Tuesday, March 31, 2015

An Exceptionally Dangerous Idea: Nuclear Negotiations with Iran

The terrorism-sponsoring regime of Iran has long sought to build a robust nuclear program for the purposes of electrical power.  (Nod – nod, wink – wink.)  Everyone knows, however, that the truth of the matter is that this program is for the development of nuclear weapons.  Evidently it is not polite to point out this blatant falsehood in diplomatic circles however.

The fact that Iran has been the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism across the globe, even currently, in the days of ISIL and al Qaida, is something that seems to be intentionally overlooked by the Obama administration though.  Iran is an implacable enemy of the United States, and has been since the Carter administration when they stormed our embassy in Tehran taking our citizens hostage.  Iran calls the United States “The Great Satan,” and refers to what was formerly our strongest ally and only democracy in the Middle East of Israel “The Little Satan.”  Iran’s former president Ahmadinejad stated publically on multiple occasions that Iran’s goal is to wipe Israel off the face of the globe.  It is a goal that is backed by the ruling mullahs of Iran.

Why we refuse to take our enemy at their word is baffling.  As Americans, including our supposed regional diplomatic experts from the State Department, we tend to look at that type of rhetoric as mere political hyperbole for their masses. However, an understanding of the Middle Eastern mindset of this Shiite nation seems to be completely absent.

This is absolutely not just political bluster on their behalf.  As Americans, we cannot conceive of people believing with such unshakeable faith that they must kill the innocent, let alone understand that these people become homicide bombers in order to become martyrs and thus enter into paradise with Allah.  Shia Islam, which nearly all Iranians practice, tells of the coming of the twelfth imam, an Islamic messiah, to unite the world under Islam and sharia (Islamic) law.  In order for the coming of their messiah, the world has to be in complete and utter bloody chaos, even if that chaos is created by the very practitioners of that faith.  What better way to do this then to launch a nuclear weapon at Allah’s hated enemy of Israel thus thrusting forth a third world war in order to hasten the return of the twelfth imam?

Currently, the United States has crippling economic sanctions in place to try and convince Iran to give up their terrorism and nuclear ambitions.  The assumption is that Iran would negotiate, as any rational nation with a Western mindset would.  After all, they know that if they launched a nuclear attack on Israel, that they would be attacked in return. Are they really that crazy that they would sacrifice themselves? Yes, looking at this situation through their eyes – their beliefs – sacrificing even millions of their own people in order to eradicate Allah’s enemy of the Little Satan and thus bringing their messiah to unite the world under Islam would well be worth their martyrdom.  Their culture does not value life like we do.  Instead, they see death, especially a martyr’s death, as a gateway to paradise.

Iran is now negotiating to conclude an “oral agreement” with the United States to restrict their nuclear weapons program in exchange for the United States to remove these economic and trade sanctions.  The Obama administration hopes to have just such a deal in place with Iran by the end of today.  Secretary of State John Kerry has bent over backwards with concessions in order to ensure that a deal – any deal – is agreed upon before April Fool’s Day is upon us.  The regional, and indeed global, ramifications of such a deal are either non-evident or not important to Secretary Kerry and President Obama.

Due to these current negotiations, our supposed ally, Saudi Arabia, is forming a coalition with other Sunni Islamic countries such as Turkey and Egypt in order to counter balance a near-future nuclear-armed Iran. Many of them want to obtain nuclear weapons of their own, accordingly.  Where Shia Iran and its proxies are already fighting against Sunni fighters in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East, the Saudi Kingdom and its allies fear what an unfettered Iran with nuclear weapons will be able to do to the regional balance of power.

“But, T. Paine, I thought the deal President Obama was making with Iran was to ensure that they don’t get a nuclear weapon?” you ask.  Yeah, well, not so much.  President Obama has argued that a “verifiable” deal is the best way to ensure the stability of the Arab states because it ensures that Iran does not get a nuclear bomb.  He argues that even a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities would only temporarily set back its program.  This way, he argues, we can engage Iran and know when they begin their weapons program once again.  Oh yeah, and in reward for their temporary restraint in their on-going nuclear program, the United States will remove all economic and trade sanctions that were the cause of bringing Iran to the negotiating table in the first place.

