Sheffey: Don’t block Iran negotiations

As the debate over Iranian nuclear negotiations intensify, political commentator Steve Sheffey has consistently urged American and Israeli leaders to let negotiators do their jobs, rather than rush forward with sanctions that could jeopardize the process. Sheffey further makes his case in a new column at The Hill, where he writes:

We hear that we should tighten sanctions now, even though under the strong sanctions regime in place prior to the interim agreement, Iran built thousands of centrifuges and was racing full speed toward nuclear weapons. Only after the interim agreement was signed did Iran halt (and in some cases, roll back) its progress and agree to more intrusive inspections in return for limited sanctions relief.

We hear that President Obama does not care enough about Israel, that he doesn’t “feel it in his kishkes.” As ridiculous as the assertion was in 2008, it is even more ridiculous six years into Obama’s presidency. Record levels of aid to Israel, full funding for Iron Dome, unprecedented levels of military and intelligence cooperation, and a perfect record of support for Israel at the U.N. prove that whatever Obama has in his kishkes, it is more than any Republican president ever felt toward Israel. The entirety of Sheffey’s piece can be read here. Additionally, NJDC chairman Greg Rosenbaum addressed this issue in a Times of Israel post, where he writes that:

It is simple to think of answers in immediate terms, but reality plays out in second and third order effects. A military strike against Iran might possibly wipe out all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but this would not be guaranteed, and the Iranian government will most likely respond by retaliating against Israel and other US interests. Even after a strike, Iran could rebuild a nuclear weapons program and would likely gain more popular support at home for these actions.

By contrast, a diplomatic accord, in which Iran chooses to relinquish its pursuit of nuclear weapons, is a better option. Now is not the time to endanger negotiations with unnecessary saber rattling or an immediate increase in economic sanctions.

The entire piece can be read here.