Commentator Ben Stein said on Thursday that President Barack Obama's "deeply naïve" premise that Iran would suddenly end its nuclear activities in exchange for an easing of sanctions that have crippled its economy for five years would make the "annihilation" of Jews possible.
"Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror," Stein said in The American Spectator
. "The Iranians in the recent past have pledged to destroy the Jewish people in the Middle East.
"Some of their leaders have boasted that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, Iran will have 'a holocaust in an afternoon' by rocketing a few nuclear weapons into Israel," Stein added. "Naturally, the Israelis are desperately worried."
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A round of talks between Iran and world powers in Geneva fell short of an expected deal on Sunday after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius objected, saying the terms of a preliminary agreement were too easy on Tehran.
The deal would not have required Iran, for instance, to close any of its 18,000 uranium centrifuges or its heavy water reactor in Arak, which would serve as a source of plutonium when it starts operations in about two years.
Stein, who also is a commentator for Newsmax Magazine, said the Geneva negotiations resulted from "peace feelers" sent across the world by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was elected in June.
"If the western powers will greatly ease the sanctions, Iran, so they promise, will freeze its nuclear program where it stands now — some months from having a working bomb," Stein said, referring to world leaders who are encouraging an agreement.
Secretary of State John Kerry is representing the U.S. in the negotiations.
"The problem is," Stein continued, "that Iran has made many promises about stopping the nuclear program. It has not kept any of them. It has not signed the non-proliferation treaty. It has not allowed inspectors in its most secret plants. It has raced on towards nuclear weapons that could in a half-hour or less cause another holocaust.
"For Mr. Obama to trust these people — the same ones who killed 300 Marines in a terror attack in Beirut 30 years ago last month — to actually change their stripes and suddenly become trustworthy is deeply naive or worse," he said. "If that trust turns out to be mistaken, it’s a bad day for Mr. Obama. It’s death for Israel."
Stein praised France's opposition to the tentative accord that scuttled the negotiations, charging that other world powers — the United States included — were "standing by saying: 'Go for it, Iran. We trust you.'"
Noting that "there is something Biblically horrifying about the whole situation," Stein called on Congress to hold strong on the Iranian sanctions.
In July, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed its version of a new sanctions bill. The Senate, where Democrats hold the majority, has been debating its version of the bill behind closed doors. https://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/obama-sanctions-iran/2013/11/14/id/536691
The new sanctions could slash Iran's oil exports to no more than 500,000 barrels a day and reduce the ability of the Obama administration to waive sanctions.
Obama, Kerry, Vice President Joe Biden, and other top U.S. officials have warned that any new sanctions could end the negotiations, which are expected to resume in Geneva next week.
"Congress can stop it," Stein said. "Congress can say that the world will not take the word of the world’s most vile terrorist sponsor about whether Israel might live or die.
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"This is no time to reduce the sanctions," he added. "If Iran actually destroys its nuclear factories and labs, that’s a better bet. But just for a promise of a freeze to stop the sanctions that can be reversed in hours?
"Have we learned absolutely nothing from Hitler? Will we have the most-wicked stain possible on the human race again within one lifetime?
"Obviously, Mr. Obama is willing to take the chance — with the lives of seven million Jews," Stein said. "Maybe Congress will have more heart."
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