Surely Iran will keep its word and cease with its weapons program though, right?  There is a concept of “taqiyya” in the Quran, Islam’s holy book, which permits faithful Muslims to lie to infidel non-Muslims if it protects the “believer” and/or furthers the cause of Islam.  It is exceptionally likely that Iran is not negotiating in good faith accordingly.  Iran’s Sunni neighbors don’t seem to believe that Iran will keep any deal stuck with the United States, and with distrust growing against America, they will all race to acquire and develop their own nuclear weapons.  It is speculated in some intelligence circles that Saudi Arabia might simply buy nuclear weapons from their Pakistani ally.  Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly pleaded with President Obama to abandon such a deal with Iran, as the state of Israel’s very existence is at stake should Iran obtain a working nuclear weapon.

President Obama has seemingly refused to listen to our friend in Israel and other allies in the Middle East.  Clearly he knows better than they do about what is best, as he continues with this foolish and unverifiable agreement that Iran is, historically speaking,  absolutely certain to break.  Press Secretary Josh Earnest assures us that President Obama is willing to walk away from the negotiating table if a deal cannot be struck.  He would rather have no deal than a bad deal, according to Mr. Earnest.  This, of course, begs the question of just what the hell they consider a “bad deal”.

This “oral deal”, as the Iranians are loathe to put anything in print, has been continuously altered over the course of negotiations, and always in Iran’s favor.  Iran is allowed to keep its centrifuges, which are needed to enrich uranium to levels necessary only for weapons grade material.  Its stock of enriched uranium was supposed to be sent to Russia for holding, but that too has been a point that Iran has reneged upon recently.  It is estimated that Iran could have a working nuclear weapon in less than a year, and in all likelihood probably much sooner.

President Obama’s desire for a deal – for some sort of legacy in the Middle East – is exceptionally dangerous.  Like Britain’s Neville Chamberlain negotiating with the Nazis in order to have “peace in their time,” it seems our President Obama is foolishly following the same course and is destined to repeat  history.  We need to stop thinking as Westerners and instead look at the world through the eyes of the Iranians with their perceptions of what America represents.  Only by doing this will we see what a horrifically bad idea striking such a “deal” with Iran will be.

UPDATE 4/1/2015: As a deal was not able to be reached with Iran by the March 31st deadline, President Obama has extended the time line for negotiations to today, April 1st, 2015.  This is despite Secretary Kerry ruling out any extension of talks with Iran back in February of this year, as per the Washington Post.  Evidently, the desire for a bad deal is just too enticing for President Obama to walk away from.


Unknown said...

I get a slightly different since as to what al-taqiyya is. You seem to think that it's religious approval to outright lie to non-believers. The way you respresent it, it makes it seem that Muslims are permitted to lie about anything. From my limited understanding of the concept; al-taqiyya allowed a believer to speak blasphemy only in times of duress; ie. Forced Conversion or anytime an individuals faith is threatened.

T. Paine said...

Unknown, I admittedly am not an expert on al taqiyya either, but it is my understanding that your interpretation is generally true. Taqiyya was a concept that allowed early Shia Muslims to lie to Sunni Muslims about their faith in order to avoid persecution. The concept was expanded to protect Muslims from “non-believers” in times of duress, as you said. Those tenets still hold true today, but it has also evolved in some sects to include lying to infidels in order to protect Islam and Allah’s interests as a whole. It is this newer understanding of the concept of taqiyya that is of concern to me as the United States negotiates with Iran. I thank you for your comment!

Unknown said...

I don't believe that aspect of the religion should be of concern. What's being negotiated are non-religious matters between nations. Not matters of faith between individuals facing persecution.