Michael Rubin
Michael Rubin
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

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The Danger of Negotiating with Iran

March 9, 2015  •  Washington Free Beacon

As a candidate for president, Barack Obama made diplomacy with rogue regimes a signature issue. "The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them…is ridiculous," he declared in 2007. In both his inaugural address and his first television interview as president, he reached out to the Islamic Republic of Iran. "If countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us," he told Al-Arabiya. In the six years since, whether firebrand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or reformer-by-comparison Hassan Rouhani held the Iranian presidency, Obama has been so committed to a deal on Iran's illicit nuclear program that he hasn't let anything stand in his way—Congress, allies, or even facts.

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New SecDef Must Address Eastern Mediterranean

January 2, 2015  •  Commentary

Ashton Carter, President Obama's nominee to be defense secretary, is expected to cruise through his confirmation hearings early this year. Unlike the controversial and inarticulate Chuck Hagel, apparently chosen because Obama felt camaraderie with him on a congressional trip and wanted to poke his opponents, Carter has broad bipartisan respect and clear mastery of the issues at hand. This is important not only because of the Pentagon's budget crunch—cutbacks exacerbated by the inflexible mechanism of sequestration—but also because of the rise of new challenges the world over.

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Iran's hypocrisy in condemning U.S. racism

December 31, 2014  •  CNN

Grand jury dismissal of charges against police officers in the July 17, 2014, chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York has returned racism to the forefront of the American political debate.

The entrance of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei into the fray, with tweets condemning American police and racism and using the hashtag #blacklivesmatter, has turned the debate into a farce. It's the equivalent of David Duke condemning anti-Semitism or North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un condemning prison overcrowding.

But perhaps Khamenei's tweets can be a teachable moment, for Iranians and Americans both, about racism and injustice in Iran.

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Iran's not-so-hidden hidden agenda

November 27, 2014  •  Dallas Morning News

While the United States and Europe may lament the failure to reach a final agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, for Iranian officials, all is going according to plan. After all, while the West may engage in diplomacy to resolve conflict, for Tehran, the process has always been about winning concessions and relieving pressure on Iran's moribund economy, not coming to agreement.

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The diplomatic insanity of Iran talks

November 24, 2014  •  CNN

A quip often attributed to Albert Einstein defines insanity as conducting the same actions repeatedly but expecting different results each time. By that characterization, insanity has been running rampant in Vienna, where diplomats from Iran and the P5+1, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, have extended the deadline for talks aimed at resolving concerns over Iran's nuclear program.

The problem is not the attempt to resolve the crisis through diplomacy, but rather that the current diplomacy neither takes into account past Iranian behavior nor the lessons from similar diplomacy two decades ago to resolve North Korea's clandestine nuclear work.

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Books by Michael Rubin

Cover of Dancing with the Devil Cover of Eternal Iran Cover of Into the Shadows

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