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Iran - Now they're talking!
Israel - Middle East
Friday, November 29, 2013
Alf Cengia

A lot of naysayers scoffed when United States President Obama casually let it slip to the media that he was having intimate conversations the new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Some even mocked that it was a case of Hassan talking to Hussein - if you know what I mean. I was one of them.

PJ columnist Leon De Winter wasn't a true believer either. He was a doubter, scoffer mocker. Shame on him:

"Both presidents are brilliant talkers about talking, so we may rejoice in looking forward to many talks about talking. But both Barack and Hassan have had problems since their phone call. For Barack, the problem is that now that they have talked, he owns the issue of talking with Iran. As long as a raving madman like Hassan’s predecessor was around, it was relatively easy to avoid direct responsibility for the issue of Iran’s nuclear project."

But with nasty Armageddon-loving Bush and Ahmadinejad out of the way, the New Era Rationalists are finally talking. We now have six more months of peace and safety.

People can quibble all they like about the fiddly details on what Iran can or can't do in that period. But we're looking forward to a brighter future, ensured by more of those wonderful personal telephone calls and follow-ups between the two presidents.

It's all good.

De Winter noted that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu committed a tactical faux pas in exposing Hassan Rouhani as a "wolf in sheep's clothing." That sort of a party-pooping reality offends people and....well, it stifles all that constructive talking we so desperately need.

He thinks Netanyahu should have welcomed the nuclear talks as an exciting idea; and then officially invited President Hassan Rouhani to Jerusalem for a friendly discussion with some of the Holocaust historians. That would have exposed the real Hassan Rouhani.

What a great idea!

However, I'm certain Rouhani would have opted for a rain check. After all, all that talking is keeping him busier than a one-armed Islamist freedom fighter, loading his Russian-made shoulder rocket launcher.

But there are the true believers - God bless their positive little cotton socks!

They just know that if the right people get together to talk, wonderful things can happen. Pepe Escobar is cautiously optimistic. Yet deep down he's one of them. The following probably summarizes the collective hype...er...hope framing that optimism:

"In a Voltairean best of possible worlds, we're just at the stage of a road map for a definitive deal allowing Iran its rightful, peaceful nuclear program (enrichment included) under non-stop IAEA monitoring and far away from breakout nuclear capacity." (Emphasis mine)

Escobar actually called Netanyahu a "sociopath". Really, he did!

He notes that: "Bibi was totally frozen out of the New Great Game in Eurasia by the Obama administration." Presumably, that's because of his sociopathic tendencies. You can throw in an unhealthy dose of paranoia, to boot. Apparently Bibi takes Israel's existential safety much too seriously.

In contrast, Escobar reminds us of Rouhani's earnest denials that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon. He notes the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei's "fatwas branding a nuclear weapon as anti-Islamic." How could any rational person possibly doubt their sincerity?

The preempting of the naysayers' inevitable comparisons to Neville Chamberlain is already in frenzied progress with the Daily Beast's Peter Beinart stridently denying that this isn't a Munich-style capitulation. Now why would anyone think that? Ironically, Beinart notes that:

"Iran’s leaders, to be sure, are a gruesome lot, guilty of terrible crimes against their people and of supporting some of the most odious dictators and terrorists in the Middle East. But the Nazi analogy is laughable."

I'm betting he doesn't live in Israel.

Speaking of laughing it up and "sociopaths", everyone knows by now that, prior to the American President's announcement of this "great historic agreement", the Ayatollah had told an assembly of tens of thousands of Basij militiamen that:

"Israel is the sinister, unclean, rabid dog of the region…. The Zionist regime is a regime whose pillars are extremely shaky and is doomed to collapse.”

Back in February 2012 he told thousands of worshipers at a Tehran University prayer service that: "The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed." Khamenei insisted that the West's sanctions would not make Iran surrender its nuclear ambitions. Touching upon the Palestinians, Khamenei also promised that Iran would assist any country or organization that would fight the Zionist regime.

Oh, and the crowd chanted back, "Death to Israel." I'm sure they were only kidding. Crowds tend to get rowdy and restless sometimes. Just ask Morsi and Gaddafi.

Whatever the details of this six month agreement, it won't change the Iranian administration's fundamental character. Iran has a long history of human rights abuses regarding Christians, while the Obama admin a reputation for silence on them.

Saeed Abedini will be spending Thanksgiving in an Iranian prison, possibly facing a death sentence. In contrast, the Obama admin rejoices in its brownie points while slicing Turkeys. The possibility should be allowed that, somewhere behind the scenes, they have talked to Iran about Abedini's release. However, the issue has been glaringly missing from any of the public statements.

And how can the U.S. possibly trust a regime that actively supports Israel's enemies, Syria and Hezbollah, by supplying them with sophisticated conventional weapons? Hezbollah models itself after the Iranian regime, controls the Lebanese government and seeks to destroy Israel.

It isn't as if the United States is not aware of the situation. It's just not expedient to talk about it.

This six month agreement eases the pressure off Iran. It is about as effective as Vladimir Putin's assurance to Pres. Obama on the Syrian nerve gas disposal. It won't change anything, and it won't stop the Iranian progress towards a nuclear weapon.

It amounts to nothing but grandstanding and pretending. It doesn't give Israel or the world any assurance at all. Those who believe otherwise are kidding themselves.

About Alf Cengia

Last week: On Preparing for the Tribulation

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