[guest post by JVW]
The headline isn’t quite fully alliterative, but I tried to come close.
Over at the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens unpacks the recent developments in our post-reaproachment with Iran world. Spoiler alert: the mullahs are already gleefully violating the terms they had allegedly agreed to. Stephens writes of a recent ballistic missile test, expressly prohibited by the agreement:
Earlier this month Iran test-fired a new-generation ballistic missile, called Emad, with an estimated 1,000-mile range and a 1,600-pound payload. Its only practical military use is to deliver a nuclear warhead. The test was a bald violation of the Security Council’s Resolution 2231, adopted unanimously in July, in which “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons” for at least eight years.
Then Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei weighed in on the nuclear deal by way of a public letter to President Hassan Rouhani. “The behavior and words of the U.S. government in the nuclear issue and its prolonged and boring negotiations,” he wrote, “showed that [the nuclear issue] was also another link in their chain of hostile enmity with the Islamic Republic.”
Grant this to Khamenei: the negotiations were indeed prolonged and boring, mostly because Secretary of State Kerry lacked the guts and good sense to walk away from them. Iran now demands not just that the United States and its Western allies temporarily suspend sanctions, but that sanctions be formally and permanently lifted. Not that this is a huge deal, since by allowing this treaty to be sent to the United Nations without Congressional assent the Obama Administration has provided the green light for Russia and China to resume open and free trade with the Islamic Republic regardless of what the West chooses to do.
Stephens also points out that the very day after conducting the prohibited missile test, Iran convicted Iranian-American reporter Jason Rezaian of espionage and treason, despite complaints from the White House that the trial was — let’s see: what sort of strong term should we use to express our opprobrium? ah yes, I have it — “opaque.”
When Barack Obama told us back in 2008 that the was willing to negotiate with Iran without any preconditions, should we have known that there would in fact be no conditions of any sort whatsoever? The only thing we seem to have been interested in is how deftly we could camouflage our full capitulation.