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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

David Ignatius, "At an impasse with Iran": Perpetuating the Myth of Rouhani's Moderation

David Ignatius has been duped into believing Iran's good cop/bad cop routine. In a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "At an impasse with Iran," Ignatius declares:

"A glimpse of this internal Iranian debate came in the statements following the announcement of the extension. President Hassan Rouhani gave a televised speech Monday night that seemed designed, at once, to reassure an Iranian public that wants a deal and to lobby the hard-line faction that doesn’t.

'I am certain that we will reach the final accord, if not today, then tomorrow,' said an optimistic-sounding Rouhani. He claimed that 'Iran’s logic is one of negotiations and dialogue' and that negotiators 'have had some agreements behind the scenes, but putting those on paper, we are still not there yet.'"

Ah yes, the "good" Rouhani, who needs to lobby Iranian hard-liners.

However, as reported by Adam Kredo in a Washington Free Beacon article entitled "Iran: ‘Americans Have Very Clearly Surrendered’":

"Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday in a television interview that the country’s 'centrifuges will not stop,' according to a translation of his remarks.

'Today we have a victory much greater than what happened in the negotiation,' Rouhani said. 'This victory is that our circumstances are not like previous years. Today we are at a point that nobody in the world [in which no one says] sanctions must be increased in order that Iran accept P5+1 demands.'

'No one says to reach agreement we must increase pressure on Iran,' Rouhani said. 'But they say to reach an agreement more time and more discussion is needed. This is a great victory for what the Iranian nation started since last June 15.'

. . . .

'Centrifuges have been running and I promise the Iranian nation that centrifuges will never stop,' he said."

So, over the course of this additional seven-month extension of the "negotiations" between Iran and the P5+1, Iran's centrifuges will continue to spin, and Iran will grow that much closer to obtaining sufficient enriched uranium for an atomic bomb. In addition, Iran will continue to recover $700 million a month in frozen assets during the extension. Yup, a pretty darned good deal for Iran.

Needless to say, there is no mention by Ignatius how "good cop" Rouhani has overseen a spike of executions in Iran. As reported in an October 14, 2014 Washington Times article entitled "Iran executions surge amid U.S. nuclear talks" by Guy Taylor:

"Iran’s abuse of human rights, including the hangings of hundreds of dubiously convicted citizens — in several cases minors — has soared over the past year, even as the Obama administration has yielded to Tehran’s demand for an extension in precarious international talks over the Islamic republic’s disputed nuclear program.

. . . .

During the 14 months since Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took office, Iranian authorities have carried out at least 936 executions, according to data compiled by the Connecticut-based Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.

. . . .

An advance copy provided to The Washington Times notes the executions of at least 22 women since Mr. Rouhani took office and highlights more than a dozen cases of people younger than 18 accused of crimes and hanged. One case involved Iraj Nassiri, whom the report says was 'less than 15' when Iranian authorities accused him of 'premeditated murder.'"

Ignatius would also have us believe that there exists another Iranian "good cop," Mohammad Javad Zarif:

"When I was in Tehran a year ago, it was obvious that the nuclear issue had become a fundamental political and economic crossroads for Iran. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister and chief negotiator, told me that a final agreement 'can change the course of our relations with the West.'

. . . .

A year later, despite progress on many of the technical details that would frame an agreement, this split in Tehran still exists — hampering Zarif’s ability to offer concessions the West wants in return for lifting sanctions."

Ignatius fails to mention how, during the negotiations, the "moderate" Zarif screamed at US Secretary of State John Kerry. Again, as reported by Adam Kredo in a Washington Free Beacon article entitled "Reports: Top Iranian Negotiator ‘Frequently Shouts’ at Kerry, Western Officials":

"Iran’s foreign minister and lead negotiator in nuclear talks is known to frequently scream and shout at Western diplomats, including Secretary of State John Kerry, a practice that has caused alarm among bodyguards stationed outside the negotiating room, according to a member of the Iranian diplomatic team who spoke to the Farsi-language press.

. . . .

On one occasion, Zarif’s shouts were so loud that a member of the Iranian delegation entered the negotiation room to check on the players, according to the report, which was independently translated for the Free Beacon.

Upon entering, the Iranian official was informed by European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, a chief western negotiator, that Zarif was just shouting and she had gotten used to it, according to an independent translation of the report."

Needless to say, Kerry and Ashton didn't have the good sense to walk out of the room.

The negotiations over Iran's nuclear weapons development program are obviously going nowhere, notwithstanding the fact that Obama had hoped to make an agreement with Khamenei the crowing achievement of his second term. With this hope all but shattered, will Obama now attempt to kick this can down the road until the end of his second term? He obviously hopes to do this, and the Iranians know it.

1 comment:

  1. The US administration and Baroness Mindless Ashton hear only what they want to hear. They consistently ignore Rouhani and Khamanei's statements of intent. And the latter knopw they can tell the truth to their own people, secure in the knowledge that the White House and Ashton are deaf.