Whoops. I meant The Great CHARM offensive,
but both depend on lots of public relations skill.
Charmin is a toilet tissue advertised as very “soft.” President Obama has been about as “soft” as Charmin on our nation’s enemies and Iran has long been among those enemies. Iranian President Rouhani is not soft. If he gets what he and his master in Tehran want, more than merely truck loads of Charmin will be needed to clean up the mess. Their charm
in tactics depend on their ability to con President Obama and much of the rest of the allegedly free world into thinking believing that President Rouhani is a “moderate” and will, therefore, join in negotiating a “win – win” agreement in good faith.
The video is from a couple of years ago, but few things change and President Rouhani has done an exceptionally good job of conning the world for years. The ploy may well be successful again.
On September 22nd, Michael Leden posted an article about President Rouhani noting that as he basks in the warmth of their praise, “journalists” are unlikely to
quote one of his public statements about the United States:
“We need to express ‘Death to America’ with action. Saying it is easy.” [Emphasis added.]
Nor do I expect to hear a lot about Rouhani’s self-satisfied discussion of how he tricked the West into thinking that Iran had suspended its nuclear enrichment efforts, when it was actually speeded up.
There is more. As several Iran followers have pointed out, Rouhani is not an outsider like Ahmadinejad. On the contrary, Rouhani is the ultimate insider, twice over. He’s a cleric who, so far as I can tell, is thoroughly committed to the doctrines of the Revolution. And he has spent his career inside the system, including a lengthy stint atop the Supreme National Security Council, at the right hand of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. To his credit, Thomas Erdbrink in the New York Times carefully identifies Rouhani’s core principles:
(Those close to him) caution that he is, above all, a Shiite Muslim cleric who has dedicated his life to the Islamic Revolution, which he will never betray.
In short, Rouhani seems an unlikely candidate for a man ready for a major breakthrough, unless, of course, he gets a deal so good that he can’t turn it down. What sort of deal might that be?
The short answer is: America out of the Middle East, and a quick end to unilateral sanctions. If Obama offers all that, the Iranians would surely promise to be good boys and let UN inspectors come look at (some of) the uranium enrichment sites, just as their client Bashar Assad has promised to be a good boy and let inspectors check out his chemical weapons stockpile. Like Assad, the Iranians want to buy time. Assad needs time to wipe out the opposition, and the Iranians need time to build a few atomic bombs. How much time? Some savants believe that they can have enough for a plutonium bomb in six months or so. That work is going on at Arak, which has never been available to UN inspectors. The Iranians don’t want us snooping around their military sites, even though that’s precisely what we need to snoop around. [Emphasis added.]
That is the sort of deal President Obama could happily offer to President Rouhani consistently with His Emasculate America beliefs, oblivious to the likelihood that Iran will cheat. The new Iranian President has deceived us before and he will do his skillful best to deceive us again.
As noted here, where I found the video,
Despite the recent charm offensive in the American media, a recently revealed video of an interview prior to the June Iranian election shows him bragging how he, in his role as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, deceived the West during negotiations on Iran’s illicit nuclear program even as Iran expanded its nuclear power. At the same time, Rouhani managed to relieve pressure by the West, especially in convincing the Europeans to avert possible military aggression by the Bush administration.
“The day that we invited the three European ministers [to the talks], only 10 centrifuges were spinning at [the Iranian nuclear facility of] Natanz,” Rouhani boasted on the tape. “We could not produce one gram of U4 or U6 [uranium hexafluoride]. … We did not have the heavy-water production. We could not produce yellow cake. Our total production of centrifuges inside the country was 150.”
But then Rowhani admitted in the video the purpose of prolonging negotiations: “We wanted to complete all of these — we needed time.”
He said the three European ministers promised to block U.S. efforts to transfer the Iran nuclear dossier to the United Nations, using veto power if necessary. He called Iran’s claim that it stopped its nuclear program in 2003 a statement for the uneducated and admitted that the program not only continued, but was significantly expanded under his tenure.
