Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rejected Vice President Biden’s invitation for direct talks between the U.S. and Iran over the Iranian Nuclear program. In a speech yesterday the Ayatollah said; “We understand why America needs the negotiations. Their policies in the Middle East have failed, and in order to remedy that they need a winning ace.” He went on to deride what he calls the U.S.’s need to demonstrate good faith saying “there is no good faith!” (Source: Reza Kahlili)
He went on to describe Iranians who do want direct talks as “simple minded”.
The 5+1 talks are scheduled to resume on February 26th in Kazakhstan. Anyone care to make a wager on what will come out of that exercise?
Negotiations have been pursued for over eight years. So far lots of talk, no actual negotiations. In that time Iran has crept ever closer to the nuclear red line, continued to support global terror organizations, provided arms and training to Syrian President Assad, imprisoned and tortured tens of thousands of their own people and threatened Israel, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and a variety of the Gulf States. Iran has made common cause in South and Central America, been indicted for the Jewish Center bombings in Argentina and welcomed China as their biggest infrastructure investor.
So, what’s new? Nothing; that consistent nothing says something about how seriously Iran takes the U.S. and the West. President Obama, for five years, going back to the 2008 campaign has endorsed direct talks. The European diplomatic infrastructure has participated in ‘talks’ for eight years, many of their diplomats, including a former E.U. President have returned home after enduring a ‘spanking’ at the hands of the Iranians. Sanctions have not slowed them down. Negotiations have been feckless, accomplishing nothing more than creating time and space for the nuclear program to continue. We continue to press negotiations ignoring the actual history of the past eight years and the clear strategic intent demonstrated by the Iranian regime.
There can be little doubt that Iran simply does not take the U.S.; “all options on the table” seriously. They do not believe that the U.S. will actually pursue the most difficult of the ‘all options’ scenarios. The Obama administration has paid undeserved attention to Muslim sensitivities, has sent strong signals that they are not as committed to Israel as prior administrations, took the bait on the Arab Spring, killed untold Americans in Iraq, refused to offer support to the Green Revolution and did not move to support the rebels in Syria. The nominations of John Brennan, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel are also messages that a U.S. move to strong leadership and strong positions is not going to happen under this administration. Iranians have it right, U.S. rhetoric and the courage of U.S. convictions are not the same.
If actions speak louder than words the Iranians have gotten the message. The message is that the U.S. will not engage in the worst case option to eliminate the Iranian program if it comes to that. Chuck Hagel’s ‘slip’ by way of referring to ‘containment’ of the Iranians is, if you look at actions and the messages the U.S. has sent will leave the Iranian’s with the impression that Israel is on its own. As long as three years ago that august journal, Foreign Policy, was adopting the European position that it would be easier to contain a nuclear Iran than to stop it from becoming nuclear in the first place.
The logic of the containment position seems to be that since we can’t bend Iran to our will in terms of developing the bomb, we WILL be able to keep them from using it. The essential flaw in that thinking is the application of the Cold War model for the efficacy of containment. The Soviets were atheistic and in no hurry to test their belief system. They were rational and feared the potential for retaliation. The reason for the fear was a clear U.S. policy that called for massive retaliation in the event of a nuclear strike. The Russians believed it, as the policy stood regardless of administration.
The Iranians are religious zealots anxious to earn their entry into paradise. They operate on the avowed belief that crisis, chaos and war must precede the reappearance of the Shia Messiah; the 12th Imam. It’s a simple point of imagination, people committed to an ‘end of days’ theology armed with a nuke!
Crazy you say? Both Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad have spoken publically about already being in direct ongoing contact with 12.
While President Obama has spoken of his desire for additional nuclear weapons reductions he appears incapable of projecting the impact of a nuclear Iran. While pursuing reductions with the Russians who are not a direct nuclear threat the administrations blithely ignores the proliferation that will occur should Iran go nuclear. First up on the hit parade will be Saudi Arabia. The Saudi’s supported Pakistan’s nuclear program and it is not a significant leap to envision that chip being called. The Saudi’s won’t need a nuclear program, just money; which they have.
Unconfirmed reporting has Egyptian President Morsi making noise about an Egyptian nuclear program. Consider, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran, all under the control of Salifists, empowered with Fatwa’s justifying the possession and use of nuclear weapons! That is where a nuclear Iran leads us.
Consider an Iranian ship in international waters setting off a crude device, capable of an EMP pulse along any of the free world’s coastlines. Mayor Bloomberg won’t be worried about salt, soda and trans fats anymore.
Consider nearly any of the alternatives that are available based on the actual history of Iranian actions and the strategy those actions represent and you must come to the conclusion that ‘no good can come of this!’