Domain editor

With Iran, there is never only one crisis

What to do when a strategy does not meet its objectives? To put it simply, there are four options: admit failure and give up; persist in the hope that the weather will be on your side; raise the bar if there is a way to do such a thing; use different tactics to achieve the same strategic objective.

While Iranian negotiators are due to meet with their European and Chinese counterparts to discuss Iran’s nuclear program, Israel tends to view the third option as the right option, and the United States tends to support the fourth option. What is option three? No more pressure. What is option four? Look for a negotiated solution. What is Israel’s best argument for its preferred path? Eyal Hulata, the head of Israel’s NSC, was in Bahrain earlier this week and explained: “Iran will not make concessions just because we ask it nicely. They don’t work like that. What’s the best US argument for their preferred method? President Biden’s senior adviser for the Middle East, Brett McGurk, was at the same session with Hulata. He explained that the pressure has not worked, and therefore negotiation is the best option available.

Israel is right: Iran “doesn’t work like that”. The United States is right: the pressure tactic failed to achieve its goal. The debate between the two countries and clearly there is a disagreement, even though the Bennett and Biden administrations treat it more politely than the Netanyahu and Obama administrations, is deep because it involves not only tactics but also the question of objective. final. While Israel insists on the need to prevent Iran from having a “nuclear breakthrough” capability, the United States is much more modest and continues to use the phrase “to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. ‘a nuclear weapon’.

In fact, when you consider the strategies of the two countries on the issue of Iran, how they treat each other is no less important than how they treat Iran.

So there are two different tactics and two different objectives and two administrations trying to handle these disagreements with delicacy. In fact, when you consider the strategies of the two countries on the issue of Iran, how they treat each other is no less important than how they treat Iran. And here we see a similar tactic for achieving a different goal: the tactic is to play nice. Israel’s strategy is to gradually convince the United States that no pressure means a nuclear Middle East (Iran will not be the only country to go nuclear, other countries will follow), and in the meantime, get more equipment it needs to prepare for a military clash. The strategy of the United States is to keep Israel satisfied (among other things, by giving it ammunition) and therefore less inclined to play a disruptive role as attempts at negotiation are made.

This is where we are now. But in a few weeks we’ll be in another location. Either the negotiations progress in a fruitful way (unlikely), or in a way that is not successful but still half-satisfactory (unlikely), or in a way that is sufficiently satisfactory for the United States but not Israel (very much). more likely), or in a way that is not satisfactory for either country (probably also). What happens then? It’s an interesting question, especially considering the history of the confrontation with Iran over its nuclear ambitions.

If you think about it, the most consistent feature of the current crisis with Iran about its nuclear ambitions is that there is never a crisis. There is never a moment of truth that demands action, or a dramatic decision, now. There is never a moment of an airlift in Berlin, nor a moment of a line in the sand in Iraq. And so, no American or Israeli has ever been in a situation where they have had to take the leap of faith. Kennedy had to decide or see the Soviet missiles become operational in Cuba. Prime Minister Olmert had to decide – or see a Syrian nuclear installation get “hot”. Iran manages to be elusive and obscure. He never presents his enemies with a decisive decision, never confronts them in a way that could potentially result in a big bet. And it is strong.

This is strong enough that America considers a confrontation too heavy a burden. Strong enough to cast doubt on whether Israel can do it on its own. In that sense, it’s a winner. And as he takes his place at the negotiating table, he will do so like someone who wins. And that brings us to the full cycle where we started in this article: what to do when a strategy does not meet its goals?

The digits of a week

Once again, the Kotel compromise is on the public radar due to a legal deadline that the government must respond to (as you read this, it has likely already responded or requested an extension). Do Jewish Israelis Support Compromise? It depends on what you ask for. Here is one way:

Reader response:

I’m not sure they did because of the readers. I’m not important enough, or megalomaniac enough to think they did it to upset me. But two days after writing here why Israel shouldn’t limit a prime minister’s tenure to eight years, the cabinet approved legislation aimed at doing just that (the law has yet to pass the Knesset).

Shmuel Rosner is a senior political writer. For more analysis of Israeli and international politics, visit Rosner’s domain at