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Published on December 27th, 2010 | by Eli Clifton

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The Daily Talking Points

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News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for December 23-27, 2010:

  • The Weekly Standard: Stephen F. Hayes blogs on a report that a member of Iran’s Qods Force, serving as a Taliban commander, has been arrested in Afghanistan. Hayes writes that this capture disproves the commonly held belief that Iran and the Taliban are adversaries and provides further evidence that Iran has been providing “increasingly lethal support” to the Taliban. “And yet senior Obama administration officials have either downplayed the seriousness of Iran’s support or ignored it altogether, despite a never-ending series of reports from the U.S. military that such coordination is happening,” he concludes, adding that NATO forces in Afghanistan (as ISAF) have retracted their claim that the man was part of the Qods Force.
  • Commentary: Jonathan S. Tobin, writing on Commentary‘s Contentions blog, offers his take on The New York Times’s exposé on the limited number of U.S. companies who have received exemptions from the trade sanctions against Iran. (See our coverage of the article here.) “While the purpose of the statute that allows for exemptions was to provide humanitarian aid, the Obama administration has let things like chewing gum, sports equipment and even hot sauce be sold to Iran,” writes Tobin. “In light of these revelations, it’s clear that sanctions will never work to halt the march of this terror sponsor toward nuclear capability,” he warns. “After reading this shocking story, there’s little doubt that Ahmadinejad and his tyrannical Islamist confederates are laughing at us.”
  • The Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin, writing on her Right Turn blog, interviews Israeli ambassador Michael Oren who warns that sanctions “…have not impacted Iran’s nuclear behavior. Now [the Obama administration is] talking about ‘ratcheting up’ the sanctions. That’s good but the ultimate test is whether Iran will cease enrichment on its soil.” Oren emphasized that for both the United States and Israel “all options remain on the table.” But when pushed for specifics ways of indicating to the Iranians that the threat of force was real, he responded “There are ways to communicate that [a military option is real] to the Iranians.”

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About the Author

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Eli Clifton is a reporting fellow with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute who focuses on money in politics and US foreign policy. He previously reported for the American Independent New Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.



2 Responses to The Daily Talking Points

  1. avatar dickerson3870 says:

    RE: “Stephen F. Hayes blogs on a report that a member of Iran’s Qods Force, serving as a Taliban commander, has been arrested in Afghanistan.” – Eli Clifton
    MY SNARK: Mr. Hayes needs to learn how to use Google to check for more recent developments before blogging about an erroneous report and looking like a complete jackass!

    http://www.isaf.nato.int/article/isaf-releases/correction-isaf-clarifies-status-of-cross-border-weapons-facilitator.html

    CORRECTION: ISAF Clarifies Status of Cross-border Weapons Facilitator

    SAF Joint Command – Afghanistan
    2010-12-S-280
    For Immediate Release
    Download PDF

    KABUL, Afghanistan (Dec. 24, 2010) – The International Security Assistance Force has determined a cross-border weapons facilitator detained Dec. 18 is not a member of the Iranian Qods force, as was originally reported.

    Initial intelligence reports led ISAF to believe he was a member of the force, but after gathering more information, it was determined that while the individual may be affiliated with several insurgent-related organizations, he is not a member of the Qods group….

  2. avatar dickerson3870 says:

    RE: “There are ways to communicate that [a military option is real] to the Iranians.” – Oren
    MY SNARK: Ways of communicating as in assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists?

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