Filed under: Bureaucracy, Foreign Policy, History, Intelligence, Iran, Law, Military, National Security, Politics, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: A Catastrophe, Iran's Dictator, The Iran Deal
Obama seems to be feeling victorious. He has got the number of Democrats necessary to cancel Congress’ ability to override his veto of their efforts to derail his Iran deal. He envisions a triumphant trip to Tehran to shake the hand of the Supreme Leader and essentially turn the Middle East over to the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s tender mercies. Some triumph!
The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei probably cannot bring himself to sign any agreement anyway, and he certainly would not shake the hated hand of an American. He said on Friday that there would be no deal unless the U.S. lifts sanctions immediately.
“If the sanctions are not going to be removed, then there will be no deal,” the “Supreme Leader” told Iran’s Assembly of Experts, in remarks broadcast on state-television.
“We insisted (since the beginning of the negotiations) that sanctions ought to be lifted, not suspended,” Iran’s dictator added, before threatening to triple uranium enrichment if the United States did not succumb to his demands.
Two thirds of the Senate oppose the Iran Deal. The American people oppose the ‘agreement by a 2–1 margin. This absurd situation is possible because the president refused to submit the Iran deal as a treaty for the Senate to ratify, as the Constitution requires. Ratification would have required a two-thirds vote, and Mr. Obama has not persuaded much of anyone that this agreement is in the national security interests of the United States. Sixty-four percent believe that President Obama and Secretary Kerry have misled the American people.
President Obama has insisted on bowing to the Iranian dictator, for unknown reasons, despite the fact that Iran is in a very difficult spot. The sanctions are pressing heavily. Iran’s break-even price for oil is $151. per barrel, and Brent crude is well under $50 — which I think means that they can’t sell their oil. And we politely become a doormat.
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who also served as head of the CIA, said on Friday that “the Iran deal provides the United States with an opportunity to define a policy of strength, not ambivalence, in the Middle East.” He added “Let’s face it, given the situation in the Middle East, empowering Iran in any way seems like a dangerous gamble.” The deal, he says, is motivated by a fear of war, not sound strategy.
Panetta advocated several steps: •The deal should be enforced harshly. •The U.S. must keep a strong military presence in the region. •The U .S. should expand its intelligence capabilities. •The U.S. should build ties with regional allies. Obama is opposed to all of these. The arguments are for someone with a spine.
From the American Enterprise Institute: “Iran’s interpretation of the nuclear deal is not an easy sell.” Read the whole thing.
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