Cheering for Failure

Why Netanyahu is afraid of diplomacy


Cheering for Failure
by Trita Parsi

Netanyahu and Obama are at it again. The hardline Israeli Prime Minister, standing next to Senator Joe Lieberman, accused Obama of having given Iran a “freebie” during the Istanbul talks this past weekend. Iran can continue to enrich uranium “without any limitation” for another five weeks, Netanyahu charged.

Nothing could be further from the truth, Obama shot back moments later from the other side of the world, at the Latin America summit in Colombia. "The notion that somehow we've given something away or a 'freebie' would indicate Iran has gotten something,” he said. “In fact, they've got some of the toughest sanctions that they're going to be facing coming up in just a few months if they don't take advantage of these talks."

The bar had been set very low for the talks. But progress was made, not because neither side compromised, but precisely because both did. The Iranians dropped their precondition for addressing the nuclear issue, and the US agreed to resolve the issue within the framework of the NPT, sending yet another implicit signal that Washington will accept enrichment on Iranian soil under strict inspections.

Of course, Netanyahu is wrong in arguing that Iran gained time. The laws of the universe remain the same; time will pass regardless of whether the parties negotiate or not. Talks would enable the Iranian to play for time would only if time miraculously stood still whenever diplomacy doesn’t take place.

(Then again, Obama is not likely to take advice on peacemaking from Netanyahu. If he did, we would be in serious trouble.)

But however correct, Obama’s answer was still inadequate. Rather than arguing obsessively about the moment-for-moment accounting of who is on top or who has conceded the most, he should shift the focus back to the larger picture.

Here’s what really matters: We have been on the brink of a disastrous war, but have managed to initiate a process that can achieve our key objectives. We can prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, we can prevent a calamitous war. Ordinary Americans won’t have to pay $8/gallon gas, nor will the global economic recovery be jeopardized.

Instead, Netanyahu should answer the question: Why does he fear the success of diplomacy more than its failure?

Behind the rhetoric and hysterical talking points, there are legitimate Israeli concerns about the impact of diplomacy on its security. The Netanyahu government (and its predecessors since the Rabin-Peres government) have feared that successful negotiations would lead inevitably to a compromise that would permit Iran to continue with limited enrichment activities on its soil.

They are right.

But rather than viewing this as a beneficial compromise that at the end of the day prevents Iran from building a nuclear bomb, Israel fears that this will permit Iran to become a virtual nuclear power, which in turn would shift the balance of power in the region to Israel’s detriment.

Virtual nuclear parity in the region would damage Israel's ability to deter militant Palestinian and Lebanese organizations and cause it to lose strategic maneuverability. It would damage Israel’s image as the sole nuclear-armed state in the region and undercut the myth of its invincibility. Gone would be the days when Israel's military supremacy would enable it to dictate the parameters of peace and pursue unilateral peace plans. "We cannot afford a nuclear bomb in the hands of our enemies, period. They don't have to use it; the fact that they have it is enough," veteran Israeli politician Ephraim Sneh explained to me in an interview for my book.

This geopolitical shift could force a reluctant Netanyahu government to accept territorial compromises with its neighbors. Arguably, Israel would not be able to afford a nuclear rivalry with Iran and continued territorial disputes with the Arabs at the same time.

Second, by striking a deal with Iran, the US would reduce tensions with the autocratic rulers of Tehran. There would, however, not be a proportional reduction in Israeli-Iranian tensions. This would trigger the Israeli fear of abandonment— the idea that it would continue to face a hostile Iran in the region while the US would patch up its differences with Tehran and turn its focus elsewhere. The ripple effect this would have on other, non-related challenges Israel face—such as its demographic battle— could be decisive.

There are several flaws in the reasoning behind these fears. First, it presumes that Israel must retain the regional balance of power in its favor as a measure for survival. This puts an unbearable burden on Israeli society—its ability to balance and outgun a country fifteen times its size in the long run remains slim.

