Why we must give Iran nuclear deal a chance
April 18th, 2014
05:08 PM ET

Why we must give Iran nuclear deal a chance

By Tyler Cullis and Jamal Abdi, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Tyler Cullis is a policy associate at the National Iranian American Council. Jamal Abdi is policy director at NIAC. The views expressed are the authors’ own.

The United States could be on the verge of securing a historic agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, one that verifiably limits it and opens the door to further cooperation between the two countries. Yet with a diplomatic victory on the horizon, the rhetoric of those who have long opposed any diplomatic resolution is reaching dizzying heights of disingenuousness.

During a recent Senate hearing, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) hit out at reports that negotiations with Iran may produce a deal that “only” extends Iran’s nuclear breakout timeline to 6 to 12 months.

“I don’t think we did everything that we’ve done to only get a six to twelve month lead time,” Menendez lamented as he grilled Secretary of State John Kerry over the progress of the talks.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz piled on shortly after, calling such a timeline a “[U.S.] surrender to Iran” and “unacceptable.”

But there is something inconsistent about such criticism considering that under the sanctions approach preferred by policy makers like Menendez and Steinitz over the past decade, Iran has gone from just 300 centrifuges to 19,000 centrifuges. Indeed, according to some estimates, Tehran was approaching a nuclear breakout timeline of less than a month.

Meanwhile, the interim deal with Iran that Kerry brokered in October (which Menendez in effect tried to kill by proposing a new round of sanctions) doubled the breakout timeline to two to three months. Yet even as the United States closes in on a final deal that could extend that timeline to six to twelve months (while at the same time dramatically improving our ability to detect any attempt by Iran to cheat on its nonproliferation obligations) Menendez is claiming that this is just not good enough.

This begs the question: what is the alternative offered by opponents of diplomacy? After all, if the Menendez approach (sanctions, sanctions, sanctions!) brought us a mere month away from Iran being able to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear bomb, critics of negotiations should have something better up their sleeve.

The Israeli government appears to believe that threatening possible military strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities is the solution. But here’s the kicker: some estimates suggest that an Israeli strike on Iran would delay Iran’s breakout timeline by…six to twelve months – the same as the negotiated approach. The problem, of course, is that unlike a diplomatic solution, which would trade sanctions relief for verifiable limits on Iran’s nuclear program, an Israeli (or U.S.) military strike would have the opposite effect, and could prompt Iran to kick out inspectors and make a dash for a nuclear deterrent.

All this suggests an understanding of the potential timelines under these scenarios points to one conclusion – the White House is taking the best approach, one that extends the breakout timeline and has the best potential for securing an intrusive inspections regime to ensure Iranian compliance.

Opponents of diplomacy would do well to reflect on the reality that as the United States has tried to leverage sanctions against Iran, Tehran has responded by ramping up the production of centrifuges. As a result, the U.S. has long been in need of a new direction in its policy toward Iran.

Tentatively, but unmistakably, the Obama Administration has pursued a new approach – one that has brought us the first freeze on Iran’s nuclear program in a decade and which reports suggests have led to significant concessions on Iran’s Arak reactor.

If such a deal is not good enough for some in Congress or Israel’s government, then they must be prepared to speak up and offer viable alternatives. In the meantime, they should avoid undermining one of the most promising prospects for limiting Iran’s nuclear program in years.

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Topics: Iran • Israel • Nuclear • United States

soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. George

    The long-standing dispute on Iran's nuclear program is entirely based on a fiction since Iran has never had any interest in nuclear weapons. But, Iran is willing to go through this charade to prevent total embarrassment of American officials who will have admit this fact. So, Iran will limit its efforts for a few years as long as all sanctions are lifted. But, Congress will probably never agree. But, as long as the European follow through, who cares? The U.S. will end up looking like an absolute fool if it refuses the deal.

