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November 14, 2011

Iran News Roundup 11/14

GOP candidates talk Iran at Saturday’s CBS/National Journal debate
The first question posed to the candidates was on their willingness to launch military strikes against Iran. Romney, Gingrich called Obama’s Iran policy a failure and expressed support for using military strikes and covert actions against Iran. Santorum called for the U.S. to work with Israel on targeted military strikes similar to those carried out by Israel on Iraq and Syria’s nuclear facilities. Perry called for sanctions on Iran’s central bank and Cain said he would support opposition forces but not militarily. (For video of the candidate responses click here)
A fact check following the debate found numerous false claims in the candidates’ responses. (Associated Press 11/13)  Shortly after the debate, NIAC issued a press release condemning the candidates’ endorsement of military strikes, additional sanctions, and support for “insurgents” inside Iran. (NIAC 11/12)
Officials expressing concerns over military strikes and further sanctions on Iran
Top officials and experts continue to warn against military strikes and further sanctions on Iran.  U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says attacking Iran as it could have “unintended consequences” for the region. (Guardian 11/11)
In an interview, former Carter national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski voiced skepticism about military action in Iran and said that we currently have a unique opportunity to “engage Iran.” (Lobelog 11/10)
A leading Israeli firm came out with its assessment of the costs of the different policy options for Iran, ranging from light sanctions to military options, and their determination was that the costs of a military strike outweigh the costs of a nuclear armed Iran.  (LobeLog 11/11)
Lastly, former UK ambassador to Iran, Sir Richard Dalton, opposes further sanctions saying that they empower the Revolutionary Guard by increasing demand for smuggled goods. (Huffington Post 11/14) 
Other notable headlines:
Suspicions of MEK and Mossad links to explosion at reported Iranian missile base
NY Times’ Cohen suggests using “contain and constrain” strategy with Iran
Russia and China refuse to support more sanctions after meeting with Obama at APEC summit
Iranians could face 5 yrs in jail for travel to Israel
US plans bomb sales to Persian Gulf countries to counter Iran threat

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