Iran shows (twice!) it’s not going to change its ways

 

What a partner we have in Iran!

First this (via CNN):

Iran Missile

“Iran has successfully test-fired a new precision-guided, long-range missile, state-run media reported on Sunday.

“The Emad (Pillar) surface-to-surface missile, designed and built by Iranian experts, is the country’s first long-range missile that can be precision-guided until it reaches its target, said Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan, Iran’s defense minister.

“‘To follow our defense programs, we don’t ask permission from anyone,’ he said, according to state-run news agency IRNA.

“The new rocket is ‘capable of scrutinizing the targets and destroying them completely,’ IRNA reported.

“The Emad would be Tehran’s first precision-guided missile with the range to reach its enemy, Israel.”

Then this (via the Washington Post):

Jason Rezaian

“Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, imprisoned in Tehran for more than 14 months, has been convicted following an espionage trial that ended in August, Iranian media reported Monday. The verdict — belated and opaque — was strongly condemned by the journalist’s family and colleagues, as well as the U.S. government.

“State-run TV and the Iranian Students’ News Agency both quoted Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, a spokesman for Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, as saying Rezaian, 39, had been found guilty. But ­Mohseni-Ejei offered no specifics on which charges were involved or whether a sentence had been imposed.

“‘He has been convicted, but I don’t have the verdict’s detail,’ said Mohseni-Ejei, a hard-liner and former prosecutor who criticized Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for shaking hands with President Obama during a chance encounter at the United Nations last month, comparing the gesture to consorting with the enemy.

“Rezaian faced four charges — the most serious being espionage. The judge who heard the case is known for handing down harsh sentences, and Rezaian potentially faces a sentence of 10 to 20 years.”

As a Wall Street Journal editorial notes, “The timing of (Rezaian’s) conviction won’t escape students of history. Friday was the 444th day of his captivity. That was the number of days U.S. diplomats in Iran spent as hostages following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.”

So we have a country whose regime is a sworn enemy of ours and Israel’s that, having received tens of billions of dollars of previously frozen assets and greater flexibility regarding conventional weapons in exchange for (maybe) putting off its nuclear-weapons ambitions by a decade, responds by unveiling a new and improved ballistic missile and convicting an American citizen. That’s an American citizen whose freedom couldn’t be won by American negotiators even as they gave away the farm to Tehran. But hey, we “strongly condemned” the conviction! Watch out, Iran: A hashtag campaign may be next!

If you have stood by President Obama’s role in this deal, tell me how these developments don’t make him look foolish for having trusted Iran enough to agree to such a deal. If your counter is the weak “but other countries did it, too!” that only makes him a foolish primus inter pares.

Finally, if you accepted the deal as a least bad outcome that would at least delay some kind of catastrophic war involving Iran, tell me whether you’re still naive enough to believe that.

Reader Comments 0

48 comments
Mike Schwarzer
Mike Schwarzer

There are more people killed in Israel, then in Iran.  Who are the terrorists and assassins? 

Recon2/3
Recon2/3

If it had been a Republican in office who over the last seven years who like Obama, mislead the American people even to the point of outright lying, hamstrung American business development with high taxes along with over regulation, compromised our national security, he or she would have been impeached and removed from office. But, we all know that Obama, of course is our first Black president. I want to see Ben Carson get the nomination and witness a real pro-American Black president as the Republican nominee.

AjaxLessome
AjaxLessome

Completely agree. The approval the nuclear agreement may have just about sunk any hopes of getting the America hostages released since the mullahs perceive they got what they originally wanted in the potential lifting of economic sanctions, which raises the question of why would the regime double down and sentence Rezaian when there would be no clear political reason to?

Juanx
Juanx

" If you have stood by President Obama’s role in this deal, tell me how these developments don’t make him look foolish for having trusted Iran enough to agree to such a deal. If your counter is the weak “but other countries did it, too!” that only makes him a foolish primus inter pares."