Second, it discounts the ability of diplomacy to reduce Israeli-Iranian tensions. Rather than positioning itself in favor of diplomacy in order to ensure that Israeli concerns are on the agenda for the talks, Israel has explicitly opposed diplomacy and created numerous obstacles for its success. This has put Israel on a collision course with the US—who desires and needs a deal with Iran—its most important ally.

Israel needs a paradigm shift on its security outlook. The region is changing in fundamental ways, yet Israel refuses to adjust. It insists on remaining the same. It is not a strategy that serves it well.

First published in

Trita Parsi is the President of the National Iranian American Council and the 2010 Recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order.


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iraj khan

Could it really be true

by iraj khan on

that Netanyahu has been screaming 'Cry Wolf' regarding Iran's nuclear program in order to keep his faction in power in Israel?

Israeli army chief says he doubts Iran will build a nuclear weapon


"Reading the tea leaves, Grantz does not seem as enthusiastic for war as Mr. Netanyahu. "His language is far from the dramatic rhetoric of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and is usually free of the Holocaust comparisons of which Israeli politicians are so fond," writes Amos Harel, in his writeup of Grantz's comments."


A good development.

Peace is the way.


mr ahamadinejad's mamoor: you are like rambo.

by mousa67 on

except he used a big gun and you use a big keyboard. good strategy. keyboards are much safer than guns.

did you buy your  keyboard from trita parsi?


God forbidden

by مآمور on

if I have any intention to harm u or other jewish people! I think, I was clear enough to differentiate between u as jew and racist ideology of Zionism.

The key was right there and pressed 33 years ago

I wear an Omega watch


mr ahmadinejad's mamoor: please dont delete me.

by mousa67 on

btw. you must have a special computer keyboard.did you buy it from t. parsi's 24/7 mart? i searched  mine and could not find the "delete the zionist" key on my key pad. 


Titra knows this for sure

by مآمور on

He must not understand English, if he has not already realized the clearly stated Iranian establishment's intention!!

That is Zionism is a racist ideology and it must be deleted of the pages of history(please note the subject is the ideology not the people or the land).

we shall persist until we will prevail

Now, Titra knows the 33 years old Iranian position.


I wear an Omega watch

iraj khan

A deal with Iran

by iraj khan on

will infuriate the 'Bomb Iran' crowd,


A deal would satisfy the intelligence community, which has repeatedly reported with “high confidence” that Iran has not had a military nuclear research program since 2003. 

Obama would be able to reply to 'bomb Iran' crowd: 

“We got what we wanted, firm, verifiable assurances from Iran that Iran will not enrich uranium beyond such-and-such a level and will never be diverted to a military program. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has given us his word. . . The following enhanced IAEA monitoring measures have been set in place… To those demanding an attack, I ask: Do you really think it’s worth it to place more young American lives in jeopardy, see the price of oil rise by a third, risk inviting a Security Council resolution denouncing our action as a violation of international law that we’ll have to veto, and produce further turmoil throughout the region—in order to destroy a non-military nuclear program, the sort that any Non-Proliferation Treaty signatory nation is entitled to by international law?”

GARY LEUPP is Professor of History at Tufts University

PEACE is the Way.


the sole

by shushtari on

defender of the rapist mullahs in iran- who claims 'peace' and 'coexistence' with the rapists is the way- is probably the same dude who went by the name 'sargord pirouz' 

interesting logic- that your definition of 'peace' is allowing the existence of a regime that has tens of thousands of young iranians rotting in its dungeons, and has raped and murdered thousands just for standing up to their filthy policies

it's not enough that the akhoonds rape and steal- they want to tell people how to think, live, dress, etc.  because they know full well, if our brave youth have a chance to flourish, the akhoonds have to 'faa-te-he ro bekhoonan!!!'


