World attention returned to Iran's controversial nuclear program on Monday, as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled to the U.S. for a United Nations Summit on nuclear non-proliferation. Ahead of the meeting, Ahmadinejad called the U.S. "the root of world terrorism." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shot back, saying that Iran is threatening Israel, destabilizing the Middle East, and sponsoring terror. Will the summit help Ahmadinejad paint the U.S. as the bad guy, or will it help the Obama administration rally support for new sanctions against Iran? (Watch a Russia Today report about Ahmaninejad's surprise visit)
This only benefits Iran: President Obama is letting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad divert attention from his country's enrichment of uranium and complain about Israel's nuclear arsenal, says Jennifer Rubin in Commentary. All this does is complicate the effort to contain "the only nuclear threat that matters right now — Iran."
Ahmadinejad is just a sideshow at the summit: The hostilities between Ahmedinejad and Clinton are likely "to be a one day story," says Laura Rozen in Politico. But the Non Proliferation Treaty review conference, which occurs every five years, will go on for another four weeks. Once the "drama" surrounding Ahmadinejad's visit fades, the U.S. will be able to focus on building momentum behind an effort to make sure Iran pays a heavy price if it ever tries to build a nuclear bomb.
"Beyond the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad show"
Letting Ahmadinejad speak can only help the U.S.: Eight Republican senators asked Obama to deny Ahmadinejad entry into the U.S., says Greg Sargent in The Plum Line. But, as George W. Bush said when he let Ahmadinejad come to New York, giving even the most vile leader the chance to speak only serves to highlight "the freedoms of the country," and shows who really represents a threat to world peace.
"GOP Senators to Obama: Don't let Ahmadinejad into the country"