    As for the Arak reactor, apparently, the authors have no idea what is going on. There is nothing wrong with the Arak heavy-water reactor. Iran has agreed to make some design changes that will limit the potential for production of plutonium. Even a light-water reactor can produce plutonium. So, all the ballyhoo about Arak is just nonsense too.

    April 18, 2014 at 7:59 pm |
    • Thinker23

      If my neighbor was running around with a gun yelling that I and my family members would die soon I would be skeptical about the declarations of his friends saying that the guy did not have any intentions to attack anyone or even to obtain bullets to load his gun. Especially if gunpowder producing machinery was working in his basement day and night.

      April 19, 2014 at 9:36 am |
      • Max

        Your analogy is a farce. Iran has not threatened to attack anyone. It is the other way around. The U.S. and Israel have been threatening to bomb Iran, have invaded two of Iran's neighbors and have waged a cover war against Iran.

        April 19, 2014 at 10:24 am |
      • George

        Thinker23: I see that you haven't stopped writing dumb and ignorant comments. Are you so incompetent that you still cannot figure out that all the claims of "wiping out Israel" were just a lie? Do you know how to use Google? Check it out.

        As Max has pointed out, it is Israel and the U.S. that constantly threaten Iran with "All options are on the table." You don't know how to use a dictionary either? Do you know the meaning of the word, "All?"

        April 19, 2014 at 11:41 am |
      • j. von hettlingen

        Indeed, the fear that Iran would build nuclear bombs and wipe his neighbours off the map could spoil the current negotiations. Fear-mongers would rather see Iran giving up its nuclear programme completely, although Tehran claims relentlessly that it has no intention of building nukes.
        The interim deal is the best opportunity for both sides to air their concerns and resolve this dispute once and for all. Negotiations are all about to give and to take. So both sides have to be sensible, if they want to make things happen.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
    • Mike

      John Kerry is the Neville Chamberlain of the 21st century. Countries like Iran usually need to buy time and will sign any paper to achieve this goal. John Kerry will be remembered as a delusional man who allowed and aided Iran in obtaining nuclear power and hegemony in the middle east. I am doubtful that Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt (Sunni Countries) and Israel are as naive as Obama and this idiot

      April 19, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
    • Mike

      Hey George, you look like an "expert" in nuclear engineering. Are you?

      The reality is that Obama is the worst president we had via foreign policy. WHen Iran captured a US drown he chickened and allowed the technology to fall into Russian hands. He could have bombed it but was afraid. When Syria used chemical weapons he chickened. He could have shot a cruise missile and made a point but he did not want Assad to get angry with him. When Assad passed the read line and he called the Russians for help. Putin got the message and invaded Ukraine (he just signed an agreement with the Americans but mark my words.... he will aid the separatists). No one in the middle east trusts Obama, Kerry or stupid pieces of paper – "agreements". Obama and Kerry know that but will sell the US interests to get some peace during their office. Later when all hell breaks lose they will blame the next administration / Israel and the professional (and longest in history) refugees (so called Palestinians) . IN SUM: I PREDICT THAT IN ONLY ONE YEAR WE WILL SEE THE AGREEMENT UNRAVELING AND IRAN DECLARING THEY HAVE 10 WARHEADS AIMED AT ISRAEL AND SAUDI ARABIA. I WONDER WHAT KERRY AND OBAMA WILL DO. LOL OBAMA WILL SAY ITS NOT NICE AND KERRY WILL HAVE A FLASHBACK AND GET THERAPY FOR HIS PTSD

      April 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
      • Sasha

        Mike. What you're saying is absolutely baseless.
        Is Obama the worst president ever for not wanting to get us involved in another unnecessary war? Is he the worst president for passing Obamacare where millions of people can now have the peace of mind knowing that they wouldn't go bankrupt trying to take care their health. Have you forgotten how little respect and influence US had in international community for wanting to go it alone in Iraq and Afghanistan during Bush/Chaney presidency. Is Obama the worst president for bringing the country from the brink of economic collapse? I'm not saying that Obama has not made any mistake but don't ever tell me that he's the worst president ever because you and bigots like are just dead wrong.

