Re “How to negotiate with Iran,” Opinion, Oct. 29
Dennis Ross and his colleagues lay out a sophisticated and nuanced strategy for dealing with Iran at this critical junction, something the Obama administration seems not to have accomplished.
This is not surprising, as Ross has served every U.S. president (except George W. Bush) since 1981. Unfortunately, since he and former national security advisor Thomas Donilon left the White House, the Obama administration’s Middle East policy has lacked coherence and has sometimes bordered on wishful thinking.
As this article clearly illustrates, time is short, and if we allow Iran to achieve a nuclear capability while we are negotiating, the international nonproliferation regime will be in great jeopardy. Saudi Arabia might buy nuclear weapons from either North Korea or Pakistan, and Middle Eastern terrorists might eventually acquire these horrendous weapons of mass destruction.
Let’s hope that the president reads the words of Ross and his colleagues and adjusts the administration’s policies toward Iran.
This piece might have been written by Benjamin Netanyahu himself, as it scarcely deviates from the Israeli prime minister’s extremist position. It is a recipe for non-negotiation rather than for reaching a diplomatic resolution.
It leaves readers with the impression that the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty does not afford Iran the right to enrich uranium on its own soil. Yet the treaty states that all signatories have the “inalienable right” to “develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.” Since uranium enrichment is a necessary step in the production of fuel for reactors, Iran is entirely correct to insist the treaty affords it this capability.
Moreover, the United States, being the world’s largest nuclear proliferator and the only state to have used these weapons in war, is in no moral or legal position to dictate to Iran what it can do regarding its nuclear program.