Ilan Berman
Ilan Berman
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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Why Obama Will Open A US Embassy In Iran

August 18, 2015  •  New York Post

What's next after the Obama administration's opening to Cuba? Why, an embassy in Tehran, of course. On Aug. 14, in a ceremony replete with pomp and circumstance, Secretary of State John Kerry presided over the formal re-opening of the US Embassy in Havana, Cuba. The occasion marked the culmination of nearly two years of quiet diplomacy between the White House and the Castro regime. The initiative had been launched following Kerry's fall 2013 address before the Organization of the American States, in which he had announced with great fanfare that the "era of the Monroe Doctrine is over." That pronouncement — intended to reassure regional powers that America's sometimes-heavyhanded approach to countries south of our border was a thing of the past — touched off a series of negotiations with Havana, during which the Obama administration formally abandoned more than half a century of established US policy toward the island nation in favor of a diplomatic opening. Obama's diplomacy with Cuba has been roundly condemned by human-rights dissidents and democracy activists alike as a whitewashing of the country's brutal Communist rule. But, in the eyes of the White House, it's an unreserved success. Kerry himself has said as much, waxing poetic during his Havana visit that, thanks to the negotiations, the United States and Cuba had turned a historic corner and were no longer "enemies or rivals, but neighbors" who "wish each other well." As such, it's virtually guaranteed to not be an isolated occurrence.

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North Korea: Iran's Pathway To A Nuclear Weapon

August 13, 2015  •  The National Interest

A central plank of the Obama administration's case for the nuclear deal just concluded by the P5+1 powers is that the agreement closes off "all pathways" by which the Iranian regime could acquire a nuclear capability, at least for the coming decade. That, however, simply isn't true. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the new nuclear bargain is officially called, only addresses the overt means by which Iran might go nuclear. A covert path to the bomb, entailing the procurement of materiel from foreign suppliers, still remains open to Iran, if it chooses to take that route. If it does, the Islamic Republic will invariably look to Asia.

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Iran's European Enablers

August 11, 2015  •  Politico Europe

Not all that long ago, it seemed as if the United States could learn a thing or two from Europe when it came to economic pressure on Iran. Today, a great deal has changed.

Even as the fledgling Obama administration stuck doggedly to its "engagement" policy toward Tehran, European capitals were rapidly heading in the opposite direction. In November 2009, in a move that caused nothing short of a political earthquake on the Old Continent, a majority of the Dutch parliament formally voted to place Iran's clerical army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), on the European Union's terror list.

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Flood Of Cash To Iran Dwarfs Marshall Plan

July 28, 2015  •  USA Today

Buried within the 150-plus pages of technical minutia and regulations that make up the recently concluded nuclear deal between the P5+1 powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran lies a stunning revelation, the full import of which has not yet been adequately appreciated by the international community. It is that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement is formally known, is designed to serve as nothing less than a Marshall Plan for the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.

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Rebuilding The U.S.–Israel Alliance

July 14, 2015  •  National Review Online

Even before it was formally published late last month, Michael Oren's memoir of his time as Israel's envoy to the United States had ignited a firestorm of controversy, and for very good reason. His book, Ally: My Journey across the American–Israeli Divide, provides the most damning account to date of a "special relationship" that, on President Obama's watch, has deteriorated to an almost unthinkable degree, with the White House coming to view Israel and its often-pugnacious premier, Benjamin Netanyahu, as more of a problem than Iran's nuclear ambitions, Palestinian corruption, or the Syrian civil war. White House officials were quick to condemn the book and to demand that Netanyahu formally distance himself from Oren's account. (He has refused to do so.) But there can be little doubt that Oren's anecdotes are so striking precisely because they confirm what many people have long sensed: that all is not well between Washington and Jerusalem, and might not be for some time to come.

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Books by Ilan Berman

Cover of Iran's Deadly Ambition Cover of Implosion Cover of Winning the Long War Cover of Tehran Rising

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