        April 19, 2014 at 5:15 pm |
      • George

        Mike: I agree that Obama is incompetent in foreign policy but for the opposite reasons from you. He is just like Bush. His actions in Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Syria are downright criminal. His threatening Russia and imposing sanctions on it are utterly stupid. The only good thing is that Kerry is making an honest effort to make a deal with Iran.

        Your claim that within one year Iran is going to have nukes and is going to attack Israel is laughable. Stupid Netanyahu has been claiming since 1992 (yes, for 22 years) that Iran will have nukes in six months and is going to attack poor little Israel. Are you that simple-minded to believe this lunatic? Iran has no interest in nukes. If it wanted any, it would have built some more than 20 years ago. Do you think Iranians are stupid? Pakistan built nukes years ago and it is far more backward than Iran. Grow up. All this ballyhoo about Iran's nukes is just a charade.

        April 19, 2014 at 10:09 pm |
      • Alhassan Bakari

        Oh goodness. Here we go again !
        Hey Mike are you an expert in anything reasonable ?
        The reality is that Obama is, to my estimation, short of expectations. One remembers the world's reaction of optimism at his first inaugural day! And now this letdown! The Iranian captured US drone was in Iranian airspace and to bomb Iran would have been an act of unjustified immoral war. Maybe you may share expert knowledge as to how Russia is now in custody of the drone secrecy vide the Iranians. Your word is enough ?When Syria used chemical weapons he chickened. Sure Putin would aid his Russian brethren. Why not? America and all Nations of the world individually would reasonably do so. No sane person would swear to the authenticity of a politician's word.American or otherwise.Obama and Kerry know that but will promote the US interests to get some peace during their office. Later when all hell breaks lose if stupid policies are implemented after them of course they will blame that next administration . I PREDICT THAT IN ONLY ONE YEAR WE WILL SEE THE AGREEMENT IMPROVED AND IRAN SHALL HAVE NO WARHEADS AIMED AT ISRAEL AND SAUDI ARABIA. KERRY AND OBAMA WILL SAY ITS NICE AND KERRY WILL HAVE A FLASHBACK AND RETIRE TO WRITE ABOUT DELICATE DIPLOMACY. MAY BE YOU SHOULD START SAVING FOR THIS MEMOIRS , Expert Mike !

        April 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
      • George

        Alhassan Bakari: The Syrian government did not use chemical weapons. It was the rebels who used them and Obama and Kerry lied about it pretending that Syria had used it. There was a study from MIT that essentially proved that the government forces could not have been responsible. The rebels got the chemicals from Saudi Arabia apparently.

        April 20, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
    • Mike


      April 19, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
      • Mike

        I predict in one year Iran will be doing no such thing, and still, after 25 years of warnings from Bibi, have no nuclear weapons, and you will still be trying to lie Americans into a war.

        April 19, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
    • Alhassan Bakari

      The real question is : since Israel possess nuclear equipment and delivery system why would Iran agree that America and Israel, long foes of the Iranians dictate effectively a surrender to their freedom as a people ? The world is far from 1945 and present day Iran is more than at par with 1953 Germany technically. The time is appropriate for the world to realize the horrors of increasingly likely nuclear military usage and one sure way is to be so partisan and haughty in International relations. The Saudi have more to fear from Israel than from the Iranians.

