Shoot Down The Balloon

Direct negotiations with Iran is the latest in the admnistrations effort to deliver an October surprise. The trial balloon has been released and it needs to be shot down, preferably by a drone.

‘Negotiations’ with Iran have been, without question, an abject failure for the West. The negotiating strategy from Iran’s point of view has been simple; buy time. They have been exceptionally successful and now approach the nuclear red line. Iran approaching their goal is the result of seven years of ‘negotiations’ and an even longer time line for ‘engagement’.

it is true that sanctions have had a debilitating impact on the Iranian economy, but not on the nuclear program. the idea that Iran would attempt to mitigate sanctions with the promise of talks is a repititive strategy in place for years. As pressure built, Iran would agree to ‘talks’. The ‘talks’ would commence, sending our European negotiating partners into fits of fantasy. It always, always ended up in failure for the West and more time for Iran.

We must keep in mind that everything occurs within the context of Islam. Islam says it’s acceptable to lie in negotiations, to actively make promises that there is no intention of honoring. Non Muslims must not be given the respect of truth. The Islamic entity is not responsible to honor commitments when the Islamic entity is in a position of weakness. The truth is only to surface when the Islamic entity is in a position of strength; the truth is ‘too bad we changed our mind’. These negotiations will occur in that context as have the last seven years of ‘negotiations’. It is an inescapable fact that in each and every negotiation Iran won the game; more time, more prestige in the Islamic world and more violent rhetoric.

The reason not to engage Iran has to do with Iran’s internal politics. The sanctions, finally, have had a demonstrable,
measurable impact. There is significant domestic discontent in Iran spread over a number of segments within their economy.

Why even consider backing off sanctions? It’s the only thing that has worked to any degree. If we want Iran to stop their headlong flight to a nuclear weapon why would we talk about releiving the singular policy that is capable of generating sufficient pressure to motivate a change in Iranian policy?

This is not about politics and should not be a part of what determines an election, Iran should not have a vote. This is about global security, this is about a demented regime in pursuit of a nuclear weapon. This is about negotiating with the most significant supporter of terrorism on the globe. What ever happened to the policy of not negotiating with terrorists?

The Carter Iranian hostages were released as President Reagan was being sworn in. While I cannot speak to the factual circumstances it is clearly within the realm of possibility that a back channel message of what would happen in a Reagan administration was delivered. If Iran believed President Reagan would not have demanded a price,do you really think the hostages would have been released?

Should this trial balloon fly, it will not be a victory for the administration or for global security. It will buy more time for Iran, it could buy a softening of sanctions to Iran’s benefit. It will not buy a halt to the nuclear program. It will essentially put the United States in line with the policies adopted by Russia and China and disengage the United States from the policy of its ally Israel.

Our position should be ‘stop the program’, let the IAEA inspect compliance and then, only then, we can talk about sanctions. The West has consistently failed to negotiate from a position of strength with predictable results. Now that we have a potential position of strength the administration is floating the ‘negotiations’ trial balloon.

I support negotiations, I reject doing so for any purpose other than a termination of the Iranian weapons program, with guarantees. Anything other than that will have the Iranian regime laughing all the way to the bank!