NVDAILY.COM | Opinion
Posted January 30, 2014 | Leave a comment
Letter to the Editor: Don't blame the 'Jewish lobby'
In his Jan. 22 op-ed In the Northern Virginia Daily, Marino de Medici blames the "Jewish lobby" and "pro-Israeli legislators" ("ever the recipients of the influence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu") for working to impose fresh sanctions on Iran. These, he asserts, could undermine crucial confidence-building steps, doom negotiations and reenergize Iranian hard-line elements and their drive to develop nuclear arms.
While I may be further removed from this negotiation than De Medici, my reading and experience lead to different conclusions:
• Iranian-American confidence-building is a tall order, one that hardly justifies our hopes and concessions; Iranian hard-liners are immune to the charms of confidence-building.
• Iran will happily prolong negotiations merely to promote confidence-building in the form of further sanction removals.
• The more productive course is to tighten sanctions on Iran, not to relax them; De Medici and our U.S. negotiators should utilize the ominous Congressional and "Jewish lobby" threats as a negotiating stick -- as assets, not liabilities. Time should be running out for Iran, not for the U.S., as De Medici has it.
• We are losing the sanctions game: the Jan. 23 Northern Virginia Daily reports "European businesses rushing to find Iran bonanza." Question: in response to future Iranian obstruction, are western governments, especially our own, prepared to reimpose sanctions they have just lifted? Iran knows that once opened, commercial taps are not easily closed.
• "Most Americans are tired of sending troops to die in the Middle East..." This is De Medici's defeatist, cap-in-hand orientation. Once the Iranians believe, as no doubt they do, that this permeates Washington's diplomatic game, the game is up!
Richard W. Hoover, U.S. Foreign Service, retired, Front Royal
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