News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for December 8, 2010:
- The Washington Times: Ilan Berman, vice president of the hawkish American Foreign Policy Council, writes that the WikiLeaks cables “demolishes a number of sacred cows relating to American policy towards the Islamic republic” and brings the United States “one step closer to [a military] strike on Iran.” Berman claims that WikiLeaks has proven that: many Middle Eastern leaders are willing to support military action against Iran (this assertion has been widely questioned); Iran has acquired Russian designed missiles from North Korea which can reach Western Europe (significant doubt has been raised about this allegation); and “if Iran is allowed to cross the nuclear threshold, others in the Middle East invariably will follow suit.”
- Voice of America: VOA includes comments made by Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili in its wrap up of the P5+1 Geneva talks. Jalili says Iran will never give up its nuclear rights. Simon Henderson, at the hawkish Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told VOA that “it does not make sense for Tehran to say it needs nuclear technology for power purposes…that is one of the reasons why there is such suspicion that Iran is building a nuclear weapon.”
- Tablet Magazine: Lee Smith, a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute and columnist at Tablet, writes that analysts who argue that hawkish comments made by Arab leaders in the WikiLeaks cables might not always tell the truth to U.S. diplomats, indirectly raise a point about the relationship between Arab leaders and the United States: “Perhaps it is helpful to think of the Wikileaks cables in lay terms as a transcript of a guy (in this case, the Saudis) trying to pick up a pretty girl (the Americans) at a bar. What the boy says to the girl may or may not be true. What is most significant is the effect he means to produce, which is to convince the girl to go home with him.” Smith concludes that much of what is said in the cables about Iran is just “noise” and “it should not matter one whit to U.S. policymakers whether Iran is a danger to the Arabs or, for that matter, to Israel: Tehran represents a major strategic threat to American interests.”
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