No, this time you are the "primus inter pares". President Obama stated many times that he will never trust Iran. The agreement is not about trust, nuclear arms reduction. Period.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@Juanx 

What was the treaty Iran violated by launching these missiles about?

What is different about the deal Obama gave them that prevents similar cheating on nuclear weapons development?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I could have sworn that the nuke deal was about nukes, and not about the number "444."

Likewise
Likewise

Don't throw stones.  1950s CIA covert operations to overthrow a democracy in order to impose a dictatorship because of oil is not something to be proud of.  It is unfortunate that this part of Iran's history has shaped their attitude today.  But who can blame them? 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Likewise

26 years separated the coup from the Revolution.

And it's been 36 years since the Revolution. But we seem incapable of getting past our own chapter in that country's very long history.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

Finally, if you accepted the deal as a least bad outcome that would at least delay some kind of catastrophic war involving Iran, tell me whether you’re still naive enough to believe that


I believe the deal is a least bad outcome and I am not naive. I think its naive to say these reports are evidence that Iran will soon start a nuclear war. They have hard liners as we have in this country. The same group of people wanting to bomb Israel and United States are the same group in this country wanting to bomb Iran and Russia. They have political leaders saying they want to goto war as much as we have political leaders saying the same thing.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@JeffreyEav I was trying to approve comments on my phone from a hearing I was covering, and it didn't work 100%. I'm going through everything now to get what I missed.

MarkVV
MarkVV

“If you have stood by President Obama’s role in this deal, tell me how these developments don’t make him look foolish for having trusted Iran enough to agree to such a deal”

They do not make look him foolish in the least.

“Finally, if you accepted the deal as a least bad outcome that would at least delay some kind of catastrophic war involving Iran, tell me whether you’re still naive enough to believe that.”

I do not feel naïve at all. The more important questions are – Why do people like Kyle write this kind of insulting hogwash? It is really to instigate war with Iran, or just because they do not understand the issues at all?

There was never any question of “trusting Iran.” Why don’t you tell us Kyle, when that was claimed by the Administration? When you trust somebody, you do not make a deal full of safeguards.  Deal about which you, Kyle and others have lied (“First, the deal gives Iran another 24 days before inspections can begin, time to finish any scrubbing of the sites already under way?”). Deal supported by people like 36 retired admirals and generals, 29 top nuclear scientists, former senators Nunn and Lugar, just to name a few.

People like Kyle pretends that people supporting the Iran deal claim that because of the deal Iran is becoming a friend. Nobody of the above has claimed that. The Iran deal is about Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon, period. It is not about Iran’s intercontinental missile, about American prisoners or hostages, or about Iran’s support of terrorism. If you do not understand that, learn

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

It's pretty clear Obama does not look at the world from the perspective of what I would term mainstream America. Refugees flood the West, Israel threatened, Iraq destabilized by our withdrawal, ISIS expanding its influence, Iran free to arm up - these are good things in his view, and oh by the way, climate change and MY guns are far greater threats - not just to Americans, but to the world. Right, we get his message loud and clear.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@DawgDadII With all the other lying about the President by the conservatives, why not add this kind of absurdity?

King Tut 0603
King Tut 0603

So Kyle what should we and the other nations who negotiated this deal be doing?  You seem to ignore the fact that this deal does not take military action off the table (it is not a zero sum game).  That has never been stated by the Obama Administration. If we do nothing, they will continue to move forward without any level of accountability.  So again, what do you propose we do? No one has ever said they expect Iran to now be good little angels.  What has been said is our objective is to deter them from having a nuclear weapon.  This is our attempt to do this and we have the ability to go in other directions if needed.  What did Bush do about Iran's nuclear ambition? What did he do about North Korea?  I don't remember all of this gnashing of teeth from Republicans when N. Korea went nuclear on Bush's watch? 

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

You know that's their money right,  is it ok to steal ? I don't like Iran, but I'm not scared of them either.  We can light them up anytime they start something of national importance.  Simply send them a map of red "x"s of where the nuke will land if they start something, and then do it if they do. I guess your job is to run down the president of the US anytime you want to incite the flock.

