The Islamist state of Iran’s blatant aggression and provocative attitudes have reached an unprecedented level.
After the nuclear deal, and Obama’s appeasement policies towards Iran, the ruling Islamists of the country have become very public and vocal about their ideological objectives.
Most recently, the Fars News Agency, the Islamic Republic’s state-controlled news outlet, quoted Iranian Deputy Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Maassoud Jazzayeri, warning the United States to stay away from Iran’s redlines―one of which is Iran’s ballistic missiles.
In addition, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh was also quoted by the ISNA agency as stating, "The reason we designed our missiles with a range of 2000 km is to be able to hit our enemy the Zionist regime from a safe distance." Iran has increased its short–and medium–range ballistic missiles, and currently boasts the largest ballistic missile stockpile in the Middle East.
But what will Obama’s response to these threats be? Most likely there would be more bowing to the ruling clerics of Iran and giving them more carrots. Iranian theocrats have learned that intransigence works with Obama.
There is a simple rule that if you reward a student or your kid for bullying and breaking the rules, you will be encouraging his/her bad behavior, which can ultimately become dangerous for everyone around that person. In addition, if you show students your weakness–such as being willing to give them extra points so that they give you good reviews at the end of the year–they will take advantage of that, or as the Persian proverbs goes: "they will milk you to the end."
And this is exactly what Iran is doing and how President Obama is encouraging the Islamic Republic’s aggression. Iranian leaders have become cognizant of the fact that intransigence absolutely works with the White House, and threatening Obama with pulling out of the nuclear deal will lead to Obama offering more concessions to the mullahs.
There is a basic rule in Iran’s politics and in Iran’s Supreme Leader’s philosophy: concessions means weakness. Once someone shows you his/her weakness, you have to speed up getting more concessions from him or her until there is nothing left to get from them.
Here is a chain of events that can easily help us understand how we got here with Iran. It also helps predict how President Obama and the White House will respond to Iran’s recent aggression and threats to the US and Israel.
When the nuclear negotiations were initiated, Obama announced his terms. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Khamenei, gave an inflammatory speech, lashing out at the US. Obama’s response was to increase the number of centrifuges that Iran can hold and give Tehran more leverage in uranium enrichment. Obama also agreed not to include issues such as Iran’s ballistic missiles, human rights or the fate of those Americans imprisoned in Iran during the negotiations.
Now Khamenei knew the game. He used another shrewd tactic by giving another speech threatening the US that he will pull out of the negotiations if certain conditions were not met. Obama’s response was to immediately allow the Islamic Republic to receive all sanctions relief (including the removal of United Nations Security Council’s sanctions), even before Iran finishes its 10-year obligations. Obama also gave Iran a green light to become a nuclear state by enriching uranium at a level that they desire, spinning as many centrifuges as they like, and buying arms with no limits, after the 10-year period.
Khamenei and the IRGC leaders wanted to more forcefully milk the cow, as the Persian proverb goes. Iran launched its ballistic missiles in violation of the JCPOA (UNSCR 2231 Annex II, paragraph three), which states that Iran should not undertake any ballistic missiles activity “until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day or until the date on which the IAEA submits a report confirming the Broader Conclusion, whichever is earlier.”
President Obama ignored it. Iran launched ballistic missiles several times more. President Obama issued a superficial statement criticizing Iran. Khamenei immediately gave his Nowruz speech heavily lashing out at the United States, the “Great Satan," and implying that he will pull out of the nuclear deal.
To appease the ruling clerics of Iran, Obama immediately backed off his statements by breaking the promises that he made to the Congress when he was trying to get his nuclear deal through. In other words, he is now preparing to give Iran access to the US's banking and financial system, and he has already lifted sanctions against Iran that are not related to the nuclear program, but to Iran’s ballistic missiles, terrorism and human rights violations. Iran was also removed from the list of countries for which there is a travel ban, although it is prominent sponsor of terrorism.
Thanks to Obama’s weak leadership and appeasement policies towards the mullahs, Iran is already publicly attacking several countries in the region directly or through its proxies Hamas, Hezbollah, Badr, Kataeb Imam Al Ali, Harakat Al Islam, etc. Iran would have never dared to be so intransigent and aggressive when the UNSC sanctions were previously imposed on Iran. However, sanctions are being completely lifted, thanks to Obama.
Iran has a history spanning over 2,500 years and it goes without saying that that the mullahs are among the shrewdest politicians. They can smell weakness from thousands of miles away and they know how to exploit it. Obama’s weakness–that he fears his so-called crowning foreign policy achievement (the nuclear deal) might fall apart–has led to Iran’s bullying, and has driven his carrots-but-no-stick policy towards Tehran. It appears that Obama is indeed focused on scoring superficial records in his name, such as the nuclear deal or visiting Cuba. But there is no doubt that his so-called “accomplishments” will be forgotten soon. The things that are important are the lives that have been lost, the human rights violations, and the escalation of regional conflicts on the part of Iranian leaders thanks to Obama’s decisions.