National Security

Iran Again Enters the Stage

Obama doesn't seem to have any qualms about dealing with Iran.

Oct. 4, 2013
Hassan Rouhani

Barack Obama may refuse to negotiate “with people with a bomb strapped to their chest” – referring, of course, to his Republican political opponents – but he doesn’t seem to have any qualms about dealing with Iran. New Iranian president Hassan Rouhani snubbed Obama at the UN last week, but the two soon talked on the phone to smooth things over. Rouhani – who isn’t Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but is still under the control of Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei – needed to string Obama along a bit more. The topics of conversation were not only Iran’s nuclear program but also its client state of Syria. Such talks mean that U.S. military action in Syria is less likely now than it ever was.

Remember last month, when the president addressed the nation to talk about “the children lying in rows, killed by poison gas” and the need to respond militarily? It’s remarkable how quickly that righteous firestorm died out.

And about that nuclear program: The Moscow Times reports, “Russia and Iran signed a protocol Monday transferring control of the Bushehr nuclear power plant to Iranian specialists.” Meanwhile, Yukia Amano, general director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said that Iran “is not providing the necessary cooperation to enable us to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities,” and his organization “cannot conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.” In other words, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Vladimir Putin is one step ahead of Obama once again.

Finally, three related tidbits: First, Iran hacked the U.S. Navy computer network in September. Second, the State Department wants Congress to hold off on any more sanctions for a while. And third, the United Nations chose Iran to serve on its Committee on Disarmament and International Security. That committee is chaired by Libya, where arms flow freely to al-Qaida after Obama helped oust Moammar Gadhafi. So all in all another fine week in foreign policy for our feckless president.

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