March 13, 2015

Hillary Mann Leverett Calls GOP Letter To Iran "Reckless" And Says President Obama Should Make A Stronger, Strategic Case For Rapprochement With Iran

From the glorious Declaration of Independence to the laughable Declaration of Ignorance. From the wise Thomas Jefferson to the fool Tom Cotton. A Decline Indeed!

An excerpt from, "GOP Senators’ Letter to Ayatollah Khamenei and the Strategic Imperative of U.S.-Iranian Realignment: Hillary Mann Leverett on Democracy Now!", March 12, 2015:
Hillary appeared on Democracy Now! to discuss the “OPEN letter” signed by forty-seven Republican senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the Iranian nuclear issue more broadly, and what is really at stake for the United States as it approaches a potentially important inflection point in the trajectory of U.S.-Iranian relations. To see the segment, click here, on the embedded video above, or here (for YouTube). 
Hillary explains the “reckless” and “dangerous” impact of the GOP letter—in terms of American constitutionalism and foreign policy practice, certainly, but even more profoundly in terms of America’s strategic interests. Critically, she takes President Obama to task for having refrained from making “the case, the strategic case, to the American people why a fundamentally different relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran is in America’s interest—not that we’re doing Iran a favor to welcome them back into the international community, instead that this is critically important for the United States, that after a decade of disastrous wars in the Middle East, we need a fundamentally different policy, and that starts with a fundamentally different relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”.
Hillary Mann Leverett: Yes, but if I can just come back to a point that you were just discussing with Ali that I think is very important in terms of the balance of power in the region, you know, in the 1980s, the Israelis were not at all concerned about Iran’s nuclear program.  They weren’t at all concerned about many of Iran’s other activities that they now profess concern about. In fact, in the 1980s, the United States wanted to impose sanctions on Iran for our concern about their connection to the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut. And the then Israeli government, in a live interview by the then Minister Ariel Sharon, said that Israel would oppose sanctions being—they would oppose sanctions being imposed on Iran. That changes in 1990, not because of any change in Iranian behavior, but because the Iraqi military was essentially taken out after the invasion of Kuwait and the U.S. routing of Iraq from Kuwait. Literally six months after that, in early 1992, you have the first visit to Washington by then Prime Minister Rabin, who’s considered more dovish than the current prime minister, Netanyahu, and it was then that Rabin started to raise concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and the prospect of sanctions. And it was then, in 1995, that the United States first imposes its comprehensive economic embargo on Iran. So I think it’s important to understand that even though Prime Minister Netanyahu’s rhetoric is very vitriolic, there is something deeper in terms of Israeli concerns about the rise of Iran in the region, that could check Israel’s, what I would call, reckless impulses vis-à-vis its neighbors.
Title: Ex-U.S. Official: With Iran Letter, "Reckless" GOP Places Middle East Hegemony over Security. Source: democracynow. Date Published: March 12, 2015.