By Andrew Harrod:
Policy makers and experts addressing the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on March 2-4, 2014, consistently expressed opposition against Iranian nuclear weapons proliferation. Such unanimity, though, could not conceal widespread conference skepticism about President Barack Obama’s administration effectively meeting this danger.
“You know that I like to draw lines, especially red ones,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joked during his March 4 closing address in reference to his Sept. 27, 2012, United Nations speech.
At AIPAC, though, Netanyahu wanted to “draw a clear line…between life and death,” vowing that Jews would “never be brought to the brink of extinction again.” “There is unanimity” in Israel concerning Iran as “clearly the most dangerous threat” to Israel and beyond, Israeli Labor Party head Isaac Herzog likewise stated on the conference’s opening day.
Netanyahu emphasized that Iran threatened the wider world beyond Israel.
“That Scud’s for you,” he stated in an adaptation of Anheuser-Busch’s “this Bud’s for you” slogan when discussing Iranian missiles that will soon range beyond Israel to America. Even Iranian enrichment capability in a “threshold nuclear power would deliver a deathblow to nuclear nonproliferation” in a “Pandora’s Box” of other proliferating Middle Eastern states.
The nuclear Iran “nightmare” would place American Middle East bases at risk as “our entire regional calculus” changed, Sen. Chris Coons declared during a March 2 panel with former Sen.Joseph Lieberman. A nuclear Iran after years of American opposition would be an “even more devastating blow” to nonproliferation than North Korea, international security analyst Emily Landau subsequently agreed with Coons during another panel.
“The international community will look powerless.”
“We do not have a policy of containment…we will not allow a nuclear Iran,” Sen. Charles Schumer flatly declared March 3. This policy existed “not just to protect Israel” but also critical American Middle Eastern interests such as oil. “Deep, deep concern” by Schumer for the region demanded that the United States “use all, all available tools” against Iranian proliferation.
Prior to Schumer, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Democratic Party House Whip Steny Hoyer emphasized bipartisan opposition to Iranian proliferation. Hoyer warned that “Iran cannot use negotiations simply to buy time.” On Iranian nuclear proliferation “there can be no compromise,” concurred AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr on March 2, “the policy must be one of prevention.”
Rhetorically, President Barack Obama’s administration seemed to agree.
Citing Obama’s “ironclad” commitment to Israel’s security, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew insisted March 2 upon “no alternative” to Iranian nonproliferation. “All options remain on the table,” Lew warned in repetition of Hoyer earlier while discussing “one of the most pressing concerns” for both Israel and America.
“We will not permit Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. Period,” Secretary of State John Kerrystressed the following night. Invoking Obama’s “complete, unmatched commitment to Israel’s security,” Kerry declared “no deal is better than a bad deal.” Iran’s “existential threat” to Israel also endangered the globe such that stopping Iran “is not some favor…for Israel.”
Kerry and Lew’s plan to forestall Iranian proliferation included the Nov. 24, 2013, Joint Plan of Action (JPA), a six month interim agreement trading international sanctions relief for an Iranian nuclear program halt. The JPA’s estimated $7 billion sanctions relief was “only a small taste of how things could improve” for an Iran suffering the “most comprehensive sanctions regime in history,” Lew stated. After the Iranian economy contracted 6 percent last year, unemployment and inflation were over 15% and 30%, respectively. “Iran is not open for business,” Kerry repeated a line of Lew’s, “until Iran is closed for nuclear bombs.”
An opportunity for the JPA to succeed without additional, congressionally imposed sanctions, was “critically important” according to Lew. A demonstrated willingness to negotiate would maintain international support for sanctions and justify any subsequent military “force as a last resort.”
Read more at The Blaze
Andrew E. Harrod is a freelance researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is admitted to the Virginia State Bar. He has published over 110 articles concerning various political and religious topics at the American Thinker, Breitbart.com, Daily Caller, FrontPage Magazine, Faith Freedom International, Gatestone Institute, Institute on Religion and Democracy, Mercatornet, and World, among others. He be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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