      April 20, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
      • Alhassan Bakari

        Infact holistically this is all stupidity. Why can't Iran and indeed the entire Muslim World not live peacefully and in cooperation with Israel and all the World ? Peak oil ,fracking ,electric car possibilities and other cutting edge energy( clean?) should make America not to economically bother with the likelihood of a more assertive Iranian influence in that Area. For Israel it is better to have a weak neighbor friend and a strong far away enemy than to have a weak neighbor enemy and a strong faraway enemy. While America shall continue to grow militarily for the foreseeable future, Iran and the Muslims will also grow beyond the capabilities to own and deliver nuclear pieces within some few thousand kilometers of their borders not withstanding the patriot and other satellite based defense systems. I bet Iran is after military nuclear capability but I do not grudge them too much considering Israel that frequently threaten air strikes against Iran whilst owning nuclear and not subscribing to NPT. Energy,global warming,Aids,Ebola,other viral diseases,poverty,weak world economy etc etc suggests that the time had come for the lineage of Jacob to join others and make it the lineage of Adam!

        April 20, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
    • zcyrus

      Yes Iran regime will limit its efforts for a few years as long as all sanctions are lifted and then will make the bomb!.
      Why they are making ballistic rockets?
      Why the spent billion of dollars to build all the secret and military nuclear sites?
      Just having fun?!

      April 30, 2014 at 8:56 pm |
  2. chrissy

    Agreed @ George. But it seems that Israel is way more opposed to this than the US! And thats pretty much been the case since the very begining.

    April 18, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
    • Thinker23

      Well, it's because it is Israel (and not the US) that will become an immediate target of Iranian nuckear attack...

      April 19, 2014 at 9:33 am |
    • Duncan

      Respectfully, Chrissy, the back and forth over Ahmadinejad's words is only the tip of the iceberg. Former president Rafsanjani stated clearly that Islamic nations could one day acquire nukes and destroy Israel – and SHOULD do so.
      And this final point – if we looking on are incorrect and Iran DOES decide to use a nuke against Israel at some point – would that matter to you or would you feel justice might have been done?

      April 19, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
      • George

        Duncan: You seem to be another simple-minded American whp believes all the lies about Iran. Rafsanjani never threatened to bomb Israel. His words were taken out of context and I don't have the time to explain it to you. Who cares what he said anyway? He has no power now. Have you kept track of all the threats that the lunatic Netanyahu has made against Iran?

        April 19, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
      • Reza

        I tried to follow your link and read what Rafsanjani has said. It is a pity to see how people try to fabricate baseless lies to justify their actions (you remind me of Bush and Cheney in this regard) and prove their points.
        While we all can see how your friends freely in TV shows seen by millions of people talk about nuclear bombs that can be used in a preemptive war against Iran, you are resorting to a web page that nobody knows who put it there. When I see them smiling and at the same time talk about the possibility of using nuclear bombs against Iran putting the lives of civilians at risk, it reminds me of mad scientists that think they are playing a video game.
        Iran has not attacked any country in the past hundreds of years. Iran is not going to attack Israel or Saudi Arabia with nuclear bombs because it is against the teachings that all Muslims believe in. Even during the war with Iraq, Iran didn't use chemical weapons. It was Iraq who used humanitarian helps made by Donald Rumsfeld to attack Iran and its own people by chemical weapons. You might understand this easier from a practical point of view. Iran has shown to be a wise player and knows that it stands no chance in a nuclear war. It is ironic. Since the revolution succeeded in Iran, the country was attacked by Arabic countries supported by USA and Israel and still it is Iran that is blamed.

        April 19, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
  3. cyrus

    abdi is an apologist for the mullahs....why CNN would publish such content is very surprising to most

    if you want peace and freedom in iran- get rid of the evil mullahs- pure and simple- they have the blood of millions of Iranians, American, and countless others on their hands......abdi and parsi are pathetic

    April 18, 2014 at 10:49 pm |
    • George

      I agree that Parsi and Abdi are pathetic but for the opposite reasons. They do not support the Iranian government at all. Instead, they are apologists for Israel and the U.S. and have supported sanctions on Iran in the past, although now they claim not to support them. They regularly invite AIPAC and Israeli officials to their conferences.

