A TALE OF TWO JOURNALISTS – AT 9:56 A.M. ET: Two news reports on the Iranian nuclear program. As they say, you can't make this stuff up:
Report number one, from the Jerusalem Post:
There have been signs over the past year and particularly over the past weeks, that Iran has an interest in reaching a resolution over its nuclear program, the US Department of the Treasury top sanctions official said Monday.
"Pressure is working" David Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the US Department of the Treasury, said in an interview with Army Radio.
However, he added that the Iranian regime must be aware that "the window" to reach a solution diplomatically will not remain open forever.
"We have demonstrated to Iran that continued refusal to address issues will only result in increasing pressure," Cohen asserted. He stressed that 2012 was a very difficult year for the Islamic Republic, noting that oil exports dropped by 50%, along with the value of the Iranian Rial.
Cohen's comments echo a New York Times' report on Thursday, that cited US and Western officials stating that Tehran has slowed its efforts to enrich uranium, in what could be construed as a sign that it wishes to prevent a "direct confrontation" over its nuclear program.
Hmm. An Obama official and The New York Times. Why am I uneasy?
Report number two, from Jim Hoagland at the Washington Post:
“Iran has responded to the toughening of sanctions by speeding up its work on a bomb, not slowing it down,” says Jean-David Levitte, former French ambassador to Washington and, until May, then-President Nicolas Sarkozy’s diplomatic adviser. “We now have only a relatively few months to act before Iran’s nuclear effort becomes irreversible.”
Levitte believes that the six powers conducting nuclear negotiations with Iran have to make a final comprehensive offer. Failing Tehran’s quick agreement to such a proposal, the only courses left open will be acceptance of an Iranian bomb or military action to prevent it, he argues.
COMMENT: Of course, you have your choice as to who to believe. And so do the people making foreign policy for us in Washington, when they aren't monitoring YouTube videos.
We'll know the truth in a matter of months. Just remember the admonition of Douglas MacArthur, that all military tragedies begin with two words: "Too late."
December 31, 2012