Beyond the Cusp

September 16, 2012

Netanyahu and Obama Face Off

I had always thought that it was impossible for Israel to be any further from the United States than they are geographically. I mean they are virtually on opposite sides of the globe, but this weekend that distance is very short compared to the cavernous gap between their leaders over Iran. At one end of the argument we have Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is demanding that the United States find some common ground with Israel and define a red line which when crossed will activate the military option being taken from the table and implemented. On the other side we have United States President Obama who simply wants Israel to be patient and allow the sanctions placed on Iran to bring about a proper end to the Iranian drive for nuclear weapons, which President Obama holds is the only conclusion anybody can expect because he knows that the sanctions will have the desired effect. All one has to do is look back through the historical record since the United States made the first deliverable nuclear weapons and one can list all the nations who had sanctions levied against them to prevent their attaining nuclear weapons technology, let alone actual nuclear weapons stockpiles. There was Communist China who was not prevented. Then there was Pakistan who has a present nuclear answer to match India, well close enough for the MAD concept to work thus far. Well, at least sanctions brought North Korea’s nuclear to an end, well, actually fruition. Rethinking this, sanctions have never prevented any country from becoming nuclear armed anywhere on planet Earth. So, what will make Iran different? I doubt they can be considered more rational or reasonable and I doubt intimidation of more sanctions will get any reaction other than a snide laugh from the Mullahs. So, exactly when will we see the miracle of sanctions bringing Iran to join in the brotherhood of nations rather than continuing in their roguish manner.

The good news is that President Obama does desire to place a red line, or more accurately, a red light in the formula regarding Iran. President Obama has made it clear he has placed a red light before any Israeli military actions to destroy or at least cause considerable damage to the Iranian nuclear sites. The American President has made it clear through words and deeds that he will go to any lengths to prevent an Israeli military response to the Iranian nuclear weapons drive. No leaked information will be considered too damning, no placing of assets to intercept the Israelis will be overlooked, and no statement will be beyond consideration to cause Israel to forgo their military options on the Iranian nuclear program. Likely the most glaring is the United States program in Iraq where they are being supplied with a fleet of thirty-six US F-16I Block 52 interceptor combat aircraft, the exact same model supplied to Israel complete with specifications requested by Israel when they made their purchases. This arming of Iraq is being carried out in an accelerated pace moving the delivery date to March 2013 instead of the original September 2014 and all the while Iraq has been steadily and with an ever quickening pace moving into orbit around Iran much the same as Syria. These aircraft would most definitely be deployed in an effort to prevent an Israeli strike on Iran from using any route over Iraq and likely even any route close to Iraq such as northern Saudi Arabia. It is highly unlikely that the Iraqis, and definitely the Iranians, would consider such a triviality as an international border preventing them from intercepting an Israeli flight. Also, Saudi Arabian officials have informed Israel that they would not permit any overflight by Israeli aircraft on their way to or from a strike on Iranian targets. This is a complete reversal of their position from as recently as six months ago when they had told Israel unofficially they would very likely be recalibrating their air defense systems should Israel strike the Iranian nuclear sites. The only change in this time period has been the installation by the United States of missile and air interceptor installations such as Patriot Batteries and anti-aircraft systems. One could easily believe that the warning from Saudi Arabia was not so much a change in their position as it was a warning that they had been informed that these new assets being installed and manned by the United States would be used against any and all, likely especially including Israeli, overflight or other encroachment on Saudi or neighboring countries’ air spaces. One can also be assured that President Obama and his close confidant, Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan, are in complete agreement on preventing any Israeli use of Turkish air space and the final country is the client state of Iran, Syria. When Israel had made clandestine arrangements with Azerbaijan for the use of two retired airstrips, somehow this information was unfortunately released to Foreign Policy Magazine which published an article by Mark Perry revealing this arrangement which caused it to be immediately rescinded.

