Ever since the U.S. and other nations entered into negotiations with the Iranian regime over a nuclear deal and completed it more than a year ago, critics including the Iranian resistance movement have been warning that a deal that did not also address the regime’s poor human rights record, oppressive government and support of terrorism would inevitably prove fruitless and only empower and embolden the mullahs in Tehran.
The Iran lobby also argued strongly that the nuclear deal would help “moderate” the regime and open the door for more liberal elements of the government to make gains. Notable regime supporters such as Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council and Ali Gharib pushed the idea that Iran could help stabilize the volatile Middle East once a deal had been passed.
Even sympathetic editorial pages and commentators were actively encouraged by the administration to support the deal on the basis that it would bring economic benefits to the Iranian people long beleaguered by crippling sanctions and gross corruption and mismanagement by regime officials.
Over the past year, reality has set in and the world has discovered that virtually none of those promises and assurances ever came true and in fact the litany of woe heaped on the world by the rising tide of radicalized extremism flowing from Iran since the nuclear deal has all but reshaped the landscape of the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, Africa and even touched Latin America.
The luxury of 20/20 hindsight has allowed the world to see the results of the nuclear deal and it is hard for even the most ardent member of the Iran lobby to put a positive spin that is remotely believable.
Things are so blatantly obvious that even the State Department has finally conceded that the nuclear deal may have in fact emboldened the Iranian regime to commit even more aggressive and militant acts; not diminish it.
Under questioning from Fox News reporter James Rosen, State Department spokesman Mark Toner could not rule out that the deal “has served as a cause for this more aggressive posture” by the regime.
Rosen noted, Iran had recently threatened to shoot down two US Navy surveillance planes in international airspace. This was just the latest in a growing list of provocations, including taking 10 US sailors hostage and abusing them in violation of international law.
The New York Post editorial board was flabbergasted by the admission since if the Obama administration had even an inkling of this aberrant behavior on the part of the mullahs, it made no sense to continue a policy of appeasing them, including bending over backwards to ship the regime $1.7 billion in hard cash in exchange for American hostages.
The Post said that of course, after citing incidents that “needlessly escalate tensions” Toner then said it all makes the deal even “more important, because the last thing anyone would want to see in the region is a nuclear-armed Iran.”
“Especially, we’d add, an Iran grown even more aggressive and hostile precisely because of that very deal.
“The logic here is just mind-boggling.
“Yes, Iran has been emboldened by a deal that gives it billions in cash now and an easy road to going nuclear in a few years — thanks to a president who won’t dare challenge Tehran’s behavior and risk undoing his dubious diplomatic legacy.
“Nice to see someone finally admitting as much,” the Post added.
The Iranian regime isn’t taking the potential for blowback lightly. Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency reports that the country’s foreign minister and his international counterparts will meet this month to discuss “some differences” over the implementation of the landmark nuclear deal.
The Wednesday report says they will focus on banking sanctions, which Iran complains have not been fully lifted. The meeting will take place Sep. 22, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, where the regime’s Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to speak in what we can only assume will be a verbal tongue lashing blaming the U.S. for a wide range of problems resulting from a now failed nuclear deal.
It has been clear from statements made by regime officials such as Ali Khamenei and members of the Iran lobby that the regime has shifted focus now to condemning the U.S. for the inability of the regime to participate in U.S. currency exchanges because of sanctions put in place for its support of terrorism and not related to the original nuclear deal.
The Iranian regime also recognizes that since the deal was passed, its conflict with Saudi Arabia, especially in Syria and Yemen, is stalling its plans for regional hegemony under a radicalized Shiite banner. The influence of Saudi Arabia in standing up to Iran including its active fighting in Yemen and interception of Iranian boast trying to smuggle illicit weapons through the Persian Gulf to Houthi rebels in Yemen has been effective and annoying to the mullahs in Tehran.
This helps explain why the Iranian regime has turned its attention and that of the Iran lobby into a full-blown smear campaign aimed at Saudi Arabia, and by association the U.S.
This can be seen in an editorial appearing in the New York Times penned by Mohammad Javad Zarif, the regime’s foreign minister, blaming Wahhabism and Saudi Arabia in particular for literally every terrorist act being committed around the world and chastised the Kingdom’s large lobbying efforts.
It is a preposterous piece since it blames Saudi Arabia for exactly what the Iranian regime is doing itself with its own substantial investment in PR firms, lobbyists, paid analysts, bloggers and commentators, as well as spreading cash to a large number of so-called grassroots organizations such as the Ploughshares Fund which strongly advocated for the nuclear deal.
Danielle Pletka, senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, took Zarif to task and ticked off the Iranian regime’s own bloody history of support for terrorism around the world in a piece appearing on AEI’s site.
“It was the Islamic Republic that created Hezbollah and sponsored the groups that kidnapped and murdered Americans through Lebanon’s long civil war,” Pletka writes. “It is Iran that props up the murderous Assad regime — you know, the guys that have repeatedly gassed their own people. It is Iran that has assassinated its enemies the world over, and it is Iran’s own Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (and its expeditionary Quds Force) that was responsible, during the Iraq war, for hundreds of US servicemen dying.”
The first step in recovery for any addict is to admit they have a problem. We can only hope this admission by the State Department will be the first step in confronting the Iranian regime forcefully, honestly and openly again.
By Michael Tomlinson