Smart Power and Iran’s 3D Strategy (COMMENTARY MAGAZINE) Rick Richman 7/20/12)
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On July 18, Hillary Clinton published an op-ed in New Statesman
entitled “The Art of Smart Power,” listing among its “successes” the
maintenance of “broad-based pressure on Iran and North Korea.” Her
judgment seems a bit premature, as (a) sanctions have not stopped
Iran’s march toward nuclear weapons, and (b) North Korea obtained
(and retains) such weapons notwithstanding similar smart power
pressure. Pressure that has not achieved its goal is not generally
considered a success, much less the occasion for a self-
A better example of “success” might be the Iranian strategy described
in Irwin Cotler’s report in the Jerusalem Post yesterday. Colter
noted that Hamidreza Taraghi, an adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei, recently described five Iranian successes:
First, Western countries did not want Iran to have a nuclear power
plant, but its Bushehr reactor was now connected to the national grid.
Second, the West had opposed Iran having heavy water facilities, but
the country now has one in Arak.
Third, the West had said no to any enrichment, “But here we are,
enriching as much as we need for our nuclear energy program,” Taraghi
said, referring to the thousands of cascades of centrifuges spinning
for years in the half-underground facility in Natanz.
Fourth, since January, and on the eve of the resumed substantive
negotiations in Istanbul in April, dozens more advanced centrifuges
were installed in the Fordo mountain bunker complex, near Qum, built
to withstand a heavy attack.
Fifth, Taraghi also said that in the Istanbul talks, Iran had managed
to convince the West of the importance of a religious edict, or
fatwa, against the possession of nuclear weapons.
In a word, Taraghi and other Iranian officials concluded that their
policy “forced the United States to accept Iranian enrichment,” and
in effect, the related nuclear program.
Cotler calls it the “Iranian 3D strategy” — denial, deception, delay —
in which “not only are negotiations themselves a delaying tactic,
but delaying the negotiations is itself a tactic,” combined with the
continued avoidance of inspections and repeated refusals to comply
with unambiguous treaty obligations.
While the American secretary of state writes paeans to her art, Iran
gets closer every day to its ultimate goal, as it creates facts on
(and underneath) the ground. Smart.
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