U.S. Representative Howard Berman (D-CA) visited Israel recently to take part in discussions at Tel Aviv’s National Institute for Security Studies, a group focusing on “political transitions in both countries.”
Berman told Haaretz:
President-elect Barack Obama’s policy of dialogue with Iran should be conducted quickly to prevent the Islamic Republic from attaining a nuclear capability.
If the goal is to keep them from being a nuclear-weapons-capable state you cannot let dialogue become a trap that goes on and on and allows them to enrich and expand their centrifuges and who knows what they are doing with weaponization that is easier to conceal,” Berman said. “You cannot talk about a longer dialogue than eight to 12 weeks.
Assuming that Obama will, indeed, carry through on his plan to “sit down” with Iran and talk them out of nuclear notions [my words, not Obama’s], then I guess this is better than “no date certain” for concluding the sit downs.
Berman said “pulling together key parties” to support sanctions involving bilateral trade and refined oil products would work on Tehran because “it is sensitive to public opinion.” He added: “It is a lot different than what we are doing now¬ certain people can’t fly, and minor sanctions on certain kinds of nuclear-related technologies.”
Berman says the Bush administration’s major mistake was that it did not unite the international community against Iran, and that dialogue with Iran will be another chance to do so.
If we’re being optimistic, then this must mean that Obama and Company can ably whip Russia and China into submission on leveling true sanctions against Iran.
Barring Israel taking steps to render Iran a nuclear-free zone, we can add to the three months the time it takes to convince Russia and China to vote for sanctions in the U.N. Security Council, and then the time it takes to make the sanctions a reality, and then the time it takes to honor Ahmadinejad’s empty and sinister promises to behave, and then the time it take for IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to report back on the zero progress made to dismantle the nuclear sites, and then the time it takes to start the whole process over again. After all, we’re dealing with jihad here, and Israel is “just over there.”