      April 19, 2014 at 11:36 am |
      • Duncan

        George perhaps I am "simple minded", perhaps no... but I pose the same question to you which Chrissy deigned not to answer: would you care if Iran becomes a nuke power? Do you care if Israel is wiped out? Many in the world today don't and it fascinates me. I think they'd care greatly if they could imagine the consequences of anyone doing, or even attempting the destruction of the Jewish state. These people WOULD burn down the planet before going quietly again – and I don't blame them at all. When I see the rhetoric spewed against them I just shake my head... A country the size of N.J. with no great wealth in oil or minerals or anything except possibly hi-tech. And the whole world is obsessed over them.

        April 20, 2014 at 12:30 am |
      • George

        Duncan: You are talking total nonsense. Iran is not Saudi Arabia. Iranians are very sensible and moderate people. Iran hasn't attacked another country for hundreds of years. Why would it start now? It is all garbage propaganda by Israel which stupid Americans believe like absolute morons. Iran is already a nuclear power in the sense that it has the mastery of the entire nuclear life cycle. But, Iran has no interest in nukes which are totally useless in today's world. Nobody can use nukes today. So, the whole issue is moot. So, as I tell everybody, just grow up and stop believing all the stupid propaganda against Iran.

        One more point: Iran has NEVER threatened Israel. Are you another of of the deluded Americans who still believes all the lies about Iran wanting to "wipe out" poor old stupid Israel? It is simply ridiculous. Do you know how to use Google? Check it out. On the other hand, Israel and the U.S. constantly threaten Iran with the utterly idiotic statement, "All options are on the table." Do you know the meaning of the word "All?"

        April 20, 2014 at 3:04 am |
  4. chrissy

    True partially @ Max. The US has NOT threatened to bomb Iran though. And @ thinker23 how can you play both sides of the fence the way you do? Oh thats right....just change your name huh? Silly me....i forgot WHO im dealing with! Israel's Netanyahusanidiot has done his very best to get us INTO a conflict with Iran for quite some time! And while many of his country's citizens dont agree with his stance on this, they, like many of us in the US, will be judged on what our "leaders" decide is our course of action!

    April 19, 2014 at 11:35 am |
    • Thinker23

      "And @ thinker23 how can you play both sides of the fence the way you do?"

      Can you elaborate on this please? What exactly you consider to be "playing both sides of the fence"?

      "Oh thats right....just change your name huh? Silly me...."

      I have to agree that it's pretty silly to confuse me with someone else... Especially if that person makes statements contradicting the statements I've made.

      April 19, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
    • George

      The U.S. has threatened Iran for years? Where have you been. What do you think, "All options are on the table," means?

      April 19, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
      • zcyrus

        Iranian people do not trust the mullah regime and rejected to give up getting of monthly payment from government last week. How the 5 5+ 1 could trust their lie promises?

        April 30, 2014 at 9:03 pm |
  5. chrissy

    Lol ok @ JR aka thinker23, you forget i know your identi ties and your S.O.P.

    April 19, 2014 at 2:36 pm |
    • Thinker23

      "Lol ok @ JR aka thinker23, you forget i know your identi ties ..."

      Are you trying to say that yours truly and JR [Ewing] from the 'Dallas' TV series is the same person? Did you try to tell it to your therapist?

      April 20, 2014 at 3:52 pm |
  6. chrissy

    And @ Duncan what will YOU think when one day Israel uses their nukes? EVERYONE should be concerned about nukes!

    April 19, 2014 at 2:39 pm |
    • George

      Do you know about Israel's Samson Option where it threatened to nuke European capitals if they don't submit to its lunatic demands?

      April 19, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
      • Thinker23

        "Do you know about Israel's Samson Option where it threatened to nuke European capitals if they don't submit to its lunatic demands?"

        I recall something about such lunatic story described in a FICTION BOOK by Seymour M. Hersh... Do you know that the responsibility for the FICTIONAL stories lays with their authors, genius?

        April 20, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
      • George

        It was not only Hersh who wrote about it. Well, I guess Hersh was writing just fiction when he revealed the My Lai massacre too too.