GMFA
GMFA

The key to Iran is the battle between the fundamentalist vs the moderates. Who will win out in that country, but nonetheless let us try negotiation to fix these problems vs Senator Cotton's "let's bomb the hell out of them" diplomacy. If the Military leaders of Israel are for the pact than something is good about it. Bibi is a bozo, who will ultimately destroy his own country.  

Caius
Caius

Now this about an hour ago:


"Tehran (AFP) - Iran's parliament approved the country's nuclear deal with world powers Tuesday, paving the way for the historic agreement curbing Tehran's atomic programme to take effect and for sanctions to end.

The vote came after fierce debate among lawmakers over the terms of the accord, which was struck on July 14 but has faced a rough ride from hardliners in Tehran and in the US Congress.

A motion to approve the nuclear deal was however passed with 161 votes in favour, 59 against and 13 abstentions."

Note the "hardliners" sentence in this write up.  I am not familiar with AFP.  Anyone?

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

So the US does not develop missiles? The US does not inflict it's views on other nations? (Iraq, Cuba, etc.) The US is still holding prisoners in Guantanamo? The US (esp the cons) is unbending on our foreign policy toward other sovereign nations? Getting boots on the ground is the repub mantra regardless of strategy.


Give me a break! The con arrogance and misinforming our public, and the cons supporters ability to swallow it hook line and sinker, regardless of outcome of their strategy takes the cake.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

There seems to be no level of failure or ineptitude that will throw the sycophants off their talking points of approval for the Pretender in Chief.  I don't think I will have this problem when we get a GOP President in 2017, as I will be on his case on day 1, if he screws up or goes back on his promises.  If I reach this level of denial, I hope someone will point out how ridiculous I sound.  Obama himself tried to pretend that he was succeeding on Sixty Minutes, which was laughably ridiculous.  I guess it is the power of positive thinking run a muck.

M H Smith
M H Smith

Iran will never change its' agenda.  Now how many days will it take for Israel to react to the threat of Iran possessing long range missiles that can reach out and touch anywhere in Israel?  



JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

It does not make Obama look naive. Compared to his predecessor and his opposition, whose plan is to ignore Iran until we have to go to war.

There is nowhere near a majority of Americans that want to go back to a long protracted war in the ME.

Dusty2
Dusty2

Kyle


Iran is almost discouraging as the liberal commenters here.  Both don't care if they break treaties, develop atomic weapons, or imprison Americans. 


It is tralala and everything is fine 'cause Obama the liberal give away guy has just accomplished another GIVEAWAY to Iran.  Perhaps Iran will tell us when they have their weapons aimed perfectly at Israel. That will be just the start.


We have blind self promoting politicians in charge of our country at present.  Let us hope we can change that before every protection for Americans is gone while liberals cheer  that accomplishment.  

Juanx
Juanx

@Dusty2 ...I will be pounding on doors to get voters to the polls to vote for any "NON War" candidate for POTUS.

Jay Smith2342
Jay Smith2342

And what are we supposed to do? Bomb them out of existence? Every man, woman, and child, as in the Old Testament? And then the same with the North Koreans, Chinese, Venezuelans, etc.? When are we going to learn that the Wild West disappeared well over a century ago? 

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@Jay Smith2342


I am amazed how people think we can use our military might to get the desired outcome of a conflict. Maybe back in the days that would have worked but in this day and age, it doesn't. 


Look at Vietnam and Iraq conflicts. Now look at the cold war with Russia where the USSR crumbled and we didn't have to engage in a direct war with them. Unless our existence is in peril like in WWII, we should use diplomatic means to solved these conflicts.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Jay Smith2342 I think you need to talk to the other side, the jihadis.  I think the west is willing to live in peace, if they are.  Obama has tried the capitulation, surrender, apology, and appeasement approach, it hasn't seemed to change their minds much.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@Jay Smith2342 

What are we supposed to do?  Smooth their path to a nuclear weapon and give them $100 billion to pay for it.  Sounds retarded, right?

