Iran’s Message at Davos Has Eerie Echo – Mark Landler
When President Hassan Rouhani of Iran commandeered the spotlight in Davos, Switzerland, with a message of peaceful intentions and a desire for dialogue, it was an eerie echo of 10 years ago, when Iran’s last would-be change agent, Mohammad Khatami, delivered the very same message at the World Economic Forum. Then, as now, Iran agreed to halt some enrichment of uranium and submit to UN inspections, as part of an effort to negotiate a nuclear deal. But the nuclear diplomacy collapsed and Iran switched its centrifuges back on. (New York Times)
Negotiating with Ourselves – Reuel Marc Gerecht
Ayatollah Khamenei and the leaders of the Revolutionary Guard Corps have never been taciturn in describing how attached they are to their nuclear program and how much they loathe the U.S. The U.S. government knows – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that the clerical regime has been importing and building the means to construct nuclear weapons for more than 20 years. It knows that newly elected Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are lying through their teeth when they say that the Islamic Republic has never had any design to build atomic weapons.
It is inconceivable that Khamenei, the Revolutionary Guards, and Rouhani would allow foreigners to destroy centrifuges, downgrade the heavy-water reactor at Arak, and have access to the classified paperwork of the nuclear program. In all probability, Khamenei will walk as soon as the Western powers insist that Tehran actually make concessions that enfeeble the nuclear program. The writer is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Weekly Standard)