Anahid Hojjati

Another Disappointing article

by Anahid Hojjati on

started nicely but after few paragraphs became worse. I have to agree with commentators that the logic used here is similar to one that some abused women get advice about it. Also another commentator correctly noted that you can not have diplomacy when a country wants to get rid of another oe. In this article, Parsi writes:"Second, it discounts the ability of diplomacy to reduce Israeli-Iranian tensions."

I have to agree when some note that Trita has not spent significant time in Iran and that is why sometimes he does not know what he is taking about. If he had done so, he would have realized that hatred of Israel is one of the fundamentals for IRI and IRI has not shown Israel that it believes in diplomacy with it.

Dr. Mohandes

LOL. Vaghean ke.

by Dr. Mohandes on

Yeah ok!

 Thanks for making my day. I am glad you know your own self that well.


iraj khan

از کوزه برون همان تراود که در اوست

iraj khan

Life is too short to waste on you.

Arash Kamangir

Netanyahoo knows IR very well

by Arash Kamangir on

Netanyahoo is a very experienced diplomat and knows very well that against IR only force can be effective. You cannot use diplomacy with or against IR who is determined to attack Israel using nukes or other wicked weapons.

Dr. Mohandes


by Dr. Mohandes on

1-No I did not.

2-No I didn't! 3- No I didn't! 4- Stayed to do what? 5- you and the hammas and hezbollahi known terrorists doing nothing killing and maiming innocents around the world are part of another lobby, the terrorist supporting lobby  trying to promote anti-jew sentiments.

6-You support hammas and despise Israel, and ITS RIGHT TO EXIST AS AN INDEPENDENT NATION, Becuse you are hatemonger. Who can not see others live as peacefully as you want to do yourself. 7- the terrorist lobby is happy to ruin lives and threaten any sense of peace and security in the world. 8- I know i am. i did not ask you for permission. And trust me that it will happen one way or another, to stop your Jeereh and mavajeb that freely flows to your bank account.

Which by the way is what really scares the pants out of you everytime you even imagine the possibility of them getting overthrown.

Even if there were someone stopping me or others, rest assured than one would not be you.


iraj khan


by iraj khan on

You say, you want to overthrow Velayat Faghih by force.

Didn't you say you just came back from Iran?

Well, you had a great opportunity to overthrow them while there.

Why didn't you stay there and finish them up?

You along with the Israeli Lobby and Mojadedin are the 'War Lobby' who want to reach your goal by pushing United States to attack Iran.

A war that will result the destruction, invasion and possible dividing up of Iran. 

The War Lobby is very unhappy about a probable compromise between Iran and U.S. that may lead to a peaceful coexistance between the two nations.

But don't forget you are always free to go back and 'overthrow' Iran's government even if there would be a peaceful resolution in the future.

Go for it, nobody is stopping you!

Peace is the way.  

Dr. Mohandes

Crazy Lunetics!

by Dr. Mohandes on

Iraj Okay. i see here that you are getting ready to jump off the cliff or something like that.

I really think you know what you can do with that old and outdated poll results of yours. i don't know, would you want me to spell it out for you?:)

What are these Organizationss? Let's hear some names. Huh? Whar are the locations? You are lying big time. i am not a member of lobbying group of any kind. where is your proof?Of course i will not  be cheering any effort that is gonna end up benefitting opportunists such as your own good self, while there is a whole nation over here who is gonna suffer for god know how many more years, if some kind compromise is reached.  I'd much prefer a solution that would be of some mutual benefit to both nations not just de eeeranneean-amereekans!

You see iraj joon. This world is not just about you and your friends being able to Feeeelll eeeet up for 2 bucks a gallon and get a chance to take part in the free sweepstakes your local 7/11 or stop and go runs everyweek. This is about the people of both nations. Iranians over on this side of the aisle want to have peace and prosperity just like americans and that is not going to be the case with these idiots at the helm and for some reason you just can not see that happenning. so you endlessly and obsitinately cheer for some crappy and shoved-down our throats peace accord. Beghole Fred Keep on trucking.

