Monthly Archives: November 2013

Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski

Very informative interview with one of the most knowledgeable foreign policy experts in the United States. “Whether weighing in on the Iran deal or calling to shrink the U.S. military, the 85-year-old Poland-born academic still plays a mean game of tennis each day and is a regular on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where his daughter, Mika, is co-host. Here, Brzezinski shares candid reflections on his remarkable life with Charles Gati, a scholar at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies—as well as his skeptical thoughts on promoting human rights, his complex feelings toward Israel and the heart-stopping 3 a.m. phone call warning him of a nuclear attack.” 

Will Iran define President Obama’s legacy ?

Even before becoming President,  then Senator Obama  campaigning for his first presidency  warned George Bush and Dick Cheney  about Iran and  that “they  must hear loud and clear from the American people and the Congress: You do not have our support, and you do not have our authorization, to launch another war.”  Obama reminded the public that the fateful decision to invade Iraq in 2003 had only enhanced Iranian influence.   Instead of issuing threats,   he argued for direct negotiations and diplomacy with Iran.  Following his election as President in 2008,  Obama sent  letters to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.   In his letters to the Iranian leader,  Obama urged strategic engagement with Iran, and called on the Iranian leader to resolve the nuclear dispute.   Yet,  in 2009 Iran was beset with internal uprisings following disputed presidential elections that kept Ahmadinejad in power for another four years.  After the 2009 elections,  a major political rift between Khamenei and Ahmadinejad   undermined  Khamenei’s reputation and influence inside the country.   After lending strong support to Ahmadinejad,  the latter turned out to be the worst nightmare for Khamenei.   By 2013 presidential elections and arrival of Hassan Rouhani,   Khamenei had been weakened and was forced to accept the results of 2013 elections that led to the emergence of a moderate “who ran on a reformist platform, promising a solution to Iran’s nuclear negotiations and the Iranian people’s need for relaxing the sanctions.” Obama’s persistence and patience paid off,  and now he has a historical chance to make his legacy with Iran.





Israeli official: We feel stabbed in the back but we totally saw it coming

According to an article, “Israeli officials knew they were being kept in the dark as the U.S. conducted secret talks with Iran, and the knowledge that the White House was “going behind Israel’s back” was one of the key sources of tension between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama.”  The Israeli official revealed that  a “friend in the Gulf” shared intelligence with Israel that the meetings were taking place, and urged Israel to find out more.   One wonders what county in the “Gulf” was involved in encouraging the Israelis to block the nuclear accord with Iran !

Mark Katz: Iranian-American Rapprochement: What’s In It for Israel and Saudi Arabia?

Professor Mark Katz who teaches political science at George Mason University has written an informative piece explaining why a rapprochement between Iran and the United States is in the interest of both Israel and Saudi Arabia.   A relaxation of tensions between Iran and America will not necessarily lead to improved relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia since these two countries have  divergent regional interests,  particularly on Syria, Bahrain, and Egypt.  Nevertheless,  an Iran that signs a nuclear deal with America is less likely to adopt a confrontational policy toward Saudi Arabia and Israel.  Iranian leaders know that they cannot expect to have an improved relations with the West while  pursuing regional policies that make pro-American regimes in the region uncomfortable.