BILLKRISTOL

Following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic speech to Congress, and the letter signed by 47 members of the U.S. Congress warning Iran’s leadership that any agreement with President Obama may be overturned by the next administration, Bill Kristol, founder and managing editor of The Weekly Standard, appeared on The Costa Report to reaffirm the danger associated with further US-Iranian negotiations.

Addressing the controversy surrounding the letter authored by Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, Kristol said, “I think it’s worth people in Congress trying to force a debate when the administration is trying to avoid one.” According to Kristol, from a historic perspective, stricter economic sanctions against North Korea and Iran have succeeded in “slowing” the progress of their weapons programs, and turning public opinion within these countries against their leadership. But Kristol also conceded that sanctions and hard line negotiations alone may be insufficient: “Sanctions may not be enough, the threat of force may be necessary,” he said. Kristol called for “more pressure, the use of sabotage – and force – if necessary, to really make the Iranian regime feel they might be at risk of falling if they don’t give up their nuclear program.”

Kristol criticized the Obama administration for routinely capitulating on foreign policy, including guidelines mandated by the United Nations Security Council. He said the President has failed to enforce U.N. guidelines, despite the fact the U.N. Security Council has indicated the points they want included in any U.S. nuclear agreement with Iran. “We haven’t tried tough negotiations. [The United States] has gotten to negotiations and immediately started capitulating on one thing after another,” said Kristol. According to him, if Iran obtains nuclear weapons it will signal a dangerous turn not only for the Middle East but for the world at large. “North Korea was bad enough, Pakistan was bad enough, Iran really could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” he stated.

In spite of the threat of a U.S.-Iranian agreement that may facilitate rather than discourage nuclear development, Kristol remains optimistic about any deployment of a nuclear weapon. He made the point that other unstable nations have acquired nuclear capabilities in recent years, yet the world has not seen a single use of nuclear force since the end of World War II. Given that long history, “We’ve managed to keep the spread reasonably contained,” he concluded.

To listen to the full interview with Bill Kristol.


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