Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but when it comes to supporting Israel and its insistence on a complete end to Iran’s nuclear capacity, they might as well be sitting on the same side of the aisle. Over the past few years, numerous bills punishing Iran for its suspected nuclear weapons program have breezed through the House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, and the prospects for further Iran sanctions in the new Congress are good.
Michael Krepon, an expert on nuclear proliferation at the Stimson Center, a Washington, D.C.–based think tank, says Israel’s demand for an entirely de-nuclearized Iran is cost-free posturing aimed at getting the toughest deal it can. The same goes for tough stands taken by its allies on Capitol Hill, he says. “But if an agreement is reached that substantially reduces Iranian capacity to build weapons and substantially increases the time line for them to do so, then these same postures by the government of Israel and by congressional skeptics can become extremely damaging,” Krepon told Newsweek. “Every U.S. administration has to take Israel’s concerns to heart, but no U.S. administration can hand over U.S. foreign and national security policy to the government of Israel.”
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