Powered by WebAds

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Confirmed: Obama encouraged stolen Iranian election

This is from David Ignatius' column in Thursday's Washington Post (Hat Tip: Jennifer Rubin):
One Iranian political figure has told a Western intermediary that the Obama administration may have unwittingly encouraged the regime's power grab by sending two letters to Khamenei before the June election. The first, delivered through Iran's mission to the United Nations, was a general invitation to dialogue. Khamenei is said to have taken a month to answer, and then only in vague terms. A second Obama administration letter reiterated U.S. interest in engagement. According to the Iranian political figure, this may have emboldened Khamenei and Ahmadinejad to think they had a free hand on June 12.
In other words, seeing how weak Obama is, Khameni and Ahamdinejad figured they could get away with stealing the election.

But Iran is taking advantage of what it perceives as Obama's weakness in another way. Writing in the New York Post, Amir Taheri explains why Iran may 'talk' to the United States.
Meanwhile, some pundits are preparing the ground for an acceptance of the Islamic Republic as a nuclear power -- advising the president to "whistle and walk away" from an issue over which he has little control.

Tehran strategists see all this as a signal that the United States is no longer determined to prevent Iran from building the bomb. At a Thursday press conference, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran's nuclear project is no longer "a subject for negotiations."

Yet one issue divides Tehran's strategists: Should Ahmadinejad press for "total victory" over the United States, or offer Obama "a diplomatic fig leaf"?

The more radical view is that Iran should seize the chance provided by Obama's "strategic retreat." "The emperor is naked," says Hassan Abbasi, a theoretician for the Revolutionary Guard. "Obama's election showed that America has no stomach for a fight."

Hussein Shariatmadari, the regime's leading public intellectual and editor of Kayhan, Iran's main daily newspaper, agrees. His editorials argue that the world has already entered the "post-American era" and that the Islamic Republic must act as the "leading power" for creating a new world order.

Others disagree.

Dr. Manuchehr Muhammadi, a Foreign Ministry adviser, believes that Iran should respond "in a positive way." He argues that humiliating Obama could produce a backlash -- as President Jimmy Carter's humiliation by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini helped Ronald Reagan's victory.

Supporters of a positive response to Obama cite other reasons why Iran shouldn't reject his offer: The president has gone out of his way to apologize for real or imagined wrongs that America has done to Iran and the Muslim world, and turned the heat on Israel -- especially on the sensitive issue of Jewish settlements.

Most important, perhaps, Obama has decided to terminate the US presence in Iraq as quickly as possible without seeking a special relationship. That leaves the way open for Iran to assert its position as the dominant influence in Iraq.
Taheri concludes that Iran will likely offer Obama 'something' to buy more time.

Does anyone really think that under these circumstances Obama could present a credible military option in a matter of a few months? Could Obama present a military option that would convince Iran to change course? I'd say it's highly doubtful.

And there's a big difference between Carter and Obama regarding the 'humiliation' claim: When Khomeini humiliated Carter, Carter was in the last year of his term. Obama has three years to go. There's plenty of time for Khameni to humiliate Obama without worrying about a backlash.

On the other hand, one would think that the Iranians don't want to do anything that would stop President Obama from withdrawing US troops from Iraq.

In any event, it is clear that the Iranians believe that they are in the catbird seat. And at least with respect to the US, they probably are.

What could go wrong?


At 10:46 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Barry Rubin points out that as effete and decadent as the West is, it survives because dictatorships always overreach and demand everything than settle for what they can get. Its not in the latter's nature to compromise and live to see another day. Its all or nothing. Iran is going to be pretty radical but given what I just observed in the end that will be its undoing.

At 2:54 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

We as a free society protect the rights of minorities and we have an obligation to our children to make sure, that no one person in th world has the power to destroy or damage thie lives of minorities (like Jews in Mid East, the past few months events in Iran have shown the world what type of fashist, blodd sucking terrorist the Islamic Government is, they rape, torture and kill their own citizens by tens of thousands> It will be unimaginable to see Ahmadinejad with nuclear power.this is catasrophy in mega porportion.


Post a Comment

<< Home