Caius
Caius

"...having received tens of billions of dollars of previously frozen assets..."

Have not seen anything in the US or world press that any "frozen" money has been turned over to date.

SWIFT has made no changes to their sanctions on Iranian banks imposed effective 3/17/12. Their presser of 7/14/15 stated that the sanctions would only be released after they were instructed to do so by the EU and the Belgian government.  And it is the SWIFT sanctions that have been killing Iran's economy.


The big money, some $100 billon per several European press reports, to be released once the UN gives its approval will be coming from banks in China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Taiwan.  And that only after SWIFT has released its sanctions (as I understand it).


The major result of the "deal" is that companies from other countries are making deals with Iran.  A French hotel company has made a eal to build 5 resort hotels in Iranian vacation hot spots. (Yeah, I did not know there was any Iranian vacation hot spots either.)


I have seen nothing from the Obama administration on what, when, where and how frozen US assets would be released.  There are dozens of separate sanctions imposed, some by EO and some by congress, for a variety of reason going back to 1979.  It is like a maze.

Will be interesting how it plays out.  In the US we have treated this as an US vs Iran deal and we have ignored the rest of the world. As Yogi might say, "It's 1925 all over again."

There will only be about a year of this deal under Obama and then a new president will take office. Then the fun starts.


 


JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

The deal was about nuclear weapons.  Nothing else. The deal has won the approval of all the other nations involved and the consensus of nuclear arms experts.  Iran has not done anything they said they wouldn't. They may have violated another resolution, but it wasn't the nuclear one (that A. wouldn't cover this and B. isn't in effect yet).


It's not us that's being naïve.  It's that we are smart enough to understand what is actually going on.  They are still doing a political show from signing the deal.  Today, yes today,  is the day that Iran actually approved the deal.  They have to look strong at home even though they completely capitulated on the nuclear deal. Its all political theater.


If they break the deal, it was still better than what Republicans did when they had the power to do something because now we have cause to act.  We will be allowed to bomb them with just cause.  If you remember, under the Republican administration, they were allowed to grow unchecked.   Effectively, they were simply allowed to develop nukes.  Republicans had the chance to kill this deal and they chose not to, because they know its a good deal too. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Kyle_Wingfield @JFMcNamara Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that's true. If so, what does it say about the supposed "moderation" and "modernization" of Iran and Iranians that this is the political theater that's necessary?


I'm sure they look at our Government and say many of the same things. 


How do you think McCain's Bomb Bomb Iran went over in Tehran ? Never mind all the other saber rattling they hear from us constantly. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@JFMcNamara "They are still doing a political show from signing the deal.  Today, yes today,  is the day that Iran actually approved the deal.  They have to look strong at home even though they completely capitulated on the nuclear deal. Its all political theater."

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that's true. If so, what does it say about the supposed "moderation" and "modernization" of Iran and Iranians that this is the political theater that's necessary? What does it say about the regime's ability to abide by any agreement? ICYMI the ballistic missile test violates a different U.N. resolution.

I don't think you're right, but even if you are, this merely undercuts the happy "Iran is modernizing" talk from the likes of Headley. 

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Kyle_Wingfield @JFMcNamara "the happy "Iran is modernizing" talk"


To be fair, would Iran's modernizing go "better" or "worse" with or without the Nuclear deal? 

With Nuclear deal, trade is re-energized. 

Without the Nuclear deal, trade is restricted, and Iran can claim (just like North Korea) that the West is the cause of all the country's ills. 

I'd rather have a different set of circumstances than to go down the exact same road and wind up with the exact same result as North Korea. 

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

Yep, the nuclear deal is MUCH more important than conventional weapons. 

So, a few bombs may fall on enemies? No big deal.

So, a few nuclear bombs may fall on enemies?  That's a big deal. 


