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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Iran and Obama Administration Doublespeak

Awakening to the imminent threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran's crazy mullahs, troubled by Saudi threats to obtain their own nuclear arsenal in response to Iran's nuclear aspirations, and concerned by the milquetoast image projected by the president toward this rogue Islamic regime ("Oh, pretty please, can we have our drone back?") as the 2012 election nears, the Obama administration has begun to talk tough. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has reversed course and is now saying that a military option remains open (see:; however, Obama still can't bring himself to sanction Iran's central bank.

Meanwhile, Tehran has responded to Obama's attempts at demonstrating that he is indeed a vertebrate by threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz.

In an effort to improve relations with Saudi Arabia, damaged by Obama's demand that Egypt's Mubarak step down during the Tahrir Square protests, and to counter Iran's warning, the US announced a $30 billion arms deal with Riyadh, including 84 new F-15 fighters, but note the attempt by the Obama administration to obfuscate this message. As reported by The Washington Post (

"'This sale will send a strong message to countries in the region that the United States is committed to stability in the Gulf and broader Middle East,' Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, told reporters.

. . . .

'Clearly, one of the threats that [the Saudis] — that they face, as well as other countries in the region — is Iran,' Shapiro said. 'But ... this is not solely directed toward Iran. This is directed toward meeting our partner Saudi Arabia’s defense needs.'"

Not solely directed toward Iran, but directed toward meeting Saudi Arabia’s defense needs? Yeah, right. Believe me, the implications of the sale were not lost upon Tehran, and if Obama has indeed decided to walk the walk, he also needs to talk the talk, which raises the question of his commitment to confronting Iran.

Meanwhile, The New York Times, the unofficial mouthpiece of the Obama adminstration, has this to say in a mealymouthed editorial entitled "Iran and the Strait" (, concerning the deteriorating situation in the Persian Gulf:

"The new sanctions Tehran hopes to fend off are a United States law that would penalize foreign companies that do business with Iran’s central bank — which they must do to buy Iranian oil — and a tough new round of punishments, possibly including an oil embargo, now being considered by the European Union.

We strongly support applying maximum economic pressure to constrain Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But we think Washington penalizing foreign companies for engaging in otherwise lawful commerce with Iran is not the right way to go about it and could backfire, alienating European allies at a time when they are preparing to impose their own stronger sanctions. President Obama can limit the damage by making full use of a waiver, which allows him to block the penalties if they would threaten national security or cause oil prices to soar.

. . . .

Tehran’s latest threat to block global oil shipping should leave no doubt about its recklessness and its contempt for international law. This is not a government any country should want to see acquire nuclear weapons."

Provide the president, famous for his wavering, with a waiver? If Iran is indeed a country which should not be allowed nuclear weapons, the last thing Obama needs is wiggle room. Oil prices could soar? My understanding is that this undesirable outcome is covered by the arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which is prepared to increase oil production in response to any Iranian outrage.

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