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Why Our Nuke Policy Doesn't Work

Author: Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow
May 20, 2010
The Daily Beast


In recent days, we have seen the future of diplomatic machinations with Iran, and it is messier and more alarming than before. Its challenges are rooted as much in America's peculiarities as Iran's, and now, as well, in the newfound muscle and assertiveness of new major powers. These realities won't evaporate and will increasingly frustrate Americans above all.

The Obama team was right to preempt the Brazil/Turkish pact on nuclear exchanges with Iran. It was basically an Iranian scam to circumvent new United Nations sanctions and other limitations on its nuclear programs. But Brazil and Turkey were also right to pursue their separate diplomatic track and solution. They were reflecting the mounting attitude in the world that Washington's anti-nuclear proliferation policy essentially serves American interests and not those of most other nations. And from their point of view, they were simply doing what the United States has been doing all along, namely protecting their own interests first. That is the story lost in current news accounts.

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