Hersh vs. the IAEA on Iran’s Nukes

In the latest issue of the New Yorker, Sy Hersh has a long story on what he says is a discrepancy between the intelligence community’s most recent estimate of Iran’s nuclear goals and the Obama administration’s assessment of and reaction to Iran’s intentions.

The central argument of the story is:

Is Iran Coming Around?

The BBC–hat tip Laura Rozen–is reporting that the Iranians have agreed to resume negotiations about their nuclear program next month. This follows the Iranian appearance, and expressed desire to cooperate, at a meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors in Rome last week (indeed, the Iranians–who played a positive role in the contact group …

Some Good News

Iran is participating in the Afghan contact group talks in Rome. There is precedent for this: Iran participated in the Bonn talks that created a new Afghan government in 2001–to good effect, I’m told. That might have been the beginning of a beautiful friendship, but the Bush Administration was more interested in constructing an Axis of

Bombing Iran

On the one hand, it’s pretty hard to envision Barack Obama–whose candidacy was partly premised on reconciling America with the Muslim world–launching a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. On the other hand you have data points like Jeffrey Goldberg’s latest Atlantic opus, in which White House officials insist that “President …

Impeach Ahmadinejad?

The New York Times has the latest in the struggle between Iran’s right and far-right–between the so-called traditional conservative “principalists” and the populist-extremists led by the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad–which seems, finally, to be bubbling to the surface. This is a crucial conflict–these two groups, not the Green movement, are …

How to Help the Iranian Rebels

Reuel Marc Gerecht, who knows Iran well, has an interesting op-ed in the New York Times today about how President Obama should deal with the Iran’s green movement. He is no less critical than John McCain, but considerably more subtle–and I think his main proposal, of giving tech support to the Iranian people, making it easier for them …

Iran Sanctions Pass

The United Nations Security Council has passed a new, tougher Iran sanctions regime by a vote of 12-2, with Brazil and Turkey voting against and Lebanon abstaining. This will not create enough pressure to end Iran’s nuclear recalcitrance, but it’s a significant achievement nonetheless. It send a strong message to the Iranian people that …

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