms, and he tells of his father’s long-time friendship and collaboration with former Israel Prime Minister Rabin, whose funeral led to the first visit by a reigning Jordan king. He also prides himself on collaboration with Israel armed forces personnel in such activities as special forces training and parachute jumps.

 

   Abdullah is very critical of Israel having blockaded the Gaza Strip, to which he lays the blame of the rise of Hamas to fill the internal security vacuum that had been thus created, and which he implies is not merely a detriment and security problem for Israel but for his own kingdom as well.

 

      He appears to be not unsympathetic to the situation of the European Jews who flowed in to Israel following World War II, because they had nowhere else to go, but claims that the former residents – the Palestinians – have suffered and continue to suffer.

 

   Agree or disagree with his views, Abdullah is a Middle East leader who likely will play a key role in the future of the region.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/books/book-reviews/title-our-last-best-chance-the-pursuit-of-peace-in-a-time-of-peril-2/2011/04/28/

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