        April 20, 2014 at 8:43 pm |
      • Thinker23

        George... If you believe in this fiction you should have no troubles to answer the following question:

        WHY would Israel be willing to nuke its European FRIENDS in case it is attacked by its Arab or Iranian ENEMIES?

        April 21, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
      • George

        Thinker23: You misunderstand. The threat is to force Europeans to come to its aid. It is that mad dog strategy.

        April 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
  7. Name*Cicero

    Why should American blood be spill for Israel? What do They do for us? As far as I can tell they are a cancer on our country. They get billions of dollars a year and constantly want us to fight their battles!

    April 19, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
    • Thinker23

      American blood should not and was not spilled for Israel. As a matter of fact, not a single American or any other foreign soldier ever participated in Israeli wars.

      April 21, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
      • George

        Well, American blood was indeed spilled when Israel attacked USS Liberty while trying to blame it on Egypt. Also, the attack on Iraq was to some extent motivated by Israel.

        April 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
  8. chrissy

    Thank you @ Cicero! My POINT exactly! Well i wouldnt go so far as to call them a "cancer on our society" although they have become quite the financial burden to this country!

    April 19, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
  9. Education

    Did you know that ALL nuclear power plants release radiation into the environment during their "normal" operations.

    Did you know that this radiation is found in the local water, air, cattle, fish, vegetables, etc.

    Did you know that this radiation can cause Cancers, Heart Disease, Thyroid Disease, Diabetes, infertility, birth defects, miscarriages, etc.

    Did you know that as a nuclear plant powers up and down it releases even MORE of this radiation?

    Did you know that they can release radiation as any many times a day as they want or need to?

    This is why nuclear energy is not worth the risks to human life and human DNA.

    And remember, many doctors/researchers say there is NO SAFE DOSE of this radiation.

    April 19, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
  10. chrissy

    @ George, Now WHY doesnt THAT surprise me! No wonder Israel has our government in their back pocket....they seem to have that same romper room mentality! Lunatic doesnt begin to describe them.

    April 19, 2014 at 10:23 pm |
  11. Duncan

    I'll ask ALL of you here who seem to believe the world would be better off without Israel. Or at least without an Israel controlled by Jews. Is your indignation (righteous or not) at the actions of this tiny M.E. nation sufficient for you to risk a regional or even global war to bring your version of "justice" to the Palestinians? I am not attempting to hate on anyone here. I genuinely don't understand the logic in constantly demanding that one state give in to it's (deadly) enemies while asking no restrictions on those enemies. Essentially giving them a free hand to attempt to destroy a member state of the UN. Does it seem reasonable that Israel will allow itself to be so positioned that it could be over run and destroyed by it's enemies and NOT retaliate with nuclear weapons on everyone in the vicinity? Do you all think these people would stand by and watch the destruction of their homes, their CHILDREN, without responding? It amazes me the wishful thinking brought on by the underlying hatred against the Jew. Call it by whatever name you wish, this is what it always gets down to. Hatred always destroys itself in the end.

    April 20, 2014 at 12:38 am |
    • George

      Duncan: Now, you prove that you are totally brainwashed. Nobody here has anything against Jews, at least as far as I am concerned. The problem is with radical Zionists who think they are God's stupid little children and they can kill anybody and confiscate anybody's land. Your poor little Israel has become the cancer of the Middle East with the full support of stupid United States which give billions to to it every year and blindly and stupidly supported every barbaric action of this degenerate and phony state. It is a disease and as long as Netanyahu and his ilk are in charge there is no cure for this disease.

      April 20, 2014 at 3:11 am |
      • Thinker23

        George... Any person who'd land was illegally confiscated by Israel has every right to bring his/her case to Israeli Court, PROVE his/her ownership rights and demand compensation for the lost property.

        April 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
      • George

        Thinker23: Now, you prove to be utterly simple minded. You are beyond hope.