While President George W. Bush was increasing pressure on Iran in 2007, a report by American intelligence agencies concluded that Iran halted its nuclear program in 2003 and that the program had remained frozen since.
In the interview, Rouhani said that after he took over the country’s nuclear project, the country’s 150 centrifuges grew to over 1,700 by the time he left the project.
Then Rouhani made his boldest statement: “We did not stop; we completed the program.”
He said that Iran’s nuclear activity was under the supervision of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and that he, as Khamenei’s representative, was to ensure this deceit….
President Rouhani is not a “moderate,” and neither is the Supreme Leader who now favors “heroic flexibility” as a means to the end he desires, the ability to continue doing what he denies wanting to do. This may indicate what he means:
“I am not opposed to correct diplomacy,” Khamenei said. “I believe in what was named many years ago as ‘heroic flexibility.’”
Khamenei’s comments came a day after German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that Iranian President Hasan Rouhani was prepared to shut down Iran’s uranium enrichment facility at Fordo in exchange for eased Western sanctions.
“A wrestler sometimes shows flexibility for technical reasons. But he does not forget about his opponent nor about his main objective,” Khamenei added. [Emphasis added.]
What might be his “main objective?” Destruction of Israel and control of a world wide caliphate come to mind. President Rouhani owes allegiance to the Supreme Leader, and even if he didn’t he would still have to obey him.
Waffles taste better with lots of butter and syrup, and President Rouhani will continue to be delighted to supply both. President Obama, the current
Waffle White House inmate, hears what He wants to hear, believes what He wants to believe and tells us whatever He wants us to believe. He says whatever he deems ideologically correct and politically expedient. He doubtless noticed adverse popular reactions to his plan to go after Syria’s Assad — but just enough not to be mocked — for allegedly using chemical weapons. A pin prick of that nature would not deter Iran from anything.
Islam is, of course, The Religion of Peace and President Obama is rather partial to it. Strangely, Islamic unpleasantness similar to that recently seen in Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan does not seem to bother Him very much. It should, at the very least, provide context for the anticipated nuclear negotiations with Iran.
O’Reilly can be an obnoxious jerk, but I think his comments in the video are correct. Unfortunately, that sort of thinking will not likely modify even slightly the context of the negotiations with Iran.
The media and political reactions also follow a neatly crafted script we have all become accustomed to. First Islamist terrorists attack civilians, attempting to sort out the Muslims from the non-Muslims so as to kill only one group. There are the condemnations of “senseless acts of violence” and appeals for “calm and unity.” Then all is forgotten.
Those terrorists captured alive will be put on trial and perhaps executed. And life goes back to normal with the refrain, “terrorism will not prevail.” The problem is that this script misses a central facet of Islamist terrorism: We must stop treating it as a simple isolated crime; even the word “terrorism” has begun to downplay its actual horror; rather it must be defined as a worldwide crime against humanity. [Emphasis in original.]
At the very least, the warning from Israel’s Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz should be considered; the Iranian nuclear threat to Israel is an existential one.
The world must not let up pressure on Iran’s nuclear program simply because President Hassan Rohani has shifted the Islamic Republic’s rhetoric toward the West, Israeli Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said Tuesday.
“We’re seeing an attack of smiles, moderation and pleasantry from the new president, Rohani,” Steinitz, who is responsible for Israel’s international relations, told Army Radio. “As of now, we’re not seeing any change in substance.” [Emphasis added.]
Steinitz said that despite the reconciliatory words, Iran has yet to honor UN Security Council resolutions calling on Iran to stop enriching uranium, dismantle the installation in Qom and stop construction of the heavy-water reactor.
The current talks on Iranian nuclear program could turn out to be like “Munich Agreement,” Steinitz said, alluding to the deal among European powers before World War II now seen as an act of appeasement toward Nazi Germany.
