November 16, 2011

Iran News Roundup 11/16

U.S. officials warn Congress that proposed sanctions could benefit Iran
U.S. officials warned Capitol Hill at a hearing yesterday that Congressional sanctions proposals could be a “boon to Iran,” that would raise oil prices for the U.S. and Europe while creating a “windfall” for the Iranians (NIAC 11/15).  A State Department official warned that new indiscriminate measures aimed at the Iranian population could backfire, alienating a young population who otherwise “think very favorably of the United States” (AFP 11/15).
Is ramped up war rhetoric uniting Iran?
A recent Washington Post piece suggests that, in the midst of increased saber rattling, a normally fractured Iranian public is uniting around the nuclear issue, giving an unpopular regime “breathing room” (Washington Post 11/15).  Additionally, there are reports of students forming human chains around nuclear sites and circulating petitions calling for Iran to pull out of the NPT (Haaretz 11/15).  Center for American Progress’ Matthew Duss writes that military strikes would improve the Iranian government’s position and present an opportunity to consolidate power by eliminating any opposition (U.S. News 11/16).  Former Iranian president and reformist leader Khatami was quoted saying, “Iran opposition will unite with the government should Israel attack” (Haaertz 11/14).
GOP candidates support for military options draws criticism
Former GOP presidential candidate Pat Buchanan wrote yesterday that, aside from Ron Paul, a vote for the Republican Party is a vote for war with Iran (Buchanan Antiwar.com 11/15).   Martin Schram of Scripps News summarized the rhetoric of the candidates and warned that, “Political boasts about war threats in the nuclear age cannot be brushed aside as politics as usual.  We must demand better” (Schram Scripps News 11/15).
Additional Notable News:
Kate Gould of FCNL writes in the Hill that the “Iran Threat Reduction Act” currently in the House would “take diplomacy with Iran off the table” by placing legal limitations on U.S. officials.  She suggests Congress should heed the advice of former Joint Chiefs Chairman Michael Mullen and work to establish diplomatic channels with Iran.
Saudi Arabian Prince Turki al-Faisal, in a public appearance in Washington, was reported by Reuters to have said a military attack against Iran would be “tragic” mistake with “catastrophic consequences.”
NIAC’s Reza Marashi says Iran and the US are involved in a dangerous game of chicken based on misperceptions about “the strength and resolve of the other.”
Washington Post’s Thomas Erbrink reported that Ahmadinejad remains a major force in Iranian politics, despite suggestions that he was irreversibly weakened in his confrontation with the Supreme Leader this summer.

Back to top