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Sunday, November 01, 2009

'Engagement' with Iran is over, but when will Obama admit it?

On Friday, I noted the European reaction to Iran's insistence on retrading the nuclear deal, and I said that the Obama administration is missing in action on Iran. Barry Rubin looks at it from the American side.
Here’s the best article on the subject of the current deal/no deal from the sober Financial Times. The headline is “Tehran seeks big changes to nuclear deal.”

It concerns Iran’s response to questions about whether it would transfer two-thirds of its enriched uranium outside the country to make into a special non-weapons material that can only be used for medical purposes. (Note: it can be changed back into weapons-usable uranium in about four months or so.)

After interviewing officials, the newspaper concludes that the Europeans are ready to reject Iran’s demands now as “unacceptable” but the United States isn’t. It writes:

“The comments indicate the US remains more willing to show patience than either Britain and [sic] France. While London and Paris have at times made known their reservations about the agreement, it is seen in the US as a test of President Barack Obama's policy of engagement.”

In other words, the U.S. government is now lagging behind Britain, France, and presumably Germany on this issue. So who is the United States trying to keep on board if the key European allies are all saying: forget this nonsense, we have to put on more pressure!

I suggest there are three answers:

--President Barack Obama’s world view which insists that all problems are resolvable by talking and making concessions, and which fears confrontation.

--The president’s domestic constituency and colleagues (not all of them) who simply don’t comprehend that Iran and radical Islamism are threats.

I am positive, given some of her public statements, that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton knows this is all sheer nonsense. And just as the U.S. government has fallen behind its European counterparts, the White House has fallen behind the State Department.

--Someone else. Here’s the hint:

"We remain unified with our Russian and French partners in support of the IAEA draft agreement - it is a good and balanced agreement," said the US, signaling Washington's hope that Iran could yet agree to the original deal.”
When (if ever) will the Obama administration wake up and realize that an Iranian nuclear weapon is not just an Israeli issue? Here are two guidelines:

1. It won't happen before Iran gets one.

2. It won't happen before the summer of 2010 when the Democrats realize that they are on the verge of losing control of Congress in the midterm elections.

The American people aren't as stubbornly dogmatic as their President!

Read the whole thing.


At 11:03 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

For a President who aspired to cooperate with Europe its an ironic reversal in that the Europeans are leading where Washington is in denial!


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