M.J. Rosenberg writes: Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani have spoken. And they are on the same page. By that I mean not they agree about the issues dividing the two countries but that they are both ready to move forward, to test each other and see if an agreement is possible.
As tentative as all this is, it is a major breakthrough – as anyone who has paid even a little attention over the past 34 years knows.
However, I do not see this process leading anywhere because the Netanyahu government and its lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), are determined to end the process and they have the ability to do it.
They intend to use the United States Congress to pass resolutions that will cause Rouhani to walk away by making clear that Congress will accept nothing short of an Iranian surrender on nuclear issues. Although President Obama wants to negotiate with Iran about ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is not used to produce weapons, the lobby, which writes the laws imposing sanctions on Iran, insists that Iran give up its nuclear program entirely.
AIPAC listed its demands in a statement last week.
The bottom line was this: Congress must not consider lifting economic sanctions until the Iranians stop uranium enrichment, stop work on installing new centrifuges, allow international inspection of nuclear sites, and move out of the country its stockpile of highly enriched uranium. In contrast to the administration which, recognizing that Iran (like every other country) has the right to nuclear power for peaceful purposes, AIPAC says that Iran has no such right. (Israel, of course, has a large stockpile of nuclear weapons but, hey, that’s different.) [Continue reading…]