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Reese Erlich Offers Commentary on Iran Nuke Framework, Yemen War, Cuba and more

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Reese Erlich, the independent journalist and author who specializes in foreign policy, returns to talk about the unravelling nuclear framework deal with Iran, the expanding war in Yemen, and other matters including the opening with Cuba, sanctions on Venezuela, and a proposed trans-ocean canal in Nicaragua.Erlich is the author of many books, including The Iran Agenda (2007) and Inside Syria (2014).  He has also written extensively on Cuba and other Latin American countries.

We open with discussion of the different accounts from the US and Iran about the framework negotiations that ended last week in Lausanne, Switzerland.  The US and Iranian talking points differ because there was no formal agreement, and because they are appealing to restive domestic audiences.  Erlich says the real reason American and Israeli leaders want to prevent a nuclear Iran is they don’t want to risk a nuclear response to an offensive strike on Iran in the future.  Read Erlich’s take on the negotiations here.

While concerned about the multi-faceted conflict in Yemen, Erlich does not think it will spark a wider Sunni-Shia conflict or expand to a world war.  But he sees the complicated conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Iraq as signs of the decline of American empire.

We talk about President Obama’s trip to the summit in Panama, where accolades for the Cuba opening may be offset by rejection of the recent US sanctions on individuals in Venezuela.

We close with a brief look at the proposed Pacific-to-Atlantic canal in Nicaragua, and the dramatic ways that Daniel Ortega has changed.  Erlich’s recent dispatch on Nicaragua is here.