After delivering petulant remarks aimed at Republicans on the latest fiscal crisis, which itself is a product of Obama’s inability to submit a responsible budget, President Obama dropped a bombshell. He had just held a telephone conversation with the president of Iran.
Rouhani was elected, to the extent that elections are legitimate in Iran, in June 2013. He succeeded Mahmoud Achmadenijad, who regularly threatened to destroy Israel, as the “Little Satan” to America’s “Great Satan.” The phone call was the first time the leaders of the two countries had spoken directly since 1979. The call follows Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with his Iranian counterpart earlier this week.
Obama said “Just now I spoke on the phone with President Rouhani of the Islamic Republican of Iran. The two of us discussed our ongoing efforts to reach an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program.”
Obama has notably and visibly declined to negotiate with House Speaker John Boehner over the current budget fight, which again, is a product of his inability or unwillingness to submit a responsible budget for the nation. His White House campaign staff have compared Republicans to terrorists for trying to rein in federal spending, which has exploded under Obama’s watch.
Obama added that he understood that “there will surely be obstacles to moving forward” in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Among those obstacles might be Iran’s taking 52 Americans hostage in 1979 and holding them for 444 days; its support for terrorist groups including Hizballah and Islamic Jihad, and its support for rogue regimes in Syria, North Korea and elsewhere; those groups taking Americans like CIA Beirut station chief William Buckley captive in 1983, and torturing him for nearly two years before murdering him; Iran’s violent meddling and murder of American forces during the war in Iraq; and Iran’s threats to destroy Israel. Those actions have been obstacles to progress in American-Iranian relations for decades.
But they might not be obstacles to Barack Obama at all.
UPDATE: CNN — Obama has spent more time on the phone with Iran’s president than Boehner this week.