What Americans have a hard time understanding is that, for all the Iranian negotiators, the outcome of the nuclear arms deal that the United States is leading all comes down to just one man, Sayyed Ali-Khamenei, otherwise known as the Supreme Leader of Iran.
In the 21st century, it is hard to comprehend that a nation could be ruled by a man whose powers supersede that nation’s president, its civil government, its judiciary and its military. Iran has had only one other Supreme Leader since its founding in 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini who held the position until his death in 1989. The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran overthrew the Shah in order to secure greater freedom, but the Iranians ended up more servile than before.
This is who Obama and P5+1 team (France, Great Britain, Russia, China, plus Germany) is negotiating with as they move toward the March 31 deadline for the talks. Khamenei has already said that the only thing he wants is the immediately lifting of the economic sanctions that are credited with bringing the Iranians to the negotiation table.
The negotiations have to be seen in the context of Iran’s daily cries of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” They have to be seen in the context of a history of Iranian aggression against America and Israel that has included the bombing of our Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, attacks on U.S. embassies and countless other examples of their bad intentions, not the least of which has been its sponsorship of two anti-Israel groups, Hezbollah in Lebanon and, to a lessor extent, Hamas in Gaza.
Any nuclear deal that permits Iran to continue to enrich enough uranium to make its own nuclear weapons is a very bad deal. Netanyahu came to the U.S. at the invitation of Congress to make that point as the leader of the nation the Supreme Leader intends to destroy. We would be next.
All this is just slightly insane when one considers that President Obama has been obsessed with reaching an agreement with Iran before and since he took office in 2009. He has done everything possible to demonstrate his desire to remove the obstacles to conferring approval on Iran. In the process, he has made us look and be weak.
It is hopeful news, therefore, as reported in The Hill that “Congress is growing hostile to the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, leaving President Obama with little political cover as he approaches a critical deadline in the talks. Should a deal be reached, it would transform U.S. and Iranian relations and potentially give Obama the most important foreign policy achievement of his second term.”
His most significant foreign policy failure, however, has been his betrayal of Israel, the only ally in the Mideast that the U.S. truly has had. Declassifying information about Israel’s nuclear arms was pure treachery. That said, it was no secret and no doubt has protected Israel against apocalyptic destruction.
Consider the Middle Eastern foreign policy failures Obama has had to date. The Saudis and other Gulf States have abandoned hope that Obama would resist the Iranian proxies taking over Yemen. They are pursuing their own military operation there. Egypt which replaced the Muslim Brotherhood with a U.S.-friendly president has not seen any renewal of the former friendly relations that existed. Iraq is in turmoil thanks to Obama’s removal of U.S. troops in 2011 and even has Iranian military units fighting ISIS. Syria has been in a civil war that has killed thousands. It’s a long list but it comes down to Obama’s ending of the U.S. role in the Mideast.
Just as the Iranians are controlled by their Supreme Leader, we have a President who sees himself and his role in a similar way. He has demonstrated his dissatisfaction with the Constitution and the limits it puts on the Executive branch. He has ignored Congress and has been experiencing reversals of policy by the judicial branch. In the case of the Iran negotiations Congress has been kept in the dark along with the rest of the American people.
The Secretary of State, John Kerry, has declared that any outcome of the negotiations would legally non-binding. If so, why are they being pursued? Such negotiations at the treaty level have always required the consent of the Senate, but the Obama regime is seeking to by-pass that mandatory factor.
On the other side of the table, it has been reported that the main stumbling block to agreement has been Iran’s failure to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether it tried to build atomic weapons in the past. If United Nations inspectors, in the future as in the past, are unable to verify that Iran is not continuing its nuclear weapons program, there is no way an agreement of any kind could be achieved.
On March 26, the Washington Examiner reported “The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations.”
You can be very sure that the Supreme Leader is watching this closely. If he can continue to get the kind of negotiations—an accord—that will result in Iran becoming a sanctions-free, nuclear-armed nation, he will permit the deal to proceed.
The Iranians, as always, will cheat on any deal to achieve this goal. Sadly, everyone at the table knows that, but Russia and China have strong economic reasons to pretend otherwise.
If the Supreme Leader gets what he wants the prospect for war in the Middle East would increase immeasurably. The threat level to the U.S. and Israel would be off the charts.
© Alan Caruba, 2015