Forward Thinking

$64 Million Question on Iran

By Renee Ghert-Zand

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It was hardly surprising that Israeli diplomat Barukh Binah refused several times to discuss the nitty-gritty of plans to confront Iran over its nuclear program at a public forum at the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly.

Neither was the lack of optimism voiced by any of the three panelists that increased sanctions against and diplomatic efforts toward Iran will cause a change of heart on the part of Tehran.

Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat, who served in three U.S. administrations, was the most hopeful of the speakers about the chances for diplomacy and sanctions. He believes Iran will stop short of making a nuclear bomb, but will be nuclear capable and will thereafter be able to put together a bomb within three months. Eizenstat laid out the possibilities for what will happen following the upcoming six months, which he said “will be one of intensive diplomacy and sanctions that are the most severe ever enacted against a country during peace time.”

“2013 is truly the decisive year,” he told the audience. “You and I will know before the next GA (what) will happen.”

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