Posted by Curt on 11 August, 2015 at 11:23 am. Be the first to comment!


Andrew C. McCarthy:

If what senior Iranian officials are saying is true, the Obama administration’s duplicity in explaining its nuclear negotiations with Iran is even more staggering than we realized.

In a new report, MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) reveals that, according to Iranian officials, the Obama administration initiated secret negotiations with Iran not after the 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani, but rather in 2011 when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was still Iran’s president.

That means the administration did not wait to reach out until Iran was governed by Rouhani, the purportedly “pragmatic” moderate the Obama administration contrasts with Iranian “hardliners” who supposedly oppose the Iran deal. It reached out when Ahmadinejad, an unapologetic “Death to America, death to Israel” hardliner, was running Iran’s government.

To be clear, these distinctions are nonsensical. In Iran, the president is not in charge; the president is subordinate to the nation’s sharia jurists, the chief of whom is “supreme leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. As I observed last week,Khamenei is a hardliner through and through. So is Rouhani — a protégé of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of Iran’s jihadist regime. Rouhani, a close friend and adviser of Khamenei, has been a staunch advocate of Iran’s nuclear program and a leader in crushing dissident protests. There is no meaningful difference between Iran in the Ahamdinejad era and in the Rouhani era.

Nevertheless, the Obama administration promoted the fiction that the election of Rouhani — who would not have been permitted to run had Khamenei objected — marked a hopeful Iranian turn toward moderation. This, we were to believe, was a worthy justification for engaging in direct negotiations with the regime on its nuclear program.

According to Supreme Leader Khamenei, however, Obama himself reached out to Khamenei in 2011, using the dictator of Oman, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, as his intermediary. The Iranian regime’s interpretation of what Qaboos told them was that the Americans “want to solve the nuclear issue and lift sanctions within six months, while recognizing Iran as a nuclear power.” It was on that basis, Khamenei claims, that he agreed.

If this version of events is true, then the suggestion that the election of Rouhani marked a turning point is not just an absurdity offered by an administration predisposed to appeasement. It is cover for an initiative that was already well underway. Of course, this initiative was not openly spoken of in the Ahmadinejad days because Obama was campaigning for a second term in office.

Iranian officials also claim, according to the MEMRI report, that John Kerry was already playing a key role in negotiations in the pre-Rouhani stages — i.e., while Hillary Clinton was still secretary of state and Kerry, a key Obama ally, was still chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee. The report relates that then-Senator Kerry, also using Oman as an intermediary, relayed a letter to the regime in Tehran “stating that America recognizes Iran’s rights regarding the enrichment cycle.”

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