Ahmadinejad Calling Obama's Bluff

Whatever you think of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he is not a stupid man. On the contrary, and shocking as you might find this idea, he is a better strategist than his American counterpart, Barack Obama. Of course, Ahmadinejad has fewer issues to deal with than the U.S. president, but on the ones that count for him he’s capable of running rings around Obama.

The main theme of Ahmadinejad’s speech at the 2010 Review Conference by countries which have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is to outflank Obama’s calls for getting rid of nuclear weapons, trying to repeat the success Iran had last September in getting sanctions postponed. At the time, Iran proposed a plan for giving up nuclear materials for reprocessing elsewhere. Once the sanctions’ momentum had been derailed, however, Iran made it clear that it had no intention of agreeing to anything like that.

Now Ahmadinejad has held his own international nuclear summit under the slogan, "Nuclear Power for All, Nuclear Weapons for None." His speech sounded word for word like what an idealistic pacifist would say: nuclear weapons are bad; ban them now.

Nuclear weapons, Ahmadinejad explained, don’t bring real security and producing or possessing them, “under whatever pretext” it is done, “is a very dangerous act which first and foremost makes the country” having them exposed to threats or attacks. He even stated:

“The possession of nuclear bombs is not a source of pride; it is rather disgusting and shameful. And even more shameful is the threat to use or to use such weapons” which is a great crime. He accused the United States, an unnamed European country (France), and Israel of having done so.

The entire system of non-proliferation as it currently exists, said Ahmadinejad, is just an oppressive sham in which those who possess these weapons try to keep others from getting them in order to maintain their own supremacy. Those in control of the international system also, he continued, want to use nuclear arms as an excuse to get others from obtaining nuclear energy, “the cleanest and cheapest” source of power.

Indeed, the U.S. government “has always tried to divert the public opinion’s attention from its noncompliance [with international law] and unlawful actions by bringing into focus some misleading issues,” such as Iran getting nuclear weapons or giving them to terrorists.

Ahmadinejad’s solution is a new international group to police nuclear weapons. This would include “immediate termination of all types of research, development, or improvement of nuclear weapons and their related facilities” and dismantling all U.S. nuclear weapons everywhere.

Oh, yes, and he calls for reforming the UN Security Council to get rid of a veto or permanent membership for the United States and others.

At the end, Ahmadinejad invited Obama “to join this humane movement, if he is still committed to his motto of `change.’”

What is all this about?