        April 24, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
  12. R5

    Why Iran need or want N-Bomb? It is so unjust, we, Americans are paying for Israel's defense budget and I have problem to get health insurance, thank you Menandez. Have you ever asked why Iran is a bogeyman? Shame on you but not saying the truth,

    April 20, 2014 at 1:11 am |
  13. R5

    Don't you think Commenting on what you don't even know makes you less.
    For those that think Iran is after inhalation of Israel, ARE YOU MAD, go back to WWII and read what iranian ambassador did, while you are at it, ask yourself why all the iranian Jews going back to Iran? Well ask Emirate Airline. Stop we are people. N-bomb, it is so stupid

    April 20, 2014 at 1:24 am |
    • George

      Actually, it was not the ambassador. I assume you are talking about the Iranian embassy official in Paris who gave hundreds of Iranian passports to European Jews and insisted that Germans treat them as Iranian citizens. He saved numerous Jewish lives. But, nobody remembers this fact today.

      April 20, 2014 at 3:15 am |
      • Thinker23

        George... If no body remembered this fact today you would not be able to tell us about it as well.

        April 21, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
      • George

        Since I don't know if they "The 'Iranian Schindler' who saved Jews from the Nazis," to read a BBC article about it.

        April 24, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
      • George

        I wish this stupid comment section allowed the editing of comments. I meant to say, since I don't know if they allow URLs here, Google the phrase in my previous comment.

        April 24, 2014 at 5:41 pm |
  14. Reza

    Why the wester media are always trying to show this as a conflict between Muslims and Jews? Yes that is true. The two sides belong to two different faiths. However these two different faiths used to live for a long time together in peace. Jews suffered the least in Muslim countries. Don't forget that Holocaust happened in a Christian country.
    The problem in the region started as a territorial conflict. However West is trying to show this as a fight against Jews, as a faith, to justify their unjust support of Israel as a humanitarian act. The problem is that western countries are trying to forge a fake nation for their own interests and at the same time are ignoring the rights of those who used to live there for thousands of years. You talk about a state member of UN. At the same time you forget that UN does not recognize the occupation of Jerusalem and the lands Israel occupied in 1967. UN has asked Israel to withdraw from those lands including Jerusalem. There is no need for war. If UN only imposes sanctions on Israel, to withdraw from occupied lands, that would be the end of occupation in the region. It won’t happen because western countries for the moment need Israel.

    April 20, 2014 at 1:39 am |
    • Thinker23

      Resa... Only TWO (out of twenty-two) Arab countries recognized the right of Israel to exist. Within ANY borders.

      The number of Jews in Iran DECREASED by 85% since the Islamic Revolution. The number of Jews in the Arab countries DECREASED by 99% since 1948. The number of Jews living in the Palestinian-controlled regions of the West Bank and Gaza is EXACTLY ZERO... and you're telling us that "Jews suffered the least in Muslim countries"??? Who are you trying to sell these stories here?

      April 21, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
    • zcyrus

      Iran has been making fools of these Western Powers. While negotiating to ease sanctions, they are busy acquiring equipment and machinery to boost their nuclear arms capability. This latest discovery should be grounds to scrap what ever agreement they had with the G7 to ease sanctions. Iran is bent on making a nuclear bomb so that they can use it to blackmail the world powers.....

      April 30, 2014 at 9:07 pm |
  15. Reza

    Iran is not after nuclear weapons. Like all other countries Iran needs access to different sources of energy including nuclear energy. It cannot build infrastructures for nuclear energy that needs huge investments, relying on other countries for fuel rods or other technical expertise. They need to develop their own capabilities. If west is afraid that Iran misuses the nuclear facilities, the solution is to rely on the NPT and increase the level of transparency. Iran has no problem with more transparency as long as its rights are recognized. And where does this end? If one is going to accept the reasoning made by the west that Iran must be stopped in doing research and development related to nuclear sciences, because they might use the knowledge for nuclear weapons, then basically Iran should be stopped from any type of progress (economical, cultural, scientific and so on). This is not constructive. Iranians need mutual understanding and respect. They have contributed significantly to science, medicine, literature, art and philosophy. They can do it again. They are kind and lively. Don’t try to stop them. It won’t work. Try to work with them and you’ll see the benefit.

