Ben Johnson

"We'll See If Iran is Serious" Redux

Posted on September 19 2009 5:01 am
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Hillary makes a serious mistake

Hillary makes a "serious" mistake

Fox News’s “Special Report” on Friday featured Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outlining the Obama administration’s Iran policy, and she may as well have begun, “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before….” Her speech could have been culled from any official statement on the topic for at least three years. “Our message will be clear,” said Hillary. “We are serious, and we will soon see if the Iranians are serious. This is not about process for the sake of process…. We have no appetite for talks without action.”

Discerning whether Iran is “serious” has been the official, do-nothing euphemism of the White House for two administrations. In May 2006, Condoleezza Rice offered Iran a series of carrots-and-sticks, telling a televised press conference, “It’s time to know whether Iran is serious about negotiation or not.” At the time, it was sold under the pretense that if Tehran rebuffed the offer, it would convice wary Europeans to get on board with tough sanctions and possibly military action.

Multiple subsequent attempts to divine the gravity of the Iran issue have been offered. The results: Russia is actively assisting Iran’s nuclear program; various European nations conduct billions of dollars in trade with Iran; and Iran’s nuclear program snowballs forward. AP reported Thursday the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “believes the Islamic republic has ‘sufficient information’ to make a nuclear weapon and has ‘probably tested’ a key component.” Glyn Davis, the U.S. ambassador to the UN atomic watchdog catnappers, added Wednesday that Iran has reached “possible breakout capacity” to build a weapon rapidly. This simply amplifies Adm. Mike Mullen’s announcement in March that Iran has enough uranium for a nuclear weapon.

Hillary’s announcement was more troubling, as she affirmed that Iran had a “right” to nuclear technology under certain conditions…

Hillary added, “Our concern is not Iran’s right to develop peaceful nuclear energy, but its responsibility to demonstrate that its program is intended exclusively for peaceful purposes.” She committed herself to the offer Obama made in his Cairo speech to allow Iran to develop nuclear energy for “civilian” purposes: as long as we cannot “prove” they are using the technology for a bomb, they may continue the charade ’til Mahdi come.

President Obama stated earlier this summer that he will give the Ayatollah and his minions some months to even begin to act on the proposal. At the time, analysts believed that was more than enough time for them to develop a weapon; now we know they underestimated. This new “serious” offer provides the mullahs time to develop the weapon, and his affirmation of their “legitimate” nuclear ambitions gives them the international political cover to proceed.

The San Francisco Examiner noted the surreal atmosphere in which this new, we-really-mean-it offer is made: “Even with the new nuclear findings, a fierce Iranian government crackdown on the opposition after elections and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s latest questioning of the Holocaust and lashing out at Israel on Friday, Clinton said the administration offer of engagement still stood.”

Years upon years of requests to negotiate have yielded…another request to negotiate. The Obama administration wants to know, yet again, if Iran is “serious,” and it will find that it most assuredly is serious — about developing a nuclear weapon, bombing Israel, threatening Europe, and possibly smuggling a dirty bomb through one of its terrorist affiliates into the United States.

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