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More Foreign-Policy Appeasement from the Obama Administration

Posted on March 24 2009 6:02 pm
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This post was written by Claude Cartaginese.

Not surprisingly, Barack Obama’s attempt to snuggle up to the Iranians via YouTube has been shot down by Tehran with blinding speed. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, unimpressed by Obama’s direct appeal to the Iranian people and the supposed “moderate” elements of the régime, has made it quite clear that his government is not particularly eager to work toward improved relations with the West.

With a crowd chanting “Death to America” in the background, Khamenei dismissed the Obama overture as nothing more than a poorly disguised attempt at getting Iran to abandon the principles and the political tone it set for itself with the 1979 Islamic Revolution. And, to be sure, Khamenei made it plain that the Iranian theocracy has no intention of doing anything of the sort. Consider some of the demands Iran has identified as prerequisites for any future negotiations with the United States:

  • a complete overhaul of U.S. foreign policy;
  • the release of all frozen Iranian assets;
  • an end to America’s “unconditional support” for Israel;
  • the lifting of all U.S. sanctions against Iran;
  • a U.S. apology for having organized the ousting of Iran’s democratically elected government in 1953, and for other U.S. “involvements” in Iran;
  • an end to America’s allegations that Iran is seeking nuclear arms; and
  • the cessation of “hostile propaganda” and accusatory remarks directed against Iranian leaders.

In exchange, what does Tehran offer in furtherance of better bilateral relations? Nothing. Indeed, the Iranians want all of the aforementioned changes implemented before they will even sit down to negotiate!

And yet the Obama administration has even more plans for begging Iran to be our friend. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, for example, has announced that “many more” initiatives are expected. Officials have also raised the possibility of regular diplomatic contacts between U.S. and Iranian diplomats around the world—presumably whether the Iranians are interested or not. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, having just returned from her mission of cozying up to the Syrian dictator in Damascus, is excited about having an opportunity to meet with Iranian envoys at an upcoming U.N.-led conference on Afghanistan at The Hague.

And of course, the foreign-policy gurus in whom Obama has placed his greatest trust in recent times – the pro-Arafat advisor Robert Malley, the anti-Israel Samantha Power, and UN ambassador Susan Rice – are similarly predisposed to tracing the roots of Mideast conflicts generally to the foreign policies of the U.S. and Israel.


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