Take a look at what President Obama said in an interview with the BBC’s Jonathan Sopel after Sopel noted that lifting sanctions in Iran would mean greater resources for Hezbollah and the Assad regime in Syria and would have the affect of further destabilizing the Middle East:
Well, keep in mind, first of all, we’ve shut off the pathways for Iran getting a nuclear weapon, which was priority number one. Because if Iran obtained a nuclear weapon, then they could cause all those same problems that you just listed with the protection of a nuclear bomb. And create much greater strategic challenges for the United States, for Israel, for our Gulf allies, for our European allies.
Second, it is true that by definition, in a negotiation and a deal like this, Iran gets something out of it. The sanctions regime that we put in place with the hope of the Brits, but also the Chinese and the Russians and others meant that they had funds that were frozen. They get those funds back. A large portion of those funds are going to have to be used for them to rebuild their economy.
That was the mandate that elected Rouhani. And the supreme leader is feeling pressure there. Does the IRGC [Revolutionary Guard] or the Quds Force have more resources? Probably, as the economy in Iran improves. But the challenge that we’ve had, when it comes to Hezbollah, for example, aiming rockets into Israel is not a shortage of resources.
Iran has shown itself to be willing, even in the midst of real hardship, to fund what they consider to be strategy priorities. The challenge is us making sure that we’ve got the interdiction capacity, the intelligence, that we are building a much stronger defense against some of these proxy wars and asymmetric efforts. And we’ve sent a clear message to the Iranians. We are settling the Iran deal, but we still have a big account that we’re going to have to work. Hopefully some of it diplomatically, if necessary some of it militarily.
The idea that we have shut off the pathways for Iran to build a nuclear weapon is preposterous. Not only is the pathway open, we’re building the pathway for them. Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon isn’t a strategic challenge, it’s a catastrophe. I hate to break it to Obama but Israel and the Gulf States are facing a strategic challenge right now and the response will be a nuclear arms buildup.
The Iranians will be in a better position to build a nuclear weapon because of sanctions relief. Obama claims these funds will be used to rebuild the Iranian economy because it “was the mandate that elected Rouhani.” That Obama treats Rouhani with greater legitimacy than Netanyahu pretty much tells us everything we need to know about him. The Iranian people “choose” the leaders handpicked by the Ayatollah Khamenei and the Mullahs. Remember when Iranians saw fit to complain during the 2009 “elections”? Their security forces shot and killed their own people in broad daylight. And what did Obama have to say about it? He said it wasn’t our place to “meddle.”
Obama openly acknowledges that Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Guard, and the Quds forces will have more resources and doesn’t seem particularly fazed by it. And what does he think Hezbollah and company will do with these resources? Make cookies and have a bake sale? Most of those resources will be directed against Israel, a country to which Obama has shown only disdain. But let us never forget that it was Hezbollah that killed 242 Marines in Beirut not to mention caused more than 1,000 military deaths since September 11, 2001. The last thing an American President should allow would be a deal that ensures Hezbollah gets more resources, much less to talk casually about it. But then again Obama isn’t your typical American President.
Obama did make one correct observation when he acknowledged that when it comes to launching rockets into Israel, Hezbollah wouldn’t be deterred by a shortage of resources: “Iran has shown itself to be willing, even in the midst of real hardship, to fund what they consider to be strategy priorities.”Iran’s top strategy priorities are “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” and have been since May 1979. So what makes Obama think Iran is going to change its priorities much less its behavior when it receives billions in sanctions relief? What makes Obama think that Iran’s leaders give a damn about rebuilding its economy? Sanctions relief will only strengthen Hezbollah’s ability to renew hostilities with Israel. It is only a matter of time before Hezbollah initiates another war with Israel. It is only a matter of time before Iran builds a nuclear weapon and uses it against Israel and then deploys it against American interests. Again, we all know how Obama feels about Israel. But what’s worse is that American interests aren’t Obama’s interests. Obama says there’s a military option against Iran. But if Obama wasn’t willing to use a military option when Syria used chemical weapons, then what makes anyone think Obama will use a military option if Iran builds and/or deploys a nuclear weapon?
President Obama has sent a clear message to Iran all right. Unfortunately, the message he has sent is that the United States is weak, unwilling to back up our words, desperate and willing to give away the store for a deal that ensures him a second Nobel Peace Prize. It will also ensure more war in the Middle East, further attacks on American interests, and more blood spilled by our military. The one thing it doesn’t ensure is peace.
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