U.S. sanctions and diplomatic pressure on Iran have failed to stop Iran’s nuclear pursuit, according to Howard Kohr, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s longtime executive director.
"The reality today is that the Iranian regime is not frightened enough," Kohr told AIPAC attendees this morning at the pro-Israel lobby’s annual policy conference. "This is a test. But there are no grades. The only measure is: pass or fail."
The U.S. "must increase the pressures on the mullahs to the point where they fear failure to comply will lead to their downfall," he said.
Kohr also appeared to take a swipe at President Obama’s assertion that there is still time to engage with Iran diplomatically and welcome it into the international "community of nations," as the president put it yesterday in his speech before AIPAC delegates.
"Iran says it is ready to pursue normal relations with every state except Israel—which they say should be erased from the map," Kohr said, pointing out that some "say we should dismiss them—as simply unfortunate examples of this Iranian regime’s rhetorical style."
The real issue, Kohr said, is Iran’s ongoing nuclear intransigence. This is not the time to chastise Israel—as many in the Obama administration have behind the scenes—for considering a military strike against Iran.
"Iran—not our ally Israel—is the problem," Kohr declared to sustained applause.