Feature

Iran's nuclear dreams

Iran

What happenedIran’s chief nuclear negotiator resigned ahead of crucial talks this week. The negotiator, Ali Larijani, suppprts Iran’s nuclear ambitions but had tried to get President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to soften his hardline approach. His departure raised fears Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was backing Ahmadinejad’s approach as oil prices rise, giving the country enough extra money to ride out any new economic sanctions.

What the commentators saidLarijani’s resignation is “really bad news,” said Joe Klein in Time’s Swampland blog. Khamenei doesn’t necessarily intend to try to “wipe Israel off the map” with his bomb, but he does want to “match” the arsenal of his dangerous neighbor, Pakistan—“the single worst harborer of terrorists.” So much for the hope that cooler heads will prevail in this increasingly frightening region.

It is impossible to overstate the threat of Iran’s nuclear program, said Niall Ferguson in the Los Angeles Times (free registration). The U.S. simply must do something to stop it. “True, after all that has gone wrong in Iraq, Americans are scarcely eager for another preventive war to stop another rogue regime from owning yet more weapons of mass destruction that don't currently exist.” But the reality is that the hope for a “purely diplomatic solution” are “dwindling fast.”

“The American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality,” said Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek. Last week, President Bush went so far as to say that preventing Iran from learning how to make a bomb was necessary “if you’re interested in avoiding World War III.” The reality is that Iran has “an economy the size of Finland’s,” and a $4.8 billion defense budget—the Pentago has 110 times as much money to spend. Iran hasn’t invaded another country since the late 18th century, yet it’s supposed “overturn the international system” in the name of Islamo-fascism? “What planet are we on?”

Recommended

Biden gets thumbs up from Macron
Emmanuel Macron, Joe Biden.
welcome back

Biden gets thumbs up from Macron

China's U.K. embassy scoffs at G7
Angela Merkel, Joe Biden, Jake Sullivan, Jan Hecker.
those days are over

China's U.K. embassy scoffs at G7

10 things you need to know today: June 12, 2021
G7 leaders.
Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 12, 2021

Biden has 'every intention' of discussing Alexei Navalny during meeting with Putin
Alexei Navalny.
Biden's trip abroad

Biden has 'every intention' of discussing Alexei Navalny during meeting with Putin

Most Popular

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about the Dems' Joe Manchin problem

Bad for Democrats. Good for democracy?
A voter.
Picture of Joel MathisJoel Mathis

Bad for Democrats. Good for democracy?

Harry and Meghan insist they asked queen about daughter's name
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
royal drama

Harry and Meghan insist they asked queen about daughter's name