As anybody who has been following this story is aware, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama had an one hour discussion concerning policies that the two leaders might be able to reach an agreement on concerning when certain actions would become necessary to interrupt if not destroy the Iranian nuclear drive. Prime Minister Netanyahu demanded a concrete, set in stone red line which would, when crossed, immediately activate a military response. President Obama wanted no part of any standards or requirements or anything set out as a definitive point of no return and instead insisted that Netanyahu accept his promise that in the end President Obama could be counted upon to prevent Iran manufacturing any nuclear bombs. If one were to choose to be flippant about this truly serious and frightening situation, they might ask what would President Obama do if Iran were to assemble, construct, or produce a nuclear bomb or would Iran manufacturing a warhead instead of a bomb be considered as the same or is a warhead permissible. In some ways, knowing how President Obama is said to be so careful and brilliant in the way he chooses his words that this might actually be a necessary line for clarifications. The one item which was made crystal clear is that Israel was not to commit to any military actions or other destructive measures without first garnering the approval of President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Secretary of Defense Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Dempsey and likely France, Britain, Germany, and whoever else might have an opinion. So, as things now stand, Prime Minister Netanyahu is in a military red light zone where no matter where he turns or what actions he might choose to adopt, he has been informed that every possible light is red and the entire world opposes his actions, any actions.

So, one might wonder exactly where does that leave the whole Iran situation. My bet is it is exactly where it was last week, just one week closer to an Iranian nuclear bomb and also one week closer to the first strikes using Iranian nuclear bombs, be it by Iran or Syria or Hezballah or any other of the available Iranian terror options. We are at the same place with the majority of the experts of the opinion that Israel has the most to lose should Iran complete their nuclear ambitions. These same experts are pretty much in agreement that the next target on the Iranian hit list would be Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni oil producing nation of the GCC. The experts feel that the United States has absolutely nothing to fear from an Iranian nuclear bomb as they are completely outside Iran’s ability to deliver such a device and anyways, Iran would not risk the kind of total destruction the United States could deliver if Iran were to act so unwisely as to use nuclear weapons on the United States. We tend to hold a different idea of how the Iranian list of targets goes.

Iran would realize that should they attack Israel they would most definitely reap horrendous destruction in the retaliatory strike as Israel would likely use a good measure of their total nuclear capabilities to assure that Iran would not be a threat ever in the future. Likewise, should they use their new found nuclear capabilities on Saudi Arabia they would face complete destruction at the hands of an American strike. There is also some possibility of an American retaliatory strike should Iran strike Israel, though it would simply be rearranging the rubble from the Israeli strike. Iran also would have to consider the capabilities of the Israeli anti-missile defenses which are becoming quite efficient. The one common denominator on an Iranian nuclear strike anywhere in the Middle East or in Europe would be an American counter strike of likely very devastating consequences. That means that there is no difference in the deterrence for a strike on Israel than a strike on Saudi Arabia or a strike on anywhere in Europe with making a strike on the United States. There is actually a chance that a strike on the United States would result in a lesser degree of damage from any retaliation that any other target would produce as the response is likely to only come from the United States if at all. That leaves the question of what an Iranian nuclear strike on the United States would look like.

First item is we need to assume a number of missiles or bombs that might be utilized in such a strike. For arguments sake, we will assume that the Iranians have sufficient missiles with nuclear warheads to strike twelve cities with sufficient numbers to cause near total destruction. The next question is a little more difficult as it also has to take into consideration how the nuclear devices would be delivered. We will assume that they have smuggled devices for use in two cities and the remaining ten strikes will be made from cargo ships off of coastal areas all around the United States. The coastal cities targeted would be Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New Orleans, Miami and Atlanta. The two central cities would be Chicago and Cleveland. The Iranians have mastered firing their moderate range ballistic missiles off of cargo ships with each ship carrying between two to five missiles which would take on average five to eight minutes travel time to target. With these missiles being fired from within one thousand miles of their targets there would not likely be sufficient time to intercept many of them provided the timing was well coordinated, which can be expected as it is not that difficult. If Congress is in session on the date of the attack and both the President and Vice President are in Washington D.C., along with all of the President’s Cabinet and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then it can be assumed that the leadership of the United States would be decapitated and it would likely take at least two days to ascertain who would be in command of the government. And even then, how long would it take for order to be reestablished and the attacking nation to be identified, one week, two weeks, a month or even longer? Such an attack on the United States could allow for some time before any response would be forthcoming which would allow Iran time to then make other attacks on Saudi Arabia or Israel or whoever else is on their hit list. With evidence I have seen of the real ranking of targets by many in the Muslim World, such as al-Qaeda, the United States appears on the top of the list with Israel most often next followed by Britain. So, the belief that the United States might be the first target for the Iranian nuclear weapons is not as far-fetched as some would have you believe. We also need to keep in mind that the chants in Tehran, Iran every Friday go, “Death to America! Death to Israel!” Never pretend you know what is in your enemy’s mind and prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The truth is we do not know where Iran will strike first nor do we know for absolute certain how close to producing a nuclear weapon Iran actually is. Such doubts should make for more caution and less comfort that all is well and no harm is just around the corner. What would your red line be. The only statement I have heard from President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton or any State Department talking head has been that the United States draws its red line at building an atomic bomb. Isn’t that cutting it a little bit too close for comfort? The slightest error and just like with India and Pakistan the CIA will be once again caught with their proverbial pants down. Actually, when it comes to predicting when countries would become nuclear capable, the CIA has yet to get one right or even early, they are the most surprised people whenever some new country tests a nuclear weapon. Comforting, isn’t it.

