In today's posting on the Jerusalem Post's "Rosner's Domain," where I am the guest this week, I say, "If we are going to go through the process of offering them a grand bargain to see if it will work, it is essential to do so as soon as possible."...
Do you think Obama's intention of "engaging" Iran can produce the desired outcome of stopping it from acquiring nuclear weapons?
Unfortunately, no. Vigorous international economic sanctions could have worked a decade ago, but now we are too close to the threshold of Iranian nuclear capability.
I hope their outreach to Iran, to which they are firmly committed, begins immediately upon taking office, rather than waiting for the Iranian Presidential election in June. Most of the proponents of engagement look to a new Iranian President as an opportunity, and they argue that negotiations before June 10 could strengthen Ahmedinijad. I see Iran as a unitary state controlled by the Supreme Leader, not the President, so the elections won't change the bottom line. Most importantly, I don't think we can lose most of 2009 waiting for a new Iranian regime to be fully established, and then expire another six to twelve months on negotiations that fail, and still have enough time left to stop their nuclear program. If we are going to go through the process of offering them a grand bargain to see if it will work, it is essential to do so as soon as possible. Let's not argue about it - let's get going.