Elliott Abrams

Pressure Points

Abrams gives his take on U.S. foreign policy, with special focus on the Middle East and democracy and human rights issues.

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Showing posts for "Iran"

Can We Contain Iran?

by Elliott Abrams

If Iran gets nuclear weapons, can it be “contained?” After all, we contained the Soviet Union–which was far stronger than Iran.

That Cold War analogy is misleading, I argue in an article this week in The Weekly Standard. During the Cold War we took a vigorous military and ideological stand against the Soviets, from hot wars in Korea and Vietnam, to proxy forces in Afghanistan, to President Reagan’s comments that the Soviets constituted an “evil empire” and would end up on “the ash heap of history.” We negotiated, but we also fought, in ways that we are not doing when it comes to Iran. Read more »

Is There an Iran Deal?

by Elliott Abrams

Two remarkable statements must be juxtaposed to understand how much trouble lies ahead in trying to get a nuclear deal with Iran. Thus far, the trouble has been over the temporary arrangements, meant to last six months and likely to be extended for another six. That deal was reached last year and an implementation agreement then took two more months to reach. The next task is to negotiate an arrangement that is comprehensive and permanent. How likely is that, and have we really thus far reached any agreement at all? Read more »

Iran Mocks President Obama by Honoring Mughniyeh

by Elliott Abrams

President Obama has a full court press under way to stop Congress from passing new sanctions legislation that could–could, not will–impose sanctions on Iran one year from now if negotiations break down or Iran cheats. The idea seems to be that passage of the bill would signal mistrust of Iran, or would break the spell of sincerity being cast at the negotiating table. Read more »

Iran Continues Subversion Despite the Nuclear Negotiations

by Elliott Abrams

The Obama administration is fighting strongly to prevent Congress from adopting new sanctions legislation that would go into effect one year from now if, and only if, the nuclear negotiations fail or Iran cheats on its commitments. It seems that adopting such legislation would anger the Iranian regime, and would be contrary to the spirit of the talks. Or something like that. Read more »

Friedman: There He Goes Again

by Elliott Abrams

Here’s an interesting quote:

Never have I seen Israel and America’s core Arab allies working more in concert to stymie a major foreign policy initiative of a sitting U.S. president, and never have I seen more lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans — more willing to take Israel’s side against their own president’s. I’m certain this comes less from any careful consideration of the facts and more from a growing tendency by many American lawmakers to do whatever the Israel lobby asks them to do in order to garner Jewish votes and campaign donations. Read more »

The Case of the Phony Fatwa

by Elliott Abrams

It’s common knowledge that Iran’s “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Khamenei, has issued a fatwa banning the possession of nuclear weapons.

This “fact” has recently been cited by President Obama and by Secretary of State Kerry. In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in September, the President said
Read more »

Are Iran Sanctions a “March to War?”

by Elliott Abrams

White House spokesman Jay Carney yesterday called any effort to adopt additional sanctions against Iran “a march to war.”  Here, from The Cable, is the quote:

It is important to understand that if pursuing a resolution diplomatically is disallowed or ruled out, what options, then, do we and our allies have to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon? The American people do not want a march to war. Read more »

Meanwhile, Back in Iran…

by Elliott Abrams

The Obama administration has bought into what my colleague at CFR Ray Takeyh calls the “Rouhani narrative:” Rouhani is a reformer, Iran is ripe for change and reform, progress is at hand. As in the Cold War days when we were told we needed to compromise to “help the reformers in the Kremlin,” so today we must not be too tough in negotiations lest we weaken Rouhani and his reformist brethren. Read more »