Tag: Iran Nuclear Deal

Obama Not Offended Enough by Anti-Semitism

 

obamarouhani_s640x427What to make of President Obama’s interpretation of the Iranian leadership? Challenged by The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg to account for the seeming inconsistency of relying on the rationality of a regime that holds a profoundly anti-Semitic worldview, the president denied that the “venomous anti-Semitism” (his words) of the mullahs is a barrier to rational decision making.

Well the fact that you are anti-Semitic, or racist, doesn’t preclude you from being interested in survival. It doesn’t preclude you from being rational about the need to keep your economy afloat; it doesn’t preclude you from making strategic decisions about how you stay in power; and so the fact that the supreme leader is anti-Semitic doesn’t mean that this overrides all of his other considerations. You know, if you look at the history of anti-Semitism, Jeff, there were a whole lot of European leaders—and there were deep strains of anti-Semitism in this country . . .

Walter Russell Mead of The American Interest made an important observation:

Obama’s Iranian Vision Is Creating a Powder Keg

 

shutterstock_165080393If recent news accounts are to be believed, the framework of agreement between the U.S. and Iran is on the rocks. Iran’s top officials, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, are saying economic sanctions must end immediately and that UN inspectors will not be granted unfettered access to military installations and nuclear construction sites.

But this may be nothing more than Iranian domestic political spin. And as long as there’s a potential deal, a critical point needs to be made: There is no provision for, or even discussion of, putting political restraints on Iran. That is, there is nothing in this deal that would force Iran to change its terrorist ways. Iran will continue to be the number-one state sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East, no matter what the deal.

How can this be?

Don’t Ask Me to Explain The Iran Nuclear Agreement

 

1000If anyone is hoping for foreign policy wisdom from me about this, you’re looking to the wrong person. Nothing about this makes sense. Adam Garfinkle’s piece in the American Interest strikes me as closest to rational. He rejects the idea that the negotiations are “a cover for shepherding that bomb into being as an ante toward bringing about an Iranian-U.S. condominium to ‘stabilize’ the Middle East,” this on the grounds that the explanation is essentially a conspiracy theory:

It behooves those who hold such views to explain why an American President would think that multinational nuclear proliferation in the Middle East suits mid- to long-term U.S. national security interests. It obviously doesn’t, and so they cannot explain their position rationally.

But he notes that it would seem the President was willing to accept any deal, however unfavorable:

Death to America

 

IRAN-POLITICS-ANNIVERSARYMaybe I’m too sensitive, but when a foreign autocrat leads his people in chants of “Death to America” I take it personally.

President Obama and Secretary Kerry apparently don’t. The chant, which became a staple of the Islamic Republic during the 1979 revolution, is not a relic of the past. Just last weekend, at a rally in the northern part of the country, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei was interrupted by the chant as he was denouncing American “lies” and “arrogance.” He smiled and responded, “Of course yes, death to America, because America is the original source of this pressure.”

Some in Iran have urged that the “Death to America” chant, common after Friday prayers and at political rallies, be downplayed during negotiations over a nuclear deal, but the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps) rejects this, insisting, according to the semi-official Fars news agency, that the United States “is still the great Satan and the number one enemy of the (Islamic) revolution, and the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation…”