Somewhere in Iran a voice can be heard. It is the Iranian President Ahmadinejad who is saying the same thing over and over, “Hey Barack–Who’s Your Daddy?” Iranian President Ahmadinejad OWNS Barack Obama. He understands how badly the American POTUS wants his outreach to work, and the Iranian keeps playing rope-a-dope with the Nuclear negotiations making Obama look foolish. Ever since Obama’s outreach began the Iranian despot has been doing his best to delay any agreement.
If the President wants to keep his word regarding stopping Iran from getting nukes he better get serious and understand what Ahmadinejad is doing:
Iran’s Actions Belie Fear Of Sanctions
Mideast: For a nation supposedly eager to avoid sanctions, Iran has an odd way of showing it: stalling, threatening to execute Americans and parading around Caracas with Hugo Chavez. Are they serious? Are we?
As international sanctions loom, we keep hearing Iran wants to accept a deal from the International Atomic Energy Agency on enriched uranium to assure the world its nuclear program is peaceful.
The deal calls for Iran to ship 70% of its somewhat-enriched uranium to France for higher refinement. The higher-grade uranium would then be recast by the French for civilian purposes. Supposedly, this will assure the material does not end up in a nuclear bomb.
If no deal is signed, the U.S. — or at least Congress — is ready to sanction gasoline sales to Iran in an effort to bring Iran’s economy to a halt.
Deciding whether to accept the deal or take the sanctions shouldn’t be that hard. But the U.S. is ready to give Iran “more time” — even as increasingly aggressive acts from Tehran occur.
More time amounts to just stalling. The Iranian government is split between mullah hard-liners who hate all deals and politicians who fear being held accountable by citizens for any sanctions.
So it’s no surprise that in the last three weeks Iran has made a string of counterproposals — shipping just half the uranium instead of 70%, quibbling about who would hold it and offering a plan to let Iran buy the refined uranium on the open market while keeping its current stash at home.
The only thing these stalling offers have in common is that a bomb is likelier to emerge. And our willingness to give Tehran more time has just given incentives to come up with new ones.
As the stalling goes on, Tehran is becoming more aggressive outside the purview of the negotiations.
On the political front, the hard-liners are asserting themselves. Top Ayatollah Khamenei made a speech denouncing President Obama’s friendly overtures, calling any talks with the U.S. “naive and perverted.” Khamenei warned that Iranian politicians should not be “deceived” into any such talks. So much for hopes for a serious nuclear deal emerging out of Tehran.
Then there’s the unrest in the streets. Two days before Khamenei spoke, two journalists from Agence France-Presse and an unlicensed Danish journalist were detained for covering Iranian protests against the Nov. 4 anniversary of the mullahs’ takeover of the U.S. Embassy in 1979.
On Monday, the regime got even more aggressive. An Iranian prosecutor announced three American backpackers who strayed from the tourist zone in northern Iraq over an unmarked border into Iran will face spying charges that carry the death penalty.
The charges are absurd, not only because the hikers were obvious Lonely Planet types exploring the offbeat, but also because there’s nothing to spy on in a region where opium smugglers easily get past border guards.
Given Iran’s recent history of taking British sailors hostage in international waters, it’s even valid to question whether the hikers strayed at all. But if charges are brought, the “mistake” could cost Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27, their lives.
If they don’t intend to execute these young people, then — like the recent case involving Roxana Saberi, a U.S. journalist detained for working in Tehran without a permit — this act has the look of hostage-taking for bargaining purposes.
There’s more. On Sunday, anti-American dictator Hugo Chavez of Venezuela announced that Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will visit Caracas soon, possibly this week. The only possible purpose of such a powwow is confronting America, something that also was on Chavez’s mind last weekend as he threatened to incinerate Colombia with his new arsenal of Russian fighter jets.
Such threats against a close U.S. ally mirror those Ahmadinejad has made against Israel. It’s also certain the pair will talk about how Venezuela can help Iran avoid sanctions — on the financial and energy fronts as well as with weapons transfers.
What to make of a regime that claims to seek a nuclear deal in talks with the IAEA, but suddenly undertakes a string of provocative acts?
Whatever it is, it’s not a regime that’s looking for a solution with any seriousness. It will stall, and stall, and stall, playing on the Obama administration’s desire to strike a deal. It’s time for the U.S. to wise up to Iran’s dangerous game.
Obama missed an opportunity when he supported Ahmadinejad after the last election, rather than siding with the protesters fighting for their voting rights:
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The United States and other Western countries would be well-served to listen to the warnings of Iranian democrats. For almost two decades, the West has been duped into playing a game the Islamic regime knows it will win. The West has been attacking Iran where its defenses are strongest while ignoring its weakest link. The regime has been winning the nuclear battle with the world and is losing–and came close to defeat–the war for democracy against the people of Iran. Instead of playing the losing game, the West should play the game it can win. When negotiations inevitably break down, neither military action nor partial sanctions will stop the regime’s drive for nuclear weapons. Only a democratic Iran can solve the current impasse.