Editor's note: The following is the second article in the FrontPage series "Obama's Betrayals." To read Part I, click here.
Anyone wishing to assess the true intentions of those pulling the strings in the Islamic Republic of Iran needs to understand first and foremost that there are no moderates in the Iranian echelons of power, only extremists. To assume otherwise is both naïve and dangerous. Some of the more polished regime elements may express themselves in a more moderate fashion when addressing Western audiences, but readily ratchet up the anti-Western rhetoric when behind closed doors.
In 2013, Hassan Rouhani was, for lack of a better word, “elected” president of Iran replacing the noxious Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rouhani, a grandfatherly-like figure with an affable smile, appeared to be, at least outwardly, more moderate than his predecessor, but in reality expressed the same rancid, xenophobic views. He was quoted as saying that “the beautiful cry of 'Death to America' unites our nation,” and referred to Israel as a “wound,” “a festering tumor” and the “great Zionist Satan," among numerous other reprehensible pejoratives.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an address to the United Nations, dryly noted that while Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing, Rouhani was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but both were wolves nonetheless. What’s more, real power in Iran vests not with the nation’s president, but with its Supreme Leader, Ali Hosseini Khamenei, a pernicious man who seems incapable of addressing crowds without inserting at least one “death to America” reference somewhere in the speech. Indeed, just four days after signing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) he addressed a large crowd and repeated the tired banalities of “death to America” and “death to Israel.” Khamenei is also solely responsible for vetting and approving presidential candidates which means that he found Rouhani to be an acceptable contender and that speaks volumes about what kind of character Rouhani is.
Despite the given realities about the Islamic Republic and its malevolent nature, Obama attempted to sell the American public on the nonsensical notion that the election of Rouhani ushered in a new period of Iranian enlightenment and moderation and afforded the U.S. an opportunity for meaningful engagement with the mullahs on their nuclear program. On that premise, he led the American public to believe that it was only after the election of the “moderate” Rouhani that the U.S. chose to engage Iran. Recent disclosures by high-level Iranian officials however, suggest otherwise.
According to documents obtained by the Middle East Media Research Institute, the Obama administration began its preliminary nuclear negotiations with Iran while Ahmadinejad was still president, putting the lie to administration’s claim that it was the transition of power from radical to “moderate” that triggered the American policy of engagement. The shocking disclosure also blatantly contradicts Obama’s August 5th assertion that negotiations began just two years ago.
But perhaps even more astonishingly, in a sweeping concession, the administration acknowledged Iran’s right to enrich uranium, contravening long established U.S. policy as well as several prior UN Security Council resolutions affirming that Iran had no such right.
That shocking concession came in the form of a letter penned by none other than John Kerry who was at the time a senator and head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Despite the fact the Hillary Clinton was then Secretary of State, Obama chose Kerry to be his point man on the Iranian nuclear track. This might have been due to Kerry’s known past links to the regime.
According to Iranian officials, the letter was delivered via Omani intermediaries in 2011 and explicitly recognized Iran’s enrichment rights while calling for an end to international sanctions within six months. It was followed up by direct meetings between U.S. and Iranian officials in Oman the following year where U.S. officials reportedly adopted a very conciliatory approach.
While the Islamic fanatic Ahmadinejad was calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” and spewing repugnant views on Holocaust denial the administration was in direct contact with Iran, promising the mullahs sanctions relief while at the same time making broad sweeping concessions to Iran concerning its secretive nuclear program.
These surreptitious contacts with a pariah regime sworn to America’s destruction, amount to nothing short of outright deceitful conduct and represent the zenith of betrayal. While the Iranians were killing American soldiers with explosively formed projectiles (as many as 500 American deaths were linked to Iran as a result of EFPs) and calling for genocide against the Jewish state, the administration was fundamentally altering U.S. policy by conducting business as usual with the Iranians and making sweeping concessions to boot.
Lawmakers who’ve thus far opposed the JCPOA or expressed reservations have done so on substantive grounds, addressing the agreement’s obvious flaws concerning inspections, sanctions, ICBM proliferation and the billions that would instantly be placed in Iran’s coffers. But the new revelations concerning the administration’s perfidious conduct should give lawmakers additional pause for thought. Can this administration, so eager for détente with Iran and so deceitful in its diplomatic undertakings, be entrusted to take the necessary enforcement action in case of the inevitable Iranian breach? The answer is quite obviously, no.