So you have this ultra-radical, ultra-fanatical, ultra-extreme country run by people who salivate at the notion of committing genocide, and you make a deal with them that supposedly prevents the construction of nuclear weapons. And as president, you sit back and wait for the choruses of Kumbaya to be heard from the terrorist regime’s capital as they magically transform into a peaceful, grown-up country.
Unless that country is Iran.
President Obama on Friday criticized Iranian leaders for undermining the “spirit” of last year’s historic nuclear agreement, even as they stick to the “letter” of the pact.
In comments following the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Obama denied speculation that the United States would ease rules preventing dollars from being used in financial transactions with Iran, in order to boost the country’s engagement with the rest of the world.
Instead, Obama claimed, that Iran’s troubles even after the lifting of sanctions under the nuclear deal were due to its continued support of Hezbollah, ballistic missile tests and other aggressive behavior.
“Iran so far has followed the letter of the agreement, but the spirit of the agreement involves Iran also sending signals to the world community and businesses that it is not going to be engaging in a range of provocative actions that are going to scare businesses off,” Obama said at a press conference.
“When they launch ballistic missiles with slogans calling for the destruction of Israel, that makes businesses nervous.”
“Iran has to understand what every country in the world understands, which is businesses want to go where they feel safe, where they don’t see massive controversy, where they can be confident that transactions are going to operate normally,” he added. “And that’s an adjustment that Iran’s going to have to make as well.”
Months after the U.S. and other global powers lifted sanctions against Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program, Iranian leaders complain that they have yet to reap the benefits.
“Our banking trade, our efforts to return wealth from their banks, various kinds of businesses that require financial services — all of these are still facing problems,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in an address last month. “When we investigate the issue, it becomes obvious that [the banks] are afraid of the United States.”
I’m trying to decide what’s more jaw-dropping: Obama thinking Iran is interested in adhering to the “spirit” of the treaty or that the president actually believed the Iranians ever intended to adhere to it.
President Obama is apparently surprised that dangling the carrot of international trade will not tame the savage beasts in Iran. They test-launch ballistic missiles in violation of UN resolutions; they continue to arm and fund a designated terror group, Hezbollah; and they continue to meddle in Yemen, Lebanon, and other Middle Eastern countries while denying involvement.
Iran is violating the “spirit” of the agreement by not becoming fast friends with America, in Obama’s eyes. He yearns for that historic photo op of stepping off Air Force One on to the tarmac at Tehran’s airport, hailed for bringing peace in our time.
But Khamenei ain’t no Raúl Castro. His white-hot hate for America is exceeded only by his fanatical desire to wipe out the Jews. Iran negotiated and agreed to the terms of the nuclear deal because they were close to economic collapse, not as a favor to Obama or because of any desire for a rapprochement with the West.
The president apparently – naively – thought otherwise.