It was  NUCLEAR treaty designed to stop the development of NUCLEAR weapons. Please, try to get that through to the conservatives. It's important. 


Plus, if we try to prevent deals from any country that convicts a US citizen through an unfair trial, we will be pretty restricted on any deals across the globe.  


Scrap the nuclear deal, and Iran has no significant roadblocks to creating a nuclear weapon. Keep the nuclear deal, and sure, Iran will pursue more conventional weapons.  Let Iran be the one to break the nuclear deal and receive punishment from the global trade partners. If the US breaks the deal, then we will be the ones forcing Iran's hand.  Just let them be the stupid ones, with a chance to actually follow the deal.  Or not, and let them get a weapon like North Korea. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@LogicalDude "So, a few bombs may fall on enemies? No big deal."

Wow. Just a few ballistic missiles, folks! Nothing to worry about! After all, it's only every bit of human military history and carnage minus Hiroshima and Nagasaki that involved conventional weapons! No biggie!

"It was  NUCLEAR treaty designed to stop the development of NUCLEAR weapons. Please, try to get that through to the conservatives. It's important. "

It is BALLISTIC MISSILES that Iran would use to deliver Iran's NUCLEAR weapons if it develops them in secret violation of this deal. Please, try to get that through to the liberals. It's important.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@Kyle_Wingfield @LogicalDude Was the test a success? No paper, even you, have reported if the test went well for the Iranians. Remember N Korea? They have tested missiles so many times that failed.

straker
straker

"putting off its nuclear-weapons ambitions for a decade"


Well, let's just scrap that deal, restore those sanctions and let them build that bomb NOW.


Why wait?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Israel has nuclear weapons ( the best deterrent ) and can easily defend themselves with the billions we send them each year.


1979 was a long time ago. The country is beginning to moderate. This is undeniable. 


“ ‘Death to America’? This is politics and not related to people’s thinking,” Elnaz Mobahat, the owner of Manhattan Grill, one of Tehran’s chic new restaurants, told me. The place is adorned with American kitsch. One wall features photographs of sports stars, including Tiger Woods. “There are fourteen million people in greater Tehran, and maybe one hundred thousand attend Friday prayers,” she said. “Most people say we should talk to the Americans and solve our differences. We can both benefit. There are many investment opportunities in the oil and food industries.” She pointed to the ketchup bottles on every table. “Look, we use Heinz!”


http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/27/tehrans-promise


Continuing to isolate them from the world stage is the surest path to armed conflict.


Most of the hardliners are in their late 70's and the majority of the Iranian population is under 35. They will soon be in power.


“The original generation of revolutionaries will disappear in the next ten years,” Saeed Laylaz, an economist and a former adviser to President Khatami, said. Laylaz, who was imprisoned for a year after the 2009 election, added, “The new assembly will reflect the new generation.”

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Hedley_Lammar "Most of the hardliners are in their late 70's and the majority of the Iranian population is under 35. They will soon be in power."

This has been true before, of course, to no avail. 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

That would be track not tract.  For some reason you can't edit the first comment. 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Kyle_Wingfield @RafeHollister Well a mite too late now, but doubt I could have, had I been monitoring it diligently because there never is a bottom line to like, reply, or edit the first comment. That is something that they should work on, assuming someone actually works to improve this blog format.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

The Iran capitulation deal will not fail because it has immense unilateral support.  Obama will support it past the point of it being ludicrous.  For most of us, it passed the ludicrous point once we found the USA got nothing out of the deal other than a hopeful change in Iran's belligerence. With these two actions, Iran has proven in this short time that there will be no change in their bellicose way. 


Obama likes to pretend that he has two big accomplishments the Iran thingie and Obamacare.  They both are on tract for epic failures.  If the Great Pretender were smart, he would claim he solved the climate change problem, as we have had  something like 18 years with no warming, but he soldiers on in his Quixotic assault on the only thing that has kept his flailing economy afloat, energy production.