Clinton's warning that nuclear arms would only endanger Iranian security will make it more difficult to persuade Iran that it can safely compromise with Washington. If the Obama Administration is sincerely searching for a deal with Iran, it should instruct everyone to keep their mouths shut until the Iranian election...and then clearly articulate what Iran might have to gain from risking a deal.
According to Secretary of State Clinton, Iran “will actually be less secure if they proceed with their nuclear-weapons program” because "a nuclear-armed
One could read these remarks optimistically as evidence that the Obama Administration is at long last edging toward the breakthrough concept of disentangling nuclear weapons from security. Given the fact that the superpowers spent half a century clearly believing the opposite and the obvious attention-getting nature of any effort by a poor country to acquire nuclear arms, this will be a difficult argument to make. The argument, if effective, would be a vital contribution to American and global security, but it must be done carefully.
To couch the argument in the context of an accusation that Iran (decades behind Israel and Pakistan in terms of nuclear capability) would, by becoming the third nuclear power in the region (assuming one arbitrarily excludes U.S. Mideast forces), somehow be the cause of an arms race is an appallingly biased remark and one hardly likely to induce Iran to take Washington’s call for U.S.-Iranian talks seriously.
If the Obama Administration in fact wishes to avoid such an outcome, its officials need to be much more thoughtful about their public remarks. The
Perhaps that is exactly what it is. Perhaps the Obama Administration in fact has decided to continue the neo-con policy of expansion, and
If, on the other hand, the Obama Administration desires to achieve a compromise with Iran, then it must offer some truly significant set of inducements to make up for Iran volunteering to renounce nuclear weapons capability (e.g., a regional nuclear umbrella).
The eve of the Iranian election is no time for new