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Friday, April 17, 2015

The Price of Failed Leadership

In an ominous pairing of events, Iran is taking advantage of president Obama's desperate push to achieve some agreement, any agreement, on the Iranian nuclear program.  First of all, Obama today threw in the towel on sanctions against the Islamic republic.  For the longest time, Obama and his people have said that it was a non-negotiable part of the nuclear deal that sanctions against Iran would only be lifted slowly as Iran complied with the terms of the agreement and that compliance was verified.  Since the framework of the deal was announced, however, the Ayatollah has repeatedly told Iran that no deal would be reached without all sanctions being dropped on the day the deal is signed.  In other words, Iran was demanding that Obama drop his non-negotiable point.  Today, in a press conference with the prime minister of Italy, Obama did just that.  The new position is that Obama wants to make sure that sanctions can snap back in place if Iran does not meet its obligations.  Of course, the problem with that position is that it is impossible for sanctions to snap back.  Europe, Japan and other countries will not just put the sanctions back in place once they are lifted.  It took many years to get the sanctions in place; once they are gone, they will be gone for good.  In other words, Obama surrendered to the demands of Iran.

Second, Iran is now sending a large convoy of military and other ships to Yemen to resupply and support the Houthi rebels in that country.  In the past, Iranian support for the Houthis was sent to Yemen by covert means.  Now, Iran is blatantly sending this convoy which contains at least ten ships.  The meaning is clear.  Right now, there is a blockade which is supposed to prevent the delivery into Yemen of weapons of any kind.  Iran is indicating that if there is any interference with its ships by the Saudis or the American forces involved in the blockade, the nuclear deal will be imperiled. 

Obama is throwing away the security of the USA so that he can put a check mark in the box next to "Iran nuclear deal" on his resume.  It really does not matter to Obama what sort of deal he gets, and it really does not matter to Obama what price America pays to get that deal.

It is a disaster.


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