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January 30, 2012

Iran Takes Over... the Media
Posted by Heather Hurlburt

Kudos to US and international media and my analyst friends -- we have lots and lots and lots of good reporting and analysis on the Iran situation this morning.  An embarrasse des riches, as Mitt Romney might say. I'm organizing my thoughts for an Iran panel on the Hill at 1230 today, and I thought I'd share.


Three heavyweight Israelis lay out the full range of strategic considerations to be debated:

  • are Iranian nukes an existential threat to Israel
  • can a nuclear Iran be deterred
  • What would the regional and inside-Iran consequences of an Israeli attack be
  • what are the long-term security consequences of Israel launching an attack against US wishes

The Pentagon doesn't think its current bunker-buster bombs will do the trick against Iran's defenses, and has asked for heavier weapons to be developed urgently. (Wall Street Journal)


Iran's Foreign Minister invites IAEA inspectors to extend their visit... at same time as Iran's military tests new delivery systems.

Israeli intel journalist (and author of this weekend's NY Times Mag piece predicting Israel will bomb) seems to reverse himself by suggesting to Laura Rozen that Israel is asking the West to hold it back.

The Economist says China will choose regional stability over its relations with Iran.

Beltway Strategery

Les Gelb says Obama should bite the bullet and officially offer the peaceful-enrichment-for-full-inspections-and-safeguards deal.

Sara Sorcher at National Journal reports that Senate leadership says they want to move another round of sanctions -- this one targeted at Revolutionary Guard, human rights violators, crowd control equipment... also a proposal to deny entry to US ports to any ship that has visited Iran in last 180 days.

The New Yorker's Steve Coll reads the tea leaves, says that war is not imminent, and that a strategy of "patience and persistence" should be kept on the table. 

what does all this add up to? A lot of posturing for domestic and international audiences... some progress toward the foundations of a negotiated outcome... consensus among experts and the business community, but emphatically not among political factions here or elsewhere, on what an acceptable negotiated outcome would look like... and some big opportunities for miscalculation and unintended escalation.


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Impressive blog post, lots of great information. I'm going to show my friend and ask them what they think.

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