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Iran Dividing as World Unites

In the wake of the IAEA’s damning report on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, announced US plans to sell cluster bombs to Arab countries, tightening sanctions against Iran’s top (and only) ally Syria and Israel’s public military deliberations, Iran’s opponents are becoming more united while Iran continues to divide.  The WSJ reports:

A group of Iranian dissidents for the first time openly called on their government to suspend uranium enrichment, in an open letter published Monday that adds to the momentum of the international effort to convince Tehran to abandon its alleged nuclear weapons program […]

Discontent in Iran about the pursuit of a nuclear program at any price appears to be rising, as Iranians grapple with a weak economy buffeted by international sanctions and fear further sanctions on the horizon. […]

On Monday, one of Iran’s main reformist political parties said in a statement that the regime bears the moral responsibility of getting Iran out of the current deadlock.

Domestic opposition to Iran’s nuclear program is a long way from starting its own Occupy Tehran tent city, but under the circumstances any public expression of dissent on the nuclear file is a serious development. With the exception of a handful of people closely linked to the regime, it is hard to see how Iran’s nuclear weapons program helps anybody in the country.  Even a peaceful nuclear program for electricity is not worth a lot of economic sacrifice in a country with enormous oil and gas reserves and some serious economic problems.

Ending the Iranian nuclear weapons program if at all possible without conflict is the only sensible American goal.  As the endgame nears, the US position is improving, and Iran’s is getting worse.  For now, the trend is good.

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  • Corlyss

    “Iran’s opponents are becoming more united”

    Mostly in talk. That has the same relationship to action that EU nattering about “what we must do to save the Euro” has to effecting meaningful changes in Eurozone nations’ behavior.

  • Duane

    This is all sturm und drang over nothing. Nonproliferation is Deader than Disco, and has been for 15 years. The efforts to “stop Iran from getting a nuke” will be as effective and resolute as the same efforts in North Korea. The last window for action to stop Iran was 2004-’08, and the interested parties (the US, Israel, NATO and the Great Powers) made their decisions. The cake is baked.

  • Steve W from Ford

    I find it exceedingly interesting that the Obama admin has notified Congress of its intention to sell more than 6500 specialized bunker busting bombs and warheads to the United Arab Emirates. Now why would the UAE need so many of these specialized munitions other than for a strike on Iranian targets? When one combines this with the reports of British support for an Israeli strike on Iran, could we be seeing the outline of a new “coalition of the willing”? It would certainly throw a wrench into the usual narrative if an Arab country joined with Israel and the West to take out the Iranian threat they all fear. Grand bargain anyone?

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