Beyond the Cusp

September 12, 2012

Israel Likely Standing Alone Again Naturally

The first thing that must be understood about Israel’s isolation is that it is not isolation from having the support of a vast number of people. A matter of fact is that Israel is likely supported by a wider array of diverse people than any other country in the world with the likely exception of the United States. And like the United States, Israel also draws the most visceral hatreds from an equally large but somewhat less diverse group of people. Where Israel stands alone is among the nations and the world bodies. When listing countries whose governments support Israel, very few come to mind. Canada under the leadership of Prime Minister Steven Harper immediately comes to mind as does the two houses of Congress in the United States but not so much the Arabist State Department and Presidential Administration of the United States. This may change but cannot be counted as anything certain as the American political scene is almost as volatile and fickle as is its Israeli counterpart. There are a few smaller nations whose support Israel can depend upon in any General Assembly vote in the United Nations which is little consolation when considering that almost anything brought before that body is virtually guaranteed a wide majority vote against or denouncing anything and everything Israel. It was the General Assembly which we must remember that passed a resolution equating Zionism with racism and it took near to two decades to get that proclamation repealed. You cannot have any more animosity than that. And we likely do not even need to use as an example either of the United Nations Human Rights Council or the United Nations Human Rights Commission. The United Nations may have changed the name of this body but that did nothing to change its laser focus on Israel almost to the complete exclusion of anything happening throughout the entire world.

Meanwhile, in Europe there seems to be a steady drumbeat of laws, court decision, and debates all of which aim to make some religious vestige or rite of Judaism illegal or otherwise condemned or contemptible. The two favorites are the Shechita, the method for the Kosher butchering of animals which was first developed in order to cause the animal the least amount of distress, any form of distress be it physical, emotional or any other form are all attempted to be made as minimalized as possible, and the Circumcision, the ritual cutting of the foreskin of a male child on his eighth day of life as a sign of the Covenant between the Jewish People and the L0rd. The claims against these practices are as old as civilization and have been outlawed by virtually every enemy of the Jews throughout history giving the same reasons from near the beginning of history and certainly throughout all of written history. The claims are that Shechita causes an animal great harm and distress and that Circumcision deforms the presumed perfect human form and as it does permanent harm and entails the disfiguring of a part of the body which the child may regret later in life cannot be performed before the infant is old enough to consent to being Circumcised. Things have not changed much in Europe since the times just after the conquests of Alexander the Great when the Cyrenaic Greeks who outlawed the Jewish rite of Circumcision denoting it a blasphemous act against the perfect human form, something the Cyrenaic Greeks worshiped. Even this week one European official, British Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed “disappointment” over the Israeli Knesset approving the status of University on the colleges which make up the campus of the Ariel University Center. This should be one of the few places where the Europeans should be lauding the efforts of the Israelis as the Faculty and Student Body at Ariel University Center has a sizeable Palestinian Arab population and fosters an atmosphere of mutual acceptance and respect. This is one of the many efforts which have succeeded in bringing Palestinians and Israeli Jews together in a working partnership which breaks down much of the walls of animosity that are portrayed constantly in the national news. I attribute the lack of emphasis of this success as just a byproduct of good news is not news and that if it bleeds it leads, an old cliché about the newspaper industry that remains true for all forms of news unfortunately.

