Even as a June 30th deadline for an agreement with Iran looms, the looming question remains: why are we negotiating with the Islamic republic, led by its mystic mullahs? Iran — a nation that’s basically been at conflict with America since its 1979 taking of American hostages — has not changed its behavior. Speaking of hostages, Iran’s currently holding four Americans: Jason Reznian, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati and Robert Levinson. Consider Egypt’s stance, outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood and running airstrikes against Islamist targets, including ISIS, in Libya — and standing completely in opposition to Iranian hegemonic rise. Meanwhile, the Obama administration isn’t engaging Egyptian leadership — and, in fact, at times it seems the relationship is quite chilled.
There’s no trusting Iranian theocratic leadership who leads chants of “death to America.”
As CNSnews reports:
President Hassan Rouhani said a final nuclear deal is “within reach” as Iran and six world powers face a June 30 deadline for an agreement.
Rouhani told a press conference Saturday that negotiations between Iran and the six-nation group — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — are making progress, although some gaps still remain.“If the other party respects the rights of the Iranian nation and our national interests and doesn’t seek excessive demands, I believe a deal is within reach,” he told reporters. Rouhani said Iran will allow inspections of its nuclear facilities but vowed that the Islamic republic won’t allow its state “secrets” to be jeopardized under the cover of international inspections.
“Iran will not allow that its state secrets be put at the disposal of others under the pretext of additional protocol. It’s definite that we won’t allow it,” he said.
Whereas previous Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing, Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The welcomed and so-called “reformer” and “moderate” has been little of either. Rouhani’s statement is more obtuse and belligerent than accommodating to the international community. The true power in Iran lies with the black-robed clerics — the ayatollahs — and Ayatollah Khamenei will have final say. Therefore, Rouhani’s declarations shouldn’t be taken as credible.
How does the Iranian leadership gain any semblance of trust? First, release the American hostages. Second, end their support to Islamic terrorism, not just in the region but the world. Third, remove the ayatollahs from any position of influence in international negotiations. These should be basic requirements before we even consider sitting with Iran. Further, it must be clear that no sanctions will be relieved until full verification that Iran’s nuclear program is not in violation of U.N. resolutions — and we already know there’s been a 20% increase in uranium enrichment since these “talks” began. The talks appear to be more stall tactic than honest engagement on nuclear ambitions.
It appears Iran is using the Obama administration’s definition of transparency. Rouhani said Iran will allow inspections of its nuclear facilities, but vowed the Islamic republic won’t allow its state “secrets” to be jeopardized under the cover of international inspections. “Iran will not allow that its state secrets be put at the disposal of others under the pretext of additional protocol. It’s definite that we won’t allow it,” he said. I say Iran doesn’t get to dictate terms — and that’s why economic sanctions are vital. Ayatollah Khamenei has demanded the sanctions be ended immediately, but doing so would strip us of tools to ensure Iranian compliance.
The real issue is whether President Obama is concerned with doing the right thing or just doing something. A president concerned about a legacy wouldn’t be engaging Iran. A president who just seeks the right to claim he did something no one else had done is simply concerned about his ego.
A clear non-starter must be Iran’s attempt to dictate the conditions of inspections — then again, if it weren’t the #1 state sponsor of Islamic terrorism, this wouldn’t be an issue. Iran has agreed to grant U.N. inspectors “managed access” to military sites as part of a future deal, including letting them take environmental samples in the vicinity of military bases. But Rouhani and others have repeatedly stated that international inspectors will not be allowed to conduct inspections on the grounds of military sites themselves.
The so-called “framework agreement” with Iran was nebulous and I just pray the final agreement, due end of this month, is not one where we give away the ranch.