If Iran did halt its nuclear weaponization program in 2003, then we can thank the U.S. military presence in Iraq. Yet the Democrats consider the NIE an indication of the effectiveness of diplomacy. Here’s a round-up:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “The Administration should begin this process by finally undertaking a diplomatic surge necessary to effectively address the challenges posed by Iran.”
Speaker of The House, Nancy Pelosi: “[T]he new Iran NIE suggests there is time for a new policy toward Iran that deters it from restarting its nuclear program while also improving relations overall.
Senator John Edwards: “The new NIE finds that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that Iran can be dissuaded from pursuing a nuclear weapon through diplomacy.”
Senator Chris Dodd: “Taken together these findings make a strong case for pursuing robust diplomacy to resolve our differences with Iran . . .”
The logical bind here is evident. If the President hasn’t been pursuing diplomacy to their satisfaction, how can diplomacy be responsible for Iran’s turnaround? This rush to doubletalk may haunt these Democrats in the near future.
But it’s Senator Hillary Clinton who makes the most transparent mess of things. Here’s Lee Feinstein, her Campaign National Security Director:
The assessment of the NIE vindicates the policy Senator Clinton will pursue as President: vigorous American-led diplomacy, close international cooperation, and effective economic pressure, with the prospect of carefully calibrated incentives if Iran addresses our concerns. Neither saber rattling nor unconditional meetings with Ahmadinejad will stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Clinton supported the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment, which turned up the heat on Iran, via military threat. Claiming vindication of her imagined diplomatic policy is as strange as her husband’s comments on Iraq last week. And that last bit about unconditional meetings is too telegraphed a jab at Obama for anyone to stomach.