Faramarz and Shushtari jan

Right you guys are. I have noticed that trita's needle has been stuck and been repeating the same theme over and over again. what is the deal with overanalyzing what goes on inside netenyahou's head and what size underpants he wears...and all that stuff? Like you said in this or another blog, why the heck did they remain mute with regards to the pedophiling incident in Brasil?!! Bunch of good for nothing, useless, sheereeni o shekr khor, opportunistic clowns!

Mibini toro be abolfazl...sobe aval sobi eynahoo asghar taraghe daram bala payeen miparam:))


The chert o pert

by shushtari on


I keep reading the same nonsense that this regime which has killed hundreds of thousands and stollen trillions is the victim

The usual suspects keep claim they want to help ordinary lifting sanctions

Well what about the billions stollen every year by khayenei and Rafsanjani and the pasdars smuggling operations?? Aren't they the true thorns in the backs if Iran ??

 and as far as diplomacy goes- diplomacy is reserved for an honest, truthfull, and elected government- none of which apply to the rulling assassins in iran whose foundation is based on lies and deception- starting with the famous line 'free electricity, hejab is not mandatory, I will go to qum to sit on my ass....' 

 we see through your foggy logic.  Keep trying


iraj khan

DM, You and a few others here

by iraj khan on

are members of the 'War Party' or 'War Lobby'.

Who says so? You say so. 

This is what you wrote a couple of comments ago:

"DO i have a problem with what?...oh...The war. No absolutely not. Granted that it SPECIFICALLY AIMES FOR NON CIVILIAN TARGETS.See i am just making it easier for you to quote me in the future, when you will say oh...DM is on the record favoring war. Yeah. I know. You're so welcome dear."

Do you even read what you write?

Again, according to the latest poll among Iranian Americans,

63 percent of us, along with Trita Parsi, The National Iranian American Council and many other Iranian American personalities and organizations are hoping for a peaceful resolution.

But the 'War Lobby' that you are a part of,

is cheering for the failure of this new opportunity to achieve peace.


el Doctor

by Faramarz on



The line of logic that the NIAC supporters put forward mirrors what the victims of abusive relationships do.

If you ask someone who has been is an abusive relationship why she did not run away from her abuser sooner and ask for help, you get one or all of the following three answers.

“I thought that he would change. At times he was kind to me and did things that I liked. I was afraid of the uncertainties of the world outside and was dependent on him.”

The NIACies tell us that we should stick to the Regime because it would change and reform itself. They tell us that it does what they like which is to terrorize the Jewish people in the name of Palestinians. And finally they tell us that the alternative to the Regime is uncertainties, war, disintegration of Iran and other calamities.

If you look at what Trita has written here, he is not complaining about the abuser of the Iranian people, which is the Regime and he is warning us about all the bad things that could happen if we don’t get along with the abusers. Throw in AIPAC and Neocons in there too and you have the full package!

Dr. Mohandes

Irajak . WHoa!

by Dr. Mohandes on

Again, I did not say any of these. YOU ARE:)

You know what the funny thing is that if we leave the US out of it, that would mean you and those other Irooni arrmikayee as well, and guess what you will never even be able to get your respectable behinds back to iran for anything and i mean anything at all. ha ha!

I just hope i will live long enough to see the day when your damagh gets burned when you will be so excited to wanting to go back toiran and they will tell you nope. sorry. Bye. go back to your jooo ess aaaa and reeeyz your faameelee eeen a peecfool eenvyronnnment dat you alvayyzz vanted and veeshed four, followed by a nice and lively Yallah beeneem.


iraj khan


by iraj khan on

you say you are a member of 'War Party'.

But you are not that unique, there are several here.

You say, you want to overthrow Velayat Faghih by war?

Mashala pesar, go ahead, good for you! 

But then you say: Since you don't have an army you want U.S. to do it for you. 

