American Self-Delusion about Iran Continues

March 11 2016

Two of the most important arguments made in favor of the nuclear deal with Iran were that it would strengthen that country’s so-called moderates and that it would allow the West to monitor the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities more closely. Actually, Elliott Abrams contends, the events of the past few weeks alone have demonstrated the wrongheadedness of both arguments, and the capacity of the deal’s defenders for wishful thinking:

[The] charade [of moderates’ success in Iranian elections] has in fact worked well, producing headline after headline in the Western media about “reformist” victories. You can fool most of the people some of the time, or at least most of the people who have a strong desire to be fooled—because they wish to protect the nuclear deal and its authors.

Iran’s conduct certainly suggests radicalization rather than moderation, and the past weeks have seen repeated ballistic-missile tests. Ballistic missiles are not built and perfected in order to carry 500-pound “dumb” bombs; they are used to carry nuclear weapons. So Iran’s continued work on them suggests that it has never given up its nuclear ambitions, not even briefly for the sake of appearances. . . .

Two missiles were test-fired . . . with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” written on them. These tests violate UN Security Council resolutions, but the American reaction is cautious: a speech, a debate in New York, perhaps some sanctions, but nothing that could possibly lead Iran to undo the nuclear deal. Because Iran knows that this will be the Obama administration’s reaction, expect more and more ballistic-missile tests. Expect more conduct like the interception, capture, and humiliation of American sailors in the Gulf. Expect more Iranian military action throughout the region.

Some moderation. . . .

Are we . . . gaining unparalleled insight into the Iranian nuclear program? . . . The International Atomic Energy Agency’s February 26 report was its first since the nuclear deal went into effect, and lacked details on matters such as uranium stockpiles, production of certain centrifuge parts, and progress by Iran toward meeting safeguard obligations. . . . The deal was sold, in part, as a way of providing transparency, but that does not appear to be accurate: it may in fact legitimize opacity.

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Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Iran, Iran nuclear program, Nuclear proliferation, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy

 

The Attempted Murder of Salman Rushdie Should Render the New Iran Deal Dead in the Water

Aug. 15 2022

On Friday, the Indian-born, Anglo-American novelist Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed and severely wounded while giving a public lecture in western New York. Reports have since emerged—although as yet unverified—that the would-be assassin had been in contact with agents of Iran, whose supreme leaders have repeatedly called on Muslims to murder Rushdie. Meanwhile U.S. and European diplomats are trying to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement with Tehran. Stephen Daisley comments:

Salman Rushdie’s would-be assassin might have been a lone wolf. He might have had no contact with military or intelligence figures. He might never even have set foot in Tehran. But be in no doubt: he acted, in effect, as an agent of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Under the terms of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1989, Rushdie “and all those involved in [his novel The Satanic Verses’s] publication who were aware of its content, are sentenced to death.” Khomeini urged “brave Muslims to kill them quickly wherever they find them so that no one ever again would dare to insult the sanctities of Muslims,” adding: “anyone killed while trying to execute Rushdie would, God willing, be a martyr.”

An American citizen has been the victim of an attempted assassination on American soil by, it appears, another American after decades of the Iranian supreme leader agitating for his murder. No country that is serious about its national security, to say nothing of its national self-worth, can pretend this is some everyday stabbing with no broader political implications.

Those implications relate not only to the attack on Rushdie. . . . In July, a man armed with an AK-47 was arrested outside the Brooklyn home of Masih Alinejad, an Iranian dissident who was also the intended target of an abduction plot last year orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence agent. The cumulative weight of these outrages should render the new Iran deal dead in the water.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Freedom of Speech, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy