From Frank Brodhead of Concerned Families of Westchester:
As President Obama puts his new national security team into place, the likelihood is increasing that no meaningful negotiations about Iran’s nuclear policy will take place before Iran’s presidential election in June. There are several reasons to think this. During his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry gave no indication that President Obama’s policy towards Iran was deviating from “all options are on the table,” and there is no indication that the administration was about to relax its (to Iran, unacceptable) negotiating position. Second, as noted in some articles linked below, it is becoming clear that, in separate talks between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran is not about to allow an inspection of its military base at Parchin (an IAEA demand) until a more comprehensive negotiating framework is developed in the parallel negotiations between Iran and the P5+1.
If there are no negotiations between the Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus Germany), there is little likelihood that sanctions against Iran will be lessened. I’ve linked essays below about the recently augmented sanctions, with several essays stressing the terrible effect that the sanctions are having on supplies of medicine, and thus health.
While the results of last week’s election in Israel are still being clarified, it would appear that Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Right have suffered a setback. But the election campaigns paid little attention to either Iran or to Palestinian issues, and the new centrist party that is a likely member of Netanyahu’s governing coalition has not (to my knowledge) expressed any reservations about Netanyahu’s aggressive policy towards Iran. Will a weaker Netanyahu be less of a danger? And what do we make of outgoing Defense Minister Barak’s statement at Davos indicating that Israel was no longer considering a unilateral military attack on Iran? I’ve pasted in links to some preliminary election assessments below.
While Syria’s civil war still seems to be stalemated militarily and politically, Iran this week stated that it would consider an attack on Syria to be an attack on Iran. As Syria’s horrendous refugee crisis and escalating casualty figures generate more calls for “humanitarian intervention,” the danger of a regional war seems more likely than ever.
Please read the rest of the Iran War Weekly at WarIsACrime.org.