Our response to you, the voice of the 63 percent who are hoping for a peaceful settlement between U.S. and Iran, is:  

"No, Leave US Out of It

we have jobs to do,

we have families to raise,

we have a new generation of young Iranian Americans who need a peaceful environment to grow and prosper"

PEACE is the Way.

Dr. Mohandes

Iraj khan

by Dr. Mohandes on

Hey! hey! easy there cowboy/esse...Calm down and put the gun down!:) I know you like low prices. I just hope it does love you back and you guys live happily ever after.

Look i did not mean to start a boxing match here.

I want things resolved peacefully as well, Obviously you and I have a different view of what Peacful really means.

Actually The United states of America would be considered a country and not a Government. Perhaps you meant to say The US Government. Sorry to be so "clergy wordy".

Um... I can't really take a war and actually physically move it somewhere else. God has not given me such ability yet...but we are in negotiations. so i wll definitely get back to you on that. But for now you and i BOTH HAVE TO go by What the majority in IRAN AND USA want. So quit your bellyaching.

DO i have a problem with what?...oh...The war. No absolutely not. Granted that it SPECIFICALLY AIMES FOR NON CIVILIAN TARGETS.See i am just making it easier for you to quote me in the future, when you will say oh...DM is on the record favoring war. Yeah. I know. You're so welcome dear.

LOL. NIAC AND WHAT?? LOL... Major iranian american organizationssss??? are you serious? are you shitting me? this was a good one. I guess The iranian-american Gas station owners OR or is it GHOR ganization  now has become a heavyweight in the arena of Lobbying and powermongering. In addition to IR-American hairdressers, servers, dentists, physicians, associations.


iraj khan

Yes, I like low gas prices!

by iraj khan on

Yes, I like U.S and Iran settle down their differences PEACEFULLY.

We, Americans are sick and tired of Wars and one can detect it everywhere.

Iranian Americans have one Republic and one government and that's the United States of America.

If you have a war with Iran, take it somewhere else, leave us out of it.

Do you have problem with that?

That's what Parsi, NIAC, and many major Iranian American organizations are saying.



The Fallacy of trickle-down-economics

by vildemose on

Trickle-down-economics worked for the USA ergo why shouldn't in work for Iran??LOL


A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

babak pirouzian

We need transparent TRITA/NIAC

by babak pirouzian on

“No war” is the theme that vast majority of Iranian inside/outside and the whole world agree with. No brainer.  No disagreement with Trita and NIAC for what they do as long as they expand their vocabulary including HUMAN RIGHTS, JUSTICE, FREEDOM, SECULARISM in their lobbying and their communications, however unless Trita /NIAC officially publishes number of active NIAC members , ( number of emails send to people do not constitute membership nor supporter) and based on majority percentage of their membership , then that should be their authority to talk on behalf of Iranian-American community. As long as Trita/NIAC is none- transparent, we shall not be able to solve this on going saga. The connotation of “National Iranian American Council”, somehow given a false self- proclaimation to Trita/ NIAC and that had reflections to some naive audiences/media , therefore unless they obtain the mandate, Trita /NIAC must disclose their statute and refrain themselves as representative of Iranian-American community.


Business w/ IRI helps ordinary Iranians through "trickle down"

by AMIR1973 on

Basically, the NIACis, Leveretts, IRI, Chinese, and Russians just want to help "ordinary Iranians" by lifting sanctions and doing business with the corrupt IRI goons, because of their deep caring attitude for "ordinary Iranians" and their wellbeing. Fill the IRI thugs' coffers with oil and natural gas money, and it will all "trickle down" to the "ordinary Iranians". Good to see this economic theory actually does work when applied to "ordinary Iranians".


 The more appropriate

by vildemose on

 The more appropriate title would be, 'Why American left and right (i.e. Realist and de facto Mr. Parsi's handlers &Daie's handlers, respecitively) are afraid of democracy in Iran??

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Dr. Mohandes

Absolutely Flawed Logic

by Dr. Mohandes on

Moosir and Piaz

Yeah i know you were referring to amir. But i could not help it.

