Dennis Ross and two former aides to George Bush take a hard line on negotiations with Iran in the LA Times. Reading this piece, it is astounding to consider that Ross was once the nerve center inside Democratic administrations, including Obama’s, for making American policy on the Middle East. Ross couldn’t be a more fervent advocate for the Israeli position. He says that Iran can’t be trusted and that preventing a nuclear-capable Iran is “the most pressing national security threat facing the United States;” he repeatedly calls for threats of military action and overlooks Israel’s own nuclear arsenal while criticizing Iran for threatening the international “nonproliferation” regime.
These American threats will serve a purpose, in Ross’s view: to “reassure Israel so it does not feel compelled to act alone.” And the U.S. will support “Israeli military action if conducted.” If conducted? I.e., we can’t tell Israel what to do. No wonder that as a negotiator Ross was called Israel’s lawyer.
Co-authors Michael Makovsky and Eric Edelman served in the Bush administration. Some of their argument:
In the few instances [Iran] has compromised, it has been because of the threat of force. The success of these talks will hinge on Iran understanding that there will be very real and damaging consequences if negotiations fail.
This will require at least these U.S. actions: Intensify sanctions and incentivize other countries to do the same, issue more forceful and credible statements that all options are on the table, initiate new military deployments and make clear the support for Israeli military action if conducted.
Ross again legitimizes the idea of Israeli military strike in this argument:
A deal struck for its own sake would still allow for a nuclear Iran; undermine the legitimacy of any subsequent U.S. attempts or, much more likely, Israeli attempts to arrest Iran’s progress by military action; discredit and compromise U.S. credibility; and weaken, if not destroy, the decades-old international nonproliferation regime.
Yes and what about calls on Israel to get rid of its nukes?