The deal Iran thinks they can get from Obama

Amir Taheri:

AS the Obama administration intensifies its diplomatic moves in the Mid dle East, Tehran's possible misreading of its signals may doom its hopes of "positive engagement" with the Islamic Republic.

As Tehran sees it, the administration has already accepted a nuclear-armed Iran as a fait accompli and is only trying to secure some concessions from the Khomeinist regime.

According to the newspaper Kayhan, which reflects the views of the leadership in Tehran, the United States is "in a state of strategic desperation" in the Middle East and has no stomach for a serious confrontation with Iran.

"America's strategic needs in the region are so intense that the Obama administration is prepared to accept the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran," the paper said in an editorial Sunday. It claimed that the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has already informed allies in the region of that "acceptance."

The paper said: "In her speech last week, Clinton accepted the assumption of a nuclear-armed Iran. She only tried to show that the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran has been exaggerated and that the classical doctrine of deterrence through Mutually Assured Destruction could work with Iran as it did with other nuclear powers."

In this theory, President Obama is trying to establish a linkage, whereby Israel would accept a nuclear-armed Iran while Iran would withdraw its opposition to a two-state solution for the Palestinian problem.

The paper also notes that Clinton has offered to help America's Arab allies build up their defenses in response to a nuclear-armed Iran. In other words, America will no longer focus its energies on stopping Iran from becoming nuclear, but instead deploy its power and prestige to prevent its Arab allies from building up a nuclear capability.

The Kayhan editorial claims that Washington isn't even thinking of threatening Iran with further sanctions. "They have no long-term plan for dealing with Iran," it argues. "Their strategy consists of begging us to talk with them."


I can understand why they may have that impression since that seems to be the signal Obama has been sending since the 2008 campaign. They may have a different impression come September which appears to be the deadline for talks. At that point they will probably find that the deal Obama is willing to offer is not that different from the one that Bush was offering.

I think their reaction will be to lash out and accelerate their accelerators. The belief that Iran can be talked out of their nuclear program appears to be based on the false premise that the government can be reasoned with. But when you consider that it is made up of religious bigots who think they are on a mission from God which includes wiping out Israel and the US, what has logic got to do with it?


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