Look Buddy. Here is One huge fact that you need pay close attention to:

NIAC has not been able to a damn thing about putting a halt on anyone of the previous rounds of sanctions has it? I mean they just went ahead and put out some position papers and analyzed things to death, like Mr. Dr. parsi still does, but to no avail. What really came out of all that stomping and roaring like a lion?

What exactly does an "unintended consequence" mean in here? I Walk into your home to steal your car and your bike happens to be in the way and i kick it to the side, Was this an Unintended consequence of my wanting to break in the house and stealing your car? Is NIAC that stupid? I guess they do all this when they are sleepwalking!!! Afterwards going : Huh? What? Did i do that? Moi? To call what these wheeling and dealing "not promoting" the Cause is really...Dammit... what is the word/expression i am looking for here!!!???

In addition, That is a completely off the mark assessment. Regime benefits either way. That is a given. don't pretend otherwise. I don't think you realize what you really are doin here, But by pushing everything and everybody aside, under the guise of "well, talk to me about what to do about iran long term" and stop being an idealist! You are in effect choosing to overlook the only one option that might really bear some fruit and work.

Yeah. That one! albeit done in a guided and targetted manner. Not an all out occupation.

Iraj khan.

Thank you for revealing your true colors. So all that chesbeating and NO war slogan was so that the Eeeraaneean---Oomereekans , oh and not leave out the akchuuual amereekans, could enjoy low prices all long as American-Iranians are well taken care of and the mortgage payment gets paid, To hellwith what the MAJORITY OF IRANIANS IN IRAN want. right?

I dare you to conduct the same poll within iran and see what you will come up with. Until then i suggest you settle down a bit.


mr iraj khan: you said "$8 a gallon for gas"?

by mousa67 on

lucky you! you must be living in beverly hills or something like that my friend. come down to my neighborhood and fill up for $3.45 a gallon (and that's premium stuff) at the gas station run by my dear friend mr omar yazidi.

but hey no worries. with this 20% atomic deal with your islamic republic, give it a few years and mr ayatola khameni will be "gadafied" and we'll all have gas at $1.15 (and that is 100% premium stuff  we are talking about man).


iraj khan

To the Vast Majority

by iraj khan on

of Iranian Americans,

PEACE between Iran and U.S.

does matter, all the polls taken proves this over and over.


It's also true about the rest of Americans.

If peace would help the American economy so we wouldn't have to pay $8 a gallon for gas, then PEACE is great!

If peace between Iran and U.S. would help the Iranian Americans financially then, Fabaha!

If Netanyahu and the rest of the Racist, Rapist, Criminal regime of Israel and her supporters on this Iranian website are not happy, then it's too bad! 

63 percent of us and President Obama believe in compromise and peace:

PEACE is the way,  



Made up facts Amir


I too can make facts out of thin air to promote a political cause.

FACT: NIAC is against sanctions that hurt ordinary Iranians.

FACT: NIAC is against war.

FACT: NIAC is for diplomacy and peaceful solution to Nuclear crisis (a crisis blown up by chicken hawks in order to further their Iran-war agenda).

Now, you could say that an unintended consequence of some of the above will lead to business ventures between western companies and IRI. This does not mean that NIAC is promoting the above cause because they want to fill the coffers of the regime.

Point is simple: If sanctions are lifted, both ordinary Iranians and the regime thrives. If they are put in place, only the regime thrives. Now which one is more acceptable given that we have only two options right now? And please dont speak to me about idealistic slogans of "giving help to the iranians to save themselves of this regime" . speak to me about practical steps to solve this crisis and avoid war! Speak to me about fixing Iran long term!  





NIAC & its Rahbar are in business to promote business with IRI

by AMIR1973 on

The NIAC "dokoon" was founded for the purpose of facilitating money-making business ventures with the IRI. The Leveretts are in the same line of work. No amount of diversion and red herring tactics by NIACis can change that fact.