Right Web

Tracking militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy

New Einhorn Report on Final Iran Deal Focuses Debate

A recent report by a Brookings scholar recommends passing a congressional authorization for war in the event that Iran abandons nuclear negotiations with the west.

Print Friendly

LobeLog

Robert Einhorn, who served as the State Department’s special advisor on non-proliferation and arms control under President Barack Obama until less than a year ago, has issued an important report, “Preventing a Nuclear-Armed Iran: Requirements for a Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement,” which no doubt reflects much of the thinking of the administration’s main negotiators. It was presented at the Brookings Institution, Einhorn’s current employer, with reactions from Dennis Ross of the Washington Institute for Near Policy (WINEP) and Frank N. von Hippel of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend but I just noticed that an audio recording of the session is available here

For the short version — the report is some 56 pages long — you should read the Introduction and Summary (pp. 4-10), but Barbara Slavin also published an article about the report on Al-Jazeera America if you want to read an even shorter account that summarizes the main points, highlighting what are likely to be the more contentious provisions. Hopefully, we will be able to offer a real expert’s analysis of the report’s recommendations on the blog by the weekend. Laura Rozen also wrote up a summary on her blog for Al-Monitor.

While, as Einhorn acknowledges, his recommendations could prove problematic to the Iranians, the fact that the ongoing negotiations appear to be proceeding smoothly clearly suggests that the basic elements that he lays out as part of an eventual agreement are not deal-breakers. Indeed, I’m pretty certain the U.S. negotiating team has already put much of this on the table, and the Iranians clearly haven’t rejected any of it.

That said, I find one recommendation particularly objectionable; specifically, one related to actions designed to “convey clearly to Iran’s leaders that any attempt to abandon constraints and pursue nuclear weapons would be met with a firm international response that would be highly damaging to Iran’s interests” in the event that a comprehensive agreement is reached.

The Congress should take legislative action to give the president prior authorization to use military force in the event of clear evidence that Iran has taken steps to abandon the agreement and move toward producing nuclear weapons.

In other words, as part of the process of sealing a comprehensive accord that would also see Congress lifting nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, Einhorn is calling for an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to be given to the president — any president, presumably, for the life of the accord. While this may help undermine opposition to lifting sanctions as part of a final agreement, I have serious questions about its wisdom under any circumstances. Not only would the Iranians consider this a highly aggressive gesture comparable to putting a “gun to [their] head,” but anyone — especially Democrats — who remembers the uses to which the October 2002 AUMF were eventually put by George W. Bush must surely find this a rather frightening prospect.

Imagine if Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, or Ted Cruz is sitting in the Oval Office. Besides, look what happened to the proposed AUMF on Syria. Will an AUMF really be politically necessary to get enough support to lift nuclear-related sanctions if a comprehensive agreement along Einhorn’s thinking is reached? And think of all the potential provocateurs — Israel’s right-wing leadership and its backers here, Saudi Arabia, the MEK — who would be lining up to try to blow up an agreement by, among other things, offering doctored evidence of non-compliance to a nervous or complicit White House. While most of Einhorn’s proposals recommendations appear on their face (at least to a non-technical person) to be reasonable, an AUMF just seems irresponsible.

Jim Lobe blogs about foreign policy at www.lobelog.com

Share RightWeb

Featured Profiles

Mike Pompeo (R-KS) is a conservative Republican congressman who was voted into office as part of the “tea party” surge in 2011 and nominated by Donald Trump to be director of the CIA.


Although better known for his domestic platform promoting “limited” government, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has expressed strong sympathies for projecting U.S. military power abroad.


James “Mad Dog” Mattis is a retired U.S Marine Corps general and combat veteran who served as commander of U.S. Central Command during 2010-2013 before being removed by the Obama administration reportedly because of differences over Iran policy.


Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) was one of Congress’s staunchest foreign policy hawks and a “pro-Israel” hardliner.


A self-styled terrorism “expert” who claims that the killing of Osama bin Laden strengthened Al Qaeda, former right-wing Lebanese militia member Walid Phares wildly claims that the Obama administration gave the Muslim Brotherhood “the green light” to sideline secular Egyptians.


Weekly Standard editor and PNAC cofounder Bill Kristol is a longtime neoconservative activist and Washington political operative.


Kelly Ayotte was a Republican senator from New Hampshire who is close to right-wing and neoconservative factions.


For media inquiries,
email rightwebproject@gmail.com

From the Wires

Print Friendly

Spurred by anti-internationalist sentiment among conservative Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration, the US is headed for a new confrontation with the UN over who decides how much the US should pay for peacekeeping.


Print Friendly

Decent developments in the Trump administration indicate that the neoconservatives, at one point on the margins of Washington’s new power alignments, are now on the ascendent?


Print Friendly

As the end of Donald Trump’s first 100 days as president approaches, it seems that his version of an “America-first” foreign policy is in effect a military-first policy aimed at achieving global hegemony, which means it’s a potential doomsday machine.


Print Friendly

Hopeful that Donald Trump may actually be their kind of guy, neoconservatives are full of praise for the cruise-missile strike against Syria and are pressing for more.


Print Friendly

Steve Bannon’s removal from the NSC’s Principals Committee doesn’t mean that he’s gone from the White House or no longer exerts a powerful influence on Trump. His office is still located very close to the Oval Office, and there’s nothing to indicate that his dark and messianic worldview has changed.


Print Friendly

Promoting sanctions that could undermine the Iran nuclear deal, pushing security assistance for Israel, combatting BDS, and more.


Print Friendly

Contrary to some wishful thinking following the Trump administration’s decision to “put Iran on notice” and seemingly restore U.S.-Saudi ties, there are little signs of apprehension in Tehran.


RightWeb
share