    April 20, 2014 at 2:09 am |
    • zcyrus

      If Iran is not seeking a ballistic nuclear program why are all the people around the world being arrested for trying to export these types of equipment?

      April 30, 2014 at 9:10 pm |
  16. joe

    another gasping apologist that assumes the west has no option but to accept Iran's pursuit of the bomb...

    April 20, 2014 at 7:03 am |
  17. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    It really has nothing to do with religion. The aftermath of World War II is an excuse for the USA's having a base between Arab countries with oil, and the existence of Zionism helped us build the base.
    However, one must not say that.

    April 20, 2014 at 7:45 am |
  18. chrissy

    OMG @ Duncan, you CAN read can't you? I clearly stated my problem is with Netanyahusanidiot, NOT the people of Israel! And i have an even bigger problem with financial "support" of him!

    April 20, 2014 at 9:35 am |
  19. chrissy

    Lol @ George there is a cure. Its the old stand by cure that they used for mad cow disease! Lol however it isnt PC so we cant use it. Not that im promoting euthanism but it DOES work! Ok forgive me God i shouldnt think that way i know!

    April 20, 2014 at 9:41 am |
  20. ryan

    if only israel treat palestinians as irantreat the Iranian Jewish community !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 20, 2014 at 10:05 am |
    • Thinker23

      "if only israel treat palestinians as irantreat the Iranian Jewish community !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

      If Israel treated the Palestinians the same way Iran is treating the Jews then at least 85% of the Palestinians would LEAVE... Just like 85% of Iranian Jews did.

      April 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
  21. ryan


    yes the west has no option other than an "unthinkable" (in michel flournoy's words) invasion and decade long occupation..

    do you seriously think US will invade and occupy this vast country as big as france UK germany and italya ? altogether ?

    according to DR pollack US would need 700 000 troops for such undertaking..

    to quote Mr Robert Gates : "any future defence secretary who ... into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined"

    and bombing is not going to work, if only to play wac a mole with iranians facilities.

    Bombing iran means iran invasion or more likely a nuclear armed iran, like it or not US will have to strike a deal with iran, or will have to back their words( and fail to prevent a nuclear iran ) or just acquies !

    April 20, 2014 at 10:13 am |
  22. chrissy

    Lol whatever you say @ Jeff Roem aka thinker23 also known as cnn's resident troll!

    April 20, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
  23. Thinker23

    I would like to remind everyone to realize that in case the US, the UN, the EU and the rest of the West will not deal with Iran TRYING to get nuclear weapons they will have to deal with Iran HAVING nuclear weapons.

    It's that simple.

    April 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm |
  24. changeirannow

    Iran’s efforts to loosen the stranglehold of economic sanctions includes doing whatever it takes while still preserving the infrastructure of its nuclear weapons capability. The reduction in enriched fuel is meaningless without a concurrent reduction in the number of centrifuges it operates or the use of a heavy water reactor to produce more fissionable material from unmonitored unenriched uranium fuel. In fact, Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi recently said the rogue state would need an additional 30,000 centrifuges of a newer, more efficient model that were originally banned under an agreement Iran signed on to with six Western nations only last year. If Iran can walk away from an agreement it signed just last year, why does anyone think they would be any more compliant with any future agreements? Iran simply wants access to restricted oil monies that it can use to fund its support of Assad in Syria, the terror group Hezbollah, fellow Shiites in Iraq and for future nuclear development.

    April 21, 2014 at 11:57 pm |
  25. zcyrus

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Iran is "about two months away" from having nuclear-enriched material.

    April 30, 2014 at 8:52 pm |
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