WASHINGTON – A senior Middle East advisor during President W. George Bush's term has said that President Barack Obama should ask the Congress for authorization to use force in Iran, just like his predecessors have done before the Gulf Wars and after 9/11.
In an article titled "Time to authorize use of force against Iran," published in the Weekly Standard, Elliott Abrams writes that the Israeli talk about a solo military strike in Iran stems from the fact that "Israelis do not believe the United States will perform the task—will ever use military force, even as a last resort, to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."
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The former National Security Council senior director for Near East and North African affairs added that Iran also shares this view, and continues to advance its nuclear program uninterrupted while presenting "ridiculous proposals and refusing to engage in serious bargaining."
Abrams dismissed presidential advisor Dennis Ross' proposal to give Iran an "endgame proposal" while developing a "day after strategy" and providing Israel with military capabilities, saying it only reinforces the view that the United States will not act in Iran.
Obama and Netanyahu. In cahoots over Iran? (Photo: GPO)
He also addressed Former Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin's op-ed piece, which urged President Obama to visit Israel and reaffirm his administration's commitment to preventing a nuclear Iran, saying that "the idea of an Obama visit to Israel in the weeks just before, much less just after, the Democratic party convention is unrealistic; The time for Obama to do that is long past."
According to Abrams, "More persuasive than the Ross or Yadlin proposals would be an effort by the president to seek a formal authorization for the use of force from Congress. This is the way for him to show seriousness of purpose, and for Congress to support it—and send an unmistakable message to the ayatollahs.
"Such a proposal by President Obama would be controversial, and many Democrats would vote against him," Abrams wrote, "But it would, in the phrase Mr. Obama likes to use, be a teachable moment. First, the very presentation of such a resolution by the White House would show a new level of clarity and commitment. This would be likely to affect both Iranian and Israeli calculations far more than statements like “all options are on the table."
Meanwhile, the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency are intensifying efforts to gain access to Iranian military sites that are suspects of being used for secret nuclear weapons-related experiments, two senior diplomats said Tuesday.
The IAEA suspects that Iran is in the final stages of sanitizing the site and is trying to gain access to the site before the alleged clean-up succeeds in erasing any traces of such work.
Iran, which insists its nuclear program is peaceful contrary to Western fears, has denied experts of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency permission to visit the Parchin site despite multiple requests from the agency this year. Tehran says a visit is possible only after extensive planning and a detailed outline of procedures – a caveat IAEA officials describe as a stalling tactic.
The agency said a new meeting was planned for Friday "to resolve issues relating to Iran's nuclear program," terminology similar to that describing previous such sessions related to Parchin.
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