Iran’s nuclear program, and the possibilities of war against Iran, will likely be prominent in the Senate confirmation hearings of President Obama’s new national security team, particular in the case of the proposed Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. While Hagel, Kerry (State), and Brennan (CIA) are all expected to be confirmed, Senate Republicans have served notice that (especially in the case of Hagel), the nominees will be scrutinized to see if they are prepared to keep the sanctions screwed on tightly against Iran and, if necessary, go to war.
What I think we should watch for is how the nominees characterize the present state of Iran’s nuclear program (is this a nuclear weapons program?), whether sanctions are helping or hurting the possibilities of a negotiated resolution to outstanding issues in dispute, and whether Iran is a threat to Israel. It will also be interesting to see if the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal is acknowledged.
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