For what little it may be worth, Minister Steinitz and the Israeli ambassador to the U.N. are awaiting instructions from PM Netanahhu on whether to walk out of the auditorium when President Rouhani begins to speak or simply stay away. The United States and Europe, on the other hand, are being nice. According to DEBKAfile,
The Iranian delegation arrived at the UN General Assembly in New York this week to an enthusiastic Western welcome led by the Obama administration, without having rescinded one iota of its aggressive policies or nuclear ambitions. [Emphasis in original.]
“We welcome an Iran ready to engage seriously through that (diplomatic) process given that it represents the international community’s commitment to hold Iran accountable, but also being open to a diplomatic resolution.”
This convoluted message was how Ben Rhodes, US Deputy National Security Adviser, referred Monday, Sept. 23, to the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s get-together with Iranian Mohammad Javad Zarif Thursday, along with foreign ministers of the five world powers.
. . . .
The turbaned Iranian president has an obvious motive for gulling the West into accepting the Islamic Republic’s conversion from a regime bent on “exporting the Islamic revolution” to a lover of peace: He was elected to end the sanctions crippling the country, without giving up the regime’s objectives. [Emphasis added.]
It is less clear what moves President Obama to swallow the Iranian bait and go for a historic US rapprochement with the revolutionary republic. On every occasion, he protests that Israel’s security is his overriding concern. Yet he is rushing to accept a nuclear Iran whose avowed ambition is to destroy Israel.
Under their slick new façade, the ayatollahs have not changed their spots. Washington has.
Sources close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu say he is determined to tear the false veil off Iran’s face – even if he is a lone voice, when he addresses the UN later this month.
Last Thursday, Netanyahu tried throwing water on Rouhani’s claims that Iran’s nuclear program was peaceful, calling them fraudulent. He dismissed Iran’s offer to engage in diplomacy as false “media spin,” which should not fool anyone.
But no one in the West was listening. And at home, people were asking what happened to Netanyahu’s solemn pre-election pledge to stop Iran attaining a nuclear bomb.
President Obama delivered an address at the United Nations this morning and said comparatively little about negotiations between Iran and the United States over nuclear weapons. This is the part of His prepared remarks that I found the most interesting.
And finally, we will not tolerate the development or use of weapons of mass destruction. Just as we consider the use of chemical weapons in Syria to be a threat to our own national security, we reject the development of nuclear weapons that could trigger a nuclear arms race in the region, and undermine the global non-proliferation regime.
. . . .
We are encouraged that President Rouhani received from the Iranian people a mandate to pursue a more moderate course. Given President Rouhani’s stated commitment to reach an agreement, I am directing John Kerry to pursue this effort with the Iranian government, in close coordination with the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China. The roadblocks may prove to be too great, but I firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested. For while the status quo will only deepen Iran’s isolation, Iran’s genuine commitment to go down a different path will be good for the region and the world, and will help the Iranian people meet their extraordinary potential – in commerce and culture; in science and education. [Emphasis added.]
One nation with an extraordinarily important interest in Iran’s nuclear capabilities was not included in His list of those with which Secretary Kerry is to pursue the Iranian discussions: Israel. I wonder why.
The North Korea – Iran Connection
Israeli PM Netanyahu plans to offer a comparison between Iran and North Korea during his address to the UN.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu plans to warn the international community to learn from its mistakes with North Korea and not to be fooled by Iran’s new conciliatory attitude toward its nuclear weapons program, when he speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, October 1.
“Iran must not be allowed to repeat North Korea’s ploy to get nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu is expected to say, according to an Israeli official who provided The Jerusalem Post on Monday with some of the quotes from the most recent draft of the prime minister’s UN speech for next week.
. . . .
Netanyahu is expected to tell the UN that “just like North Korea before it, Iran professes to seemingly peaceful intentions. It talks the talk of nonproliferation while seeking to ease sanctions and buy more time for its nuclear program.” [Emphasis added.]
North Korea is not serious about relinquishing its nuclear weaponry and has said repeatedly that it will not do so. It has resumed Plutonium production and has also been testing a long range rocket. No laggard, Iran is also producing Plutonium and also has some nifty new missiles.
