The New York Times editorial board continues to set itself apart from the hawkish editorial boards of the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post on the issue of how to deal with Iran:
Military action is no quick fix. Even a sustained air campaign would likely set Iran’s nuclear program back only by a few years and would rally tremendous sympathy for Iran both at home and abroad. The current international consensus for sanctions, and the punishments, would evaporate. It would shift international outrage against Mr. Assad’s brutality in Syria to Israel. Many former Israeli intelligence and military officials have spoken out against a military attack. And polls show that many ordinary Israelis oppose unilateral action.
Even so, Mr. Netanyahu’s hard-line government has never liked the idea of negotiating with Iran on the nuclear issue, and, at times, seems in a rush to end them altogether. On Sunday, the deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, told Israel Radio that the United States and the other major powers should simply “declare today that the talks have failed.”
Of course, it is disappointing that the negotiations have made so little progress. No one can be sure that any mix of diplomacy and sanctions will persuade Iran to give up its ambitions. But the talks have been under way only since April, and the toughest sanctions just took effect in July.
There is still time for intensified diplomacy. It would be best served if the major powers stay united and Israeli leaders temper loose talk of war.
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