It’s long past time for America to face reality about the Iranian regime — and about the deal that President Obama cut with it.
The Iranian mullahcracy has never been bashful.
Since coming to power nearly 40 years ago, it has been commendably open, clear, and consistent in articulating its goals. The Islamic Republic of Iran is a proudly revolutionary state out to reorder the world in line with its governing philosophy. Its leaders understand that three critical foreign policy objectives are prerequisites for that reordering.
One, it must eliminate the State of Israel, exterminate its Jewish population, and reduce any remaining Jews to a second-class status in which they concede the superiority of Islam.
Two, it must avenge the Battle of Karbala of 680, when Sunni Muslims illegitimately seized power from the rightful leadership of the ummah, and relegated righteous Shiites to the status of a mistreated minority.
Three, it must defeat the "modern Rome," the American hegemon overseeing a world ordering very different from the one that they believe God commands.
The Islamic Republic has never wavered from any of these goals. Within five years of coming to power the mullahs had fomented Shiite uprisings against several Sunni Arab regimes, founded Hezbollah, promoted anti-Israel terror attacks, and forced the U.S. Marines out of Beirut. It also stood with a single non-Sunni Arab ally — Syria — against the Iraqi-led the Sunni Arab attempt to contain revolutionary Shiism.
In the years since, Iran’s leadership has varied its tone and its tactics, but never wavered in any of its goals. It has pursued nuclear weapons as a matter of simple rationality and self-interest. A nuclear-armed Iran would be in a strong position; to eradicate Israel, coerce Sunni Arabs, and deter American attacks.
Achieving any of its goals through strictly conventional means would be far harder, far riskier, and far more expensive.
The reality of the Iranian regime drives a wedge between the U.S. and Europe on one side, and American allies in the Mideast on the other. Regional players like Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt have no choice but to see Iran for what it is. They know that — like the standoff between the U.S. and the USSR — only two regional outcomes are possible.
The Iranian regime will either win or die. Because an Iranian victory poses an existential threat to Jewish and Sunni regimes (and people), America’s regional allies must advocate for regime change in Iran, even if that requires a war.
Americans and Europeans, with a bit more distance, prefer to pretend otherwise. Contemporary Western leaders uniformly recoil from the conclusion that war might be unavoidable. Ironically, their self-professed secularism and rationality push them to pray for a miracle long after the evidence has made the inevitability of war clear.
That elevation of irrational hope over reason paved the way for the Obama-Iran deal.
President Obama wanted to believe that it was possible to wean the mullahs away from their third political goal — their conquest of America. To do so, he attempted to withdraw from the regional calculus. He sought to reposition the U.S. as a neutral in Iran’s wars against Jews and Sunnis.
To do so, Obama had to sue for terms of American surrender. The mantra of "Death to America" resounds throughout the Islamic Republic. Obama had to convince the Mullahs— holy men — to deal with "The Great Satan."
He tripped over himself to offer them hard cash, legitimacy, international acceptance, and the opportunity to integrate Iran’s businesses into the global economy in ways that would complicate any future sanctions. He distanced himself from traditional U.S. allies, interleaving expressions of contempt and exasperation with idle wishes for their successful futures. He walked a domestic political tightrope on America’s truest regional ally, Israel, by paying lip service to continued friendship for the country while demonizing its Prime Minister and his party.
What Obama sought in return was respite; an Iranian promise not to trigger the war on his watch. He was explicit in this request. He announced from the outset that he was negotiating an executive agreement rather than a treaty; that nothing he signed would bind the U.S. beyond the end of his term. He made his aversion to a binding treaty clear at the start of negotiations, at their end, and numerous times in between. Had anyone missed the point, Senator Tom Cotton helped the President emphasize his point with an open letter to Iranian and European negotiators.
At the end of the day, an agreement was reached. Obama surrendered, abandoned U.S. allies, and strengthened Iran. Iran agreed to defer selected hostile activities until Obama left office. No honest observer of the negotiations and agreement could plausibly have believed that anything else was on the table.
Recent revelations — including but not solely those in Israel’s remarkable intelligence operation — contain confirmations, not surprises. Iran has never wavered from pursuing its strategic goals. It promised President Obama that it would not trigger a major war on his watch. Iran delivered on that promise.
The only surprise is that the liars who helped Obama pretend that he had negotiated something different believe they can continue to hoodwink the American people. It would compound the tragedy if they turn out to be right.
Bruce Abramson is the President of Informationism, Inc., Vice President and Director of Policy at the Iron Dome Alliance, and a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research. Jeff Ballabon is CEO of B2 Strategic, a Senior Fellow at the American Conservative Union's Center for Statesmanship and Diplomacy, and an advisor to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. To read more of their reports — Click Here Now.
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