I would mention the constant friction between Israel and the Arab nations which are bent on her destruction but doubt such is necessary. What is interesting though is that throughout the entirety of the so-called Arab Spring, more appropriately as we call it, the Arab Winter, the one item most conspicuous by its absence was the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The only usage that has stood out concerning Israel has been the attempts by Syrian Dictator Bashir Assad to try and blame Israel for the turmoil and the fact that there is a civil war attempting to remove him from power ongoing in Syria. But then again, Bashir Assad has also blamed al-Qaeda, the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the generic reference to simply terrorists, and just about everything short of extraterrestrials, but there is still time so we may see that before it is all said and done. But in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, or the other trouble spots within the Muslim World other than Iran and their surrogates, there has been simply no mention, let alone complaints and blame, of Israel during all of the turmoil that has been witnessed for going on two years. Perhaps there is some meaning that can be derived from this simple fact.

Then there is the Presidential election which will simply engulf and absorb nearly every ounce of oxygen and press time in the United States and a place where it appears Israel may be one of the biggest wedge issues of the whole campaign. It is funny how the simple mention of Jerusalem as the rightful and proper capital of the Jewish State of Israel can kick up such a fuss and unleash a cloud of furious recriminations. What will be most amusing is to watch President Obama and Mitt Romney in a battle to one up the other on who would be the best friend of Israel going forward while trying to keep the issue from eclipsing everything else in the campaign. One thing that true followers of issues concerning Israel is that President Obama has definitely been the most controversial President whose supporters and adversaries both claim he is an extremist concerning Israel but at opposite ends of that definition. There are those who can quote you a list of every single item President Obama has committed in support of Israel while another group can list another list of items where President Obama has insulted the Israeli Prime Minister and sold Israel out in order to curry favor with the Arab World. Who is correct and who will win the argument? The odd thing about this particular item is that even after the election there will be no consensus over this issue. My bet is it will make a difference going forward from Inauguration Day concerning Israel depending heavily on which candidate wins the American elections. It would also likely be safe to say that should Israel decide to strike Iran unilaterally without conferring with any other world leaders as they feel it might be too risky and likely to compromise their secrecy and other plans, such a move will have a definitive effect on the American elections.

And that brings us to the crucial point, Israel and Iran. This past week Germany’s foreign minister urged Iran to make “substantial offers” to restart nuclear talks and promised Israel that allowing the Islamic Republic of Iran to attain the ability to produce an atomic bomb was “not an option” in a bold statement. Similar statements have come from numerous governments but almost always with a warning to Israel that the time had not yet arrived to consider using military force. Unfortunately, whenever any country plainly and boldly takes the stand that Iran must be prevented from reaching nuclear weapons capable and then also insists that Israel continue to stand down and trust the rest of the world, Iran does not hear the warnings against their nuclear ambitions and instead hears a simple “Go ahead with your research as we will keep Israel off your back.” The current dispute between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s declaration of need for firmly delineated “red lines” to be put in place which if crossed, actions will be enacted; and the refusal by the Administration of United States President Obama, as stated by Secretary of State Clinton, not to set any declarations, delineations, or demarcations on Iran and claiming that diplomacy is working as their plans had anticipated, has all the appearances of a train wreck. It does not take a Rhodes Scholar in political science or international relations to figure out what such a fundamental disagreement signals to Iran; “Full steam ahead!” Countering Israel at every turn and dismissing anything and everything which has Israel troubled and worried is not the best itinerary for building confidence and trust, it is a direct line to forcing Israel to act as the isolated state that has been rejected and discarded by all she had thought to be friends. The treatment Israel is being subjected to now will be nothing compared to the opprobrium should Israel finally feel so isolated that she has no other option to do what the rest of the world refuses to even contemplate. There are dark clouds and a feeling of dread slowly approaching the world.

Beyond the Cusp

June 23, 2012

Will Anybody Prevent an Iranian Nuclear Weapon?

