Rubin Reports: Obama’s ‘Secret’ Plan on Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Issue and Why (Even the Saudis Tell You) It Will Fail (JEWISH PRESS) By: Barry Rubin 04/19/12)
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Hey, there’s no hurry! The negotiations with Iran have just been
postponed a month. What’s another month after the current U.S.
administration has given Iran 38 of them to keep developing nuclear
The problem with the Obama administration is that it wants to pursue
policies acceptable to the day-dreaming cultural elite, but not to
regimes that are full of cunning and deceit, like the Iranian regime,
whose primary objectives do not include development, openness,
humanitarian values, the well-being of its citizens, or even
religious tolerance; rather, all that the Iranian regime – and the
ideology behind it – cares about is expansion and infiltrating other
Oops! I didn’t write that last paragraph and there’s no plagiarism
intended! These are the words of Tariq Alhomayed, editor-in-chief of
al-Sharq al-Awsat in that Saudi-backed newspaper’s April 15 issue.
He once again illustrates a point I keep trying to make: anti-
Islamist and moderate Arab states, intellectuals, and democratic
opposition movements are just as upset with the Obama Administration
as I am. And they are just as endangered by current U.S. policies as
Alhomayed is horrified by reports that Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton says she thinks there are signs that Iran is moderating on
the nuclear weapons issue and is going to negotiate seriously.
Iran, Alhomayed continued, has been working for three decades
to “infiltrate our region” and “divide Arab states from within.” As
examples he cites Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon as well as the
Palestinians. He even claims Tehran at times works with al-Qaida
today, an accusation incidentally that U.S. intelligence reporting
has confirmed. So why, Alhomayed asks, would anyone trust Iran?
It is astonishing to note how much the Obama Administration,
supposedly so sensitive to the views of Arabs and Muslims, has
ignored the concerns of America’s own Arab allies. And it is
astounding to see how much that same administration, which is so
obsessed with being popular among Arabs and Muslims, is mistrusted
and ridiculed by so many Arabs, Turks, and Iranians who want to be
allies of the United States, as well as being ridiculed and stepped
on by America’s enemies in the region.
Alhomayed is on target. The Washington Post has revealed what can be
called President Barack Obama’s secret plan to solve the Iran nuclear
crisis without a confrontation. It might sound familiar.
If Iran somehow proves that it doesn’t want nuclear weapons, the
United States will agree to Tehran’ having peaceful nuclear power.
This is what Obama has just told the Iranian leadership through the
visiting Turkish prime minister. Well, guess what? This is precisely
the same plan he’s been proposing since 2009. This strategy hasn’t
worked and it won’t work.
From a high-level U.S. government group-think approach, Obama’s plan
sounds brilliant. It gives Tehran a way out and is intellectually
cute. Hey, you claim you don’t want nuclear weapons but only nuclear-
generated power so we’ll call your bluff.
One could also read into this a bit of nasty trickery: you pretend
you aren’t building nuclear weapons and we’ll play along if you don’t
actually assemble one or be too obvious about the drive for military
weapons of mass destruction.
The phrase “too clever by half” might have been invented to describe
Someone who doesn’t know much about Iran, revolutionary Islamism, or
Middle East politics might expect that this plan could possibly work
in the real sense. Iran would recognize its “true interests” (as
defined in Washington governmental corridors and media offices) and
And someone who doesn’t know much about Iran, revolutionary Islamism,
or Middle East politics might expect that this plan could possibly
work in the fraudulent sense. Iran could recognize how to exploit
this offer by taking the deal and pretend to be moderate while going
ahead with its nuclear weapons’ drive.
Yet why should Tehran do either? Iran’s leadership really does want
nuclear weapons and it doesn’t need to fool the West when it can call
the West’s bluff. The Iranian leadership doesn’t believe the United
States will attack because it views Obama as weak and itself as
strong. They’re right in assuming they don’t have to worry about a
At the same time, the Islamist leadership—like the Communist regimes
of the past—firmly believes that the West is intrinsically hostile.
So the Tehran regime finds the idea that the West might keep such a
deal to be laughable. The Islamist regime is convinced that the
Crusader-Zionist West will target it whatever Iran does. Stalling for
time and continuing to seek deliverable nuclear weapons is obviously
the best choice.
One could argue that Obama’s strategy is to give Tehran every chance
to resolve the issue so that if Iran refuses to do so then Obama can
some day mobilize support for military action. My view, however, is
that he is engaging in wishful thinking allowing him to argue that he
is working hard on the issue when in fact he isn’t doing anything.
This strategy makes it far more likely that Iran will get nuclear
weapons and also more likely that a war would result at some point.
Let me stress that point. Obama’s strategy makes war–including the
chance of an Israeli attack some day–more, not less, probable.
Incidentally, forgive me for adding that my argument that Israel was
never going to attack Iran at this time has been increasingly shown
to be accurate.
At any rate, Obama’s strategy will fail to do anything but possibly
look good to his domestic audience.
What then is the alternative? Not war, but a comprehensive strategy
designed to contain and weaken Iran that goes beyond sanctions to
political action. This means undermining Iran’s allies, Hizballah in
Lebanon and the Syrian regime, and giving strong support to the Arab
states of the Persian Gulf so that they feel the United States is
really going to protect them. These people don’t want an American
president who panders to what he thinks Arabs and Muslims want but a
president who is tough in protecting U.S. interests – interests that
include their own survival. (© 2012 JewishPress. 04/19/12)
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