The world is so much safer with a moderate president of Iran that the US can talk to, don’t you think?
Of course, how the term “moderate” is defined is kind of tricky. Does it mean that Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani will allow women to show a little leg – at least an ankle? Maybe it means he wants to kill Jews more slowly than his predecessor? Perhaps he’s going to open Iran to western tourism?
I think it means that the “moderate” Rouhani will behead President Obama last. After all, the two had such a pleasant phone conversation yesterday.
The United States and Iran took a historic step toward ending more than three decades of estrangement on Friday when President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke by phone and agreed to work on resolving global suspicions that Tehran is trying to build a nuclear weapon.
The 15-minute call capped a week of seismic shifts in the relationship that revolved around Rouhani’s participation in the annual U.N. meeting of world leaders. The night before the two leaders spoke, U.S. and European diplomats hailed a “very significant shift” in Iran’s attitude and tone in the first talks on the nuclear standoff since April.
The diplomatic warming began shortly after Rouhani’s election in June. But it is rooted in both presidents’ stated campaign desires – Obama in 2008 and Rouhani this year – to break through 34-year-old barriers and move toward diplomacy.
Iran is also seeking quick relief from blistering economic sanctions that the U.S. and its Western allies have imposed on Tehran to punish it for refusing to scale back its nuclear activities. Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, but years of stonewalling inspections and secrecy about its activities have fueled fears it is seeking to build warheads.
Rouhani and Obama spoke while the Iranian president was in his car and headed to the airport to fly back to Tehran, with Obama at his desk in the Oval Office. Rouhani’s aides initially reached out to arrange the conversation, and the White House placed the call.
The last direct conversation between the leaders of the two countries was in 1979 before the Iranian Revolution toppled the pro-U.S. shah and brought Islamic militants to power. Obama said the long break “underscores the deep mistrust between our countries, but it also indicates the prospect of moving beyond that difficult history.”
“While there will surely be important obstacles to moving forward, and success is by no means guaranteed, I believe we can reach a comprehensive solution,” Obama told reporters at the White House. Iran’s nuclear program has been a major concern not only to the United States but to other Middle Eastern nations — especially Israel — and to the world at large.
What a breakthrough! Diplomats are swooning over Iran’s “significant shift” in “attitude and tone.” Of course, the needle on substance didn’t move a centimeter, but who cares about the real world when we can have this glorious fantasy of “moderate” Iran smiling and acting almost human?
I sense a second Nobel for our peace-loving president. Along with other deserving recipients like terrorist Yassar Arafat and Communist Mikhail Gorbachev, our president will take his rightful place among the pantheon of world leaders recognized as genuine heroes to the cause of world peace.
Iran probably won’t stop developing a nuclear bomb, but we will pretend they aren’t, thus achieving an historic peace. The diplomatic wheels are turning and the US and our western allies are now committed to reaching a deal with the Iranians — no matter how bad for us, for Israel, or for the world. It’s what happens when you put arrogant ideologues who think they know better than anyone else in charge.
Good luck with that, Barry.