Let’s be honest and look at the actual actions and ignore the lame excuses and improbable claims which make up the P5+1 countries’ leadership and negotiators about the guarantee that they will take all measures necessary in order to prevent the acquisition of nuclear weaponry by Iran and their constant reminder that a military option remains on the table. To fully understand the inclinations and to predict the likely direction that the P5+1 will follow in the future it is necessary to take a critical examination of their past stances. Going back some number of years the negotiation teams for the P5+1 were standing their ground demanding that Iran must terminate all uranium enrichment and ship every single gram of enriched uranium and yellow cake and other base uranium ores out of the country and rely on foreign supply of uranium fuel for their reactors and medical usage while also shipping spent fuel rods back to their supplying country for disposal. The P5+1 was adamant that Iran not be allowed to retain any nuclear material and subject themselves to full IAEA inspections with full access to any and all sites the inspectors believed necessary. This was pretty much the unmovable red line which Iran must not be allowed to cross and the P5+1 really, really meant that.

The first signs of weakening by the P5+1 were around this time when satellite photos gave evidence of the undeclared uranium enrichment site being constructed near Qom. This was the Fordo plant near Qom which was being constructed deep within a mountain and heavily fortified to resist any reasonable level of attack by any country opposing the Iranian nuclear program. Despite this evidence that Iran was still attempting to keep their efforts hidden and was not disclosing new sites as is required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the P5+1 made adjustments presumably as a sign they could be reasonable and were not going to be unyielding on any front with Iran. This flexibility was displayed by agreeing to modify their red lines such that Iran would be allowed to enrich a limited amount of uranium to a level of 3.0 to3.5 percent purity, fuel grade levels. Where this was intended to show that he P5+1 were capable of being understanding and making a gesture of goodwill, the Iranians simply saw this as weakness and a lack of fortitude on the part of the P5+1 and simply hardened their stance by walking away from the talks.

In order to bribe Iran at every turn, the P5+1 has slowly but inexorably kept backing their red line until we have gotten to the point we are at now. The red lines now are that Iran must stop enriching uranium to 20 percent or higher, must ship all uranium enriched to these levels out of the country, subject known Iranian nuclear sites to IAEA inspectors, reveal questionable research and developmental efforts at military facilities suspected of being utilized to produce nuclear triggers for nuclear devices (bombs and warheads), and rely on foreign supply for the medium enriched uranium usually necessary in medical procedures with limits that such supplies would be subject to reasonable levels. The P5+1 made concessions to allow Iran to enrich uranium to 3.0 or 3.5 percent purity and possibly even to 5.0 percent and to establish the entire fuel cycle for their nuclear reactors from ore through the enrichment and the production of fuels rods and even to the disposal of these fuel rods as long as the procedures were under full IAEA inspections.

Over the past few years the Iranians have made a number of offers periodically by claiming they were willing to allow IAEA inspectors and then cancelling or making impossible demands in limiting inspector’s access to return to their denial of inspector access at all; offers to suspend all enrichment only to renege on the offers; offers to ship all uranium enriched beyond 3.5 or 5.0 percent but only if they were to be allowed to continue to enrich to these levels then retracting the offer often without supplying any reasons; and even to allow IAEA inspectors access to the Parchin military base to belie any research of compressions or other nuclear triggers for nuclear devices only to go back on the offer while satellite pictures have witnessed extensive cleaning operations including the destruction of some of the buildings in question. The simple definition of all the concessions made by the Iranians in order to show any inclination of cooperation has been completely absent. Their demands have crept upward always finding a level a few steps beyond whatever the P5+1 have been willing to offer. This has produced a situation where no matter the concession given by the P5+1 the Iranians have also made adjustments in their demands to include the next step up from each offer. This is exactly the same tactic employed by the Palestinians with Israel where they take every single offer voiced by any source plus, at a minimum, a half dozen additional demands in order to prevent any progress always allowing room for concessions not to be sufficient in meeting their demands.

