December 23, 2013
KNOWING YOUR ALLIES:
The Mideast's Unlikely Allies (BEN FISHMAN, 12/23/13, NY Times)
For Israel, no level of security assistance seems capable of overcoming its anxiety that the United States will ultimately accept a nuclear Iran rather than initiate a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities if the diplomatic process falls apart or Iran develops the capability and know-how to produce nuclear weapons in short order.Mr. Obama has acknowledged that Israel should not be expected to contract out its security. And yet he is hoping Mr. Netanyahu will do just that by foregoing a military strike and trusting America to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon through sanctions-backed diplomacy and force, if necessary.The Gulf states have long feared being sold out by America to their Persian rivals, especially since the president first proposed engagement with Iran in 2009.
Iran's Rouhani eyes rebuilding relations with United States (Reuters, Dec 23, 2013)
"We want to rebuild and improve our relations to European and North American countries on a basis of mutual respect," he wrote in a contribution for the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper."We are striving to avoid new burdens on relations between Iran and the United States and also to remove the tensions that we have inherited," said Rouhani, who has promised to reduce Tehran's isolation and to win an easing of sanctions.
Posted by Orrin Judd at December 23, 2013 5:06 PM