Speaking at a military parade to mark the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war, the recently elected president also said that he seeks to resume talks with world powers to settle the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.
Rouhani did not mention Israel by name at the military event — which displayed missiles capable of reaching Israel and US bases in the region — but the reference was clear.
“A regime is a threat for the region that has trampled all international treaties regarding weapons of mass destruction,” he said, noting Israel’s undeclared but widely presumed nuclear arsenal. “No nation will accept war and diplomacy on (the same) table.”
Among the displayed weapons were 12 of the surface-to-surface Sajjil, a two-stage, solid-fuel ballistic missile that has a 2,000-km (1,200-mile) range.
There were also Qadr-F and Qadr-H missiles, which have a similar range and are capable of carrying a “smart warhead” with “excessive explosive” power, according to the announcement in the parade.
Shorter-range missiles in the parade included the Fajr-5, which Palestinian groups have used against Israeli targets in attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza.
The long range missiles may well be intended as means of delivery, and not of “peace loving” musical satellites.
As I observed here last March,
What about North Korean nukes and Iran?
North Korea has some [nukes] and has tested three of which we know. She also has, and has tested with eventual success, a satellite launch mechanism capable of terrestrial use as an intercontinental ballistic missile. Sanctions were applied in response to both, without evident success in limiting further efforts along comparable lines.
Cooperation between North Korea and Iran in both areas has been on-going for several years and they recently signed a formal agreement on exchange of the relevant technologies, equipment and materials.
. . . .
Negotiations with Iran
Meanwhile, we continue to diddle around with Iran. Preliminary discussions have been held and an Iranian “technical working group” is preparing for lower lever meetings to follow.
Financial and other sanctions have harmed nearly every aspect of Iranian life — except the development of the nuclear weaponry at which they have been directed. The results suggest a high a degree of naïveté on the part of the Western negotiators, and superior negotiating prowess on the part of the Iranians, who spring from long lines of Persian rug merchants. If negotiations had been held with starving Iranians instead, the results might well have been different; they were not and have not been. Neither, for that matter have our negotiations with North Korea over food and humanitarian relief for starving North Koreans involved starving North Koreans, who just conceivably might prefer a little more rice and perhaps even an occasional morsel of meat rather than the greater glory and deification of (the current) Dear Leader Kim and continued dominance of his regency.
. . . .
Now that negotiations over Iran’s illicit nuclear program have concluded, the Islamic regime is positive the West will start easing sanctions, not because Iran will halt its nuclear activity, but rather owing to a belief that the West has reached the end of its ability to pressure the regime.
As I’ve written several times over the years, Iran has long thought that the West, particularly America, will do everything it can to avoid a military confrontation, leaving negotiations and sanctions as the West’s only options. It thinks that eventually the West will realize that Iran’s nuclear program cannot be stopped and, therefore, will look for a way out of this dilemma by reducing sanctions and finally accepting a nuclear-armed Iran.
. . . .
One might wonder why a nation that can produce lots of oil needs uranium to generate electricity; perhaps they believe the warnings of St. Al the Gored about cataclysmic climate change and just want to do their own little part to make the horrors stop. One might also wonder why a nation that can no longer feed her own people needs to develop radioactive isotopes for medical research. If a top Iranian gets cancer, there is always Cuban medical care, apparently the best in the world, as the now deceased el Presidente Chávez may have mumbled as his (inaudible beyond “Please help me; I don’t want to die) dying words.
Perhaps Iranian President Rouhani will give Dear Leader Kim Jong-un some much needed pointers on initiating his own charm offensive so that Lord Obama of the
Waffle White House will make life easier for the impoverished serfs of North Korea the Kim Regime.
“Substantive” negotiations with Iran will almost certainly take place. It seems highly likely that “our” negotiators will find themselves bested by highly experienced and skilled throat slashers Persian rug merchants. I very much hope — but am not convinced — that that is not the legacy which President Obama desires.
Here is a short video with comments by John Bolton on the direction(s) in which President Obama’s foreign policy is likely to
stumble along go for the next several years.