Abrams: Leverage on Iran Reduced Because of Syrian Deal

September 20, 2013

Former Bush administration official Elliott Abrams said U.S. leverage on Iran has been reduced because President Obama "blinked" when it came to using military force in Syria Friday on "Fox News."

A credible threat of military force, Abrams said, is necessary to induce cooperation with Iran on its nuclear program:

JENNA LEE: You look at the world's problems it would be great to snap our fingers and have it all disappear. Iran is example of that. We've done so many segments over the years. In know you've talked about it, Elliott, quite a bit how to deal with Iran. In an ideal situation where negotiations could work what would that even look like to us? What would successful negotiations be at this point?

ELLIOTT ABRAMS: A successful negotiation would be one in which exchange for our slowly but steadily removing the sanctions Iran would give up its search for a nuclear weapon. It would stop enriching uranium. Stop adding centrifuges. Stop trying to go the other route which is the plutonium route. Stop building experimenting with building warheads so that they would be further away from a nuclear weapon instead of getting closer and closer every month. The problem is we did a deal with Russia on Syria that's a mess. We did the deal. It is already unraveling. It looks like it can't be implemented. Our leverage is reduced because we blinked at the moment of using military force.