Roger L. Simon

Bibi's Speech—The Real Fallout


(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik.)

Benjamin Netanyahu only made one mistake in another stellar performance in front of Congress today.  The Israeli PM neglected to give an initial shout-out to Nancy Pelosi as he did to Harry Reid, causing the now House minority leader to walk off in a snit and call his speech “insulting.”  Oh, well, even the most seasoned politicians like Bibi blow it sometimes.

But you know he did a good job because some desperate Democratic backbencher from Kentucky named John Yarmuth got all incensed in his post-speech statement  (no, he didn’t attend), accusing Bibi of being like a kid at Disneyland trying to get everything he wants, including extra ice cream.  Obviously Yarmuth (a former Republican and a Jew — go figure) missed the key point.  Obama and Kerry already were about to give the Iranians everything they want.

Well, not quite.  Because when you give the Iranians everything they want, they just want more.  And, lo and behold, in the midst of the uproar over Netanyahu’s speech, along comes none other than Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif to set matters straight:

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) – Iran rejected on Tuesday as “unacceptable” U.S. President Barack Obama’s demand that it freeze sensitive nuclear activities for at least 10 years but said it would continue talks on a deal, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Iran laid out the position as the U.S. and Iranian foreign ministers met for a second day of negotiations and as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a stinging critique of the agreement they are trying to hammer out.


Pelosi during Netanyahu’s speech. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met a day after Obama told Reuters that Iran must commit to a verifiable halt of at least 10 years on sensitive nuclear work for a landmark atomic deal to be reached.”Iran will not accept excessive and illogical demands,” Zarif was quoted by Fars as saying.

So, in other words, the ten-year sunset clause that many of us thought should be an horrendous non-starter, is not enough for the Iranians — who, of course, will continue to negotiate, probably until 2035, assuming they haven’t blown up half the globe by then.

There you have it — the perfect signal the Iranians aren’t really interested in a deal but wish to continue to play the Obama administration for suckers on into oblivion.  Who could have predicted that?  Well, a lot of people, including yours truly, the day before yesterday — and I don’t speak a word of Farsi.

I have one other prediction to make.  This won’t make a bit of difference to John Yarmuth.  He’ll still be angry at Netanyahu.  And Pelosi will stay insulted.

Also watch video: Nancy Pelosi Turns Her Back on Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech