Dennis Ross (and Michael Rubin) on Iran

Michael Rubin explains a little further his problem with my Obama-Bush-Middle East policy transition piece (here’s my earlier post.)

He thinks I discount the emphasis that the tough-on-Iran crowd places on negotiations and diplomacy. I don’t think I do generally, or in the story I wrote earlier this week, but I’ll leave that one to the Gods.

However, Michael’s overall point – that he, Dennis Ross and and others who advocate toughening sanctions against Iran also embrace diplomacy – is true enough, and bears repeating. Dennis does so here, in a Newsweek op-ed today. Key quote:

Sharp sticks, of course, must be balanced by appetizing carrots. We need to offer political, economic and security benefits to Tehran, on the condition that Iran change its behavior not just on nukes but on terrorism as well. Sticks will show Iran what it stands to lose by going nuclear; carrots will show its leaders what they would gain by moderating their behavior. Smart statecraft involves wielding them together.

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