Iran Outwits Obama in the Middle East - Seth Mandel
[A] theme has emerged in the Middle East: long engaged in a proxy war against America, Tehran is now, in the age of Obama, simply running circles around Washington.
America is more or less acting as Iran’s air force: in Iraq, that comparison is made directly; in Syria, it is by acting essentially as Bashar al-Assad’s air force–and Assad is an Iranian proxy hanging on to power in large part through Iran’s investment.
Israel fought a summer war against Hamas, an Iranian client firing Syrian missiles delivered by Iran. Far from understanding what was taking place, the Obama administration played right into Iran’s hands by distancing itself from Sisi’s Egypt and not only pressuring Israel to give in to Hamas’s terror but even sending Secretary of State John Kerry to Cairo with a ceasefire agreement reflecting the wishes of Hamas’s patrons. When Israel objected, President Obama took retribution against Jerusalem, withholding arms transfers while Israel was under fire.
And then there is the direct American engagement with Iran on its nuclear program. On this, the Iranians saw early on that Obama and Kerry wanted a deal of some sort that would kick the can down the road while enabling the president to claim progress. It’s doubtful any such plan was more obviously bush league than begging the Iranians to disconnect some pipe rather than dismantle the program. But the limitless diplomacy, in which deadlines float past with nary a thought, has done its damage as well by giving the Iranians additional leverage–and a powerful bargaining chip–on other issues on which the U.S. would want Iranian cooperation.
Tehran has continually played Washington, setting fires and then offering to help Obama put them out, for a price. It’s a predictable racket, but Obama keeps falling for it.
Hat tip: Joel B
Criticisms of the U.S. ISIS Campaign -Daniel Pipes, PhD
Keep an eye on the ball:
the Iranian nuclear build-up is 1,000 times a greater threat than ISIS.
[National Review Online]
U.S. Considering Meeting Iran "Close to Half Way" in Nuke Talks
- George Jahn
The U.S. is considering softening present demands that Iran gut its uranium enrichment program in favor of a new proposal that would allow Tehran to keep nearly half of the project intact while placing other constraints on its possible use as a path to nuclear weapons, diplomats said.
Tehran Holds Firm While the U.S. Keeps Making Nuclear Concessions
- Nuclear negotiations with Iran have gone nowhere after nearly a year. The Administration is now seeking ever more creative ways to give the mullahs what they want.
- The latest Administration brainstorm is to abandon the longstanding demand that Iran dismantle its uranium-enriching centrifuges. Under one Western proposal, Iran would merely be asked to disconnect some of the pipes connecting one centrifuge to the next. Another idea is to allow Iran to keep as many as 4,500 centrifuges, provided Iran agrees to enrich uranium at a lower rate.
- The larger problem is that these diplomatic gambits rest on the fanciful notion that the same regime that is stonewalling the IAEA can be trusted not to reconnect its centrifuges on short notice or increase their rates of uranium production or develop more powerful rockets. Iran has spent a decade taking advantage of the diplomatic process to buy time and advance its nuclear programs.
- "The Iranian nuclear game is to compromise on the elements of the program they've already perfected in order to gain time on the elements they haven't," says Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
- "They've perfected enrichment so they can suspend it for the time being. What they've gained in exchange is time to work on advanced centrifuge R&D. The more efficient the centrifuges, the fewer they need; the fewer they need, the easier they are to hide."