Recently, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak gave an interview to the Washington Post’s reporter Lally Weymouth. In this interview Ehud Barak related concerning Iran and the negotiations with the P5+1 and related subjects as follows:

“Whoever thinks that it’s complicated to deal with Iran right now, as some think-tank leaders are writing; just close your eyes and think what it will mean to deal with these very same issues once Iran turns nuclear as a result of an absence of political will. It will be much more dangerous, much more costly in terms of human lives and financial resources. And it will become nuclear if the world will not be tough enough to stop it. We always hope it will be solved by the free will of the Ayatollahs, by the effectiveness of the sanctions, by the creativity of diplomacy, or by any other miracle. When we say that we are determined to prevent them, and we should all be determined, including the American leadership, the European leadership, the Russians, the Chinese, we mean what we say and that is all I can say.”

What we find so disturbing about his comments is that they are likely an accurate portrayal of the stand of the world outside of Israel. So, where do we stand now?

We fear that all of the leadership of Europe are in favor of talking, or negotiating if you prefer, until an Iranian nuclear capability has been displayed and then attempting to rely on the MAD deterrent. The one European leader who had taken any form of a strong stand on the Iranian nuclear program was France’s Sarkozy who was recently defeated placing Francois Hollande at the head of France. Thus far Mr. Hollande has said he supports continuing the Sarkozy position on Iran which probably means he supports the P5+1 negotiations which were also supported by Sarkozy, and not so much taking a hard line stand considering any military actions. Both Russia and China have taken a side supporting Iran against pressures from the Western powers, especially concerning sanctions.

This leaves the United States as the sole world power, unless you consider Israel as another world power, which is able to take on sufficient ability to strike Iran and terminate their nuclear program or at least return it to near square one. President Obama has regularly acknowledged the existence of a military response to the Iranian nuclear program as available on the table as the final option and that he will not remove it from the table or from consideration. This claim is almost always followed by the phrase that we must first give the negotiations path every possible chance to work. Many, myself included, believe this actually means that though the military option is on the table, he is want to ever actually take it off the table and implement such a drastic measure. President Obama has also implied in the past that he believes that Iran are reasonable and sane actors and as such would not use nuclear weapons as the resultant counter strike would be more devastating than they would be willing to allow. Unfortunately, such a belief may be Pollyannaish in its nature and just as unreasonable and mistaken. Taking such a position on Iran is deluded and dangerous enough just when considering Iran with nuclear capability, but it becomes so much more dangerous when one adds in the nuclear armament race such would set off in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has already stated their intent to go nuclear capable should Iran become so and have already implemented the starting steps in nuclear research and development with a stated goal of building peaceful nuclear reactors for power generation. Egypt has also stated intent to pursue nuclear capabilities in response to a nuclear armed Iran. This position has been stated by both the Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Add Turkey to this mix and do not forget that Israel has already found it necessary to destroy a North Korean designed and built plutonium producing reactor within Syria. These are simply those who have actually come forward and stated their intent should Iran be allowed to successfully produce nuclear weaponry, how many feel the same way but are not willing to go public with their plans. It can only be deduced that allowing Iran to attain nuclear weapons capability would not only be a threat to Israel as the real major result of allowing such would be a completely nuclear armed Middle East within five years with the initial additions to the nuclear family would likely arrive within two years. Some Middle East countries such as Saudi Arabia can have a nuclear arsenal for the asking simply by buying their initial weapons. It is little mentioned, but Saudi Arabia has an agreement with Pakistan for them to supply the Saudi Royals with not only a number of their nuclear arsenal but also with the complete plans and necessary centrifuges and other equipment allowing Saudi Arabia to leap quickly into the nuclear club. This silent agreement was made as the Saudi Royals had financed almost all of the Pakistani nuclear program over the initial years. A near completely nuclear Middle East cannot end well, not for the Middle East and not for the whole world. And after the entire Middle East and much of Northern Africa, who else would find it necessary to go nuclear? Brazil? Venezuela? Nicaragua? South Africa for the second time? Exactly who? I, for one, would really not want to find the answer to this question, yet except for Israel I do not see anybody else giving even the slightest credibility to their absolute, do what it takes position towards Iran and their nuclear program. What I do see is Russia giving ominous warnings against any attack upon Iran and a world eager to abide by that warning. One thing we can all be assured of is that should a military method prove the only option in the end, Israel will be scolded and receive shaming blame for overreacting and not having adequate patience allowing diplomacy to work. After all, a diplomatic resolution is simply one more meeting from realization, and it shall always need one more meeting by Iranian calculations.

Beyond the Cusp

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