One of the country’s top experts on international relations believes President Barack Obama has plotted to strengthen Iran since he entered the White House and will do everything in his power to bypass Congress to cut a deal with Tehran.
On Breitbart News Sunday, Michael Doran, a fellow at the Hudson Institute, elaborated on his thought-provoking essay in Mosaic magazine titled, “Obama’s Secret Iran Strategy.”
Doran told host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon that from the moment Obama came into power, he had his own idea about the Middle East’s geopolitics that differed from past White House occupants. He noted that presidents before Obama conceptualized the Middle East as a rectangular table with America’s allies on one side and opponents like the Russians, Iranians, and Syrians on the other. America’s role in the Middle East was to “strengthen our allies against those on the other side of the table.”
Obama, though, came in with a “completely different concept” of the Middle East. The president, according to Doran, saw the Middle East as a “roundtable” with the Iranians, who have dubbed America the “Great Satan,” and the Russians working together with Americans. Doran said Obama sees himself as “the convener of the roundtable” who “brings together everyone at the table” to work on the worst pathologies in the Middle East.
The “scary thing,” according to Doran, is that Obama’s view of the Middle East is not all that uncommon among the foreign policy elite–like Zbigniew Brzezinski, Brent Scowcroft, and James Baker–who believe that “Iran shares certain vital interests with the U.S.” and can help America stabilize the Middle East and fight Sunni extremists.
Doran said the foreign policy elite “can’t see the malevolence coming from the Iranian government” and view Iran as a “stable” power in a messy region. He mentioned that this thinking is similar to what the British elite thought of Hitler’s Nazi Germany when they viewed the Soviet Union as the real enemy and Nazi Germany as a nation with whom they shared certain interests.
“There’s a certain kind of stupidity that requires a Ph.D and a certain lack of common sense,” Doran noted.
But Doran said the American people are a lot savvier than the foreign policy elites, and Obama and the foreign policy establishment have to hide their desire to engage with and empower Iran because it is “politically untenable.” Doran said the American people, Congress, and America’s allies certainly do not buy what Obama has been trying to do since his first year in office.
As Doran pointed out in his piece, a senior administration official told the New York Times’s David Sanger that in Obama’s first term, “There were more [White House] meetings on Iran than there were on Iraq, Afghanistan, and China. It was the thing we spent the most time on and talked about the least in public [emphasis added].”
He said that attitude of the Obama administration is that if the nuclear problem can be taken care of, then “every other problem we have with them is totally manageable” and even Iran’s influence in Iraq “is not a problem.” Doran said that is why the Obama administration has “turned a blind eye to and, to a certain extent, abetted Iran’s rise” throughout the Middle East.
To give one example, Doran pointed out that in the joint plan of action on the nuclear talks the United States already conceded that if the Iranians limit the growth of their nuclear program for a specified number of years, then all sanctions and restrictions will be lifted at the end of that period and Iran will be allowed to pursue their nuclear program “to their heart’s content” like any other country. The Obama administration, Doran said, got nothing in return for giving that away and those who “did not read the small print” were not even aware the Obama administration has already conceded so much to Iran.
To make matters worse, Doran said Obama wants to go around Congress to deal with Iran. He predicted Obama will do everything he can “circumvent” the Senate and noted that Obama “can go a long way” in doing so. Citing an extreme example, Doran said that Obama could theoretically go the United Nations and get a unanimous Security Council resolution lifting sanctions on Iran in what he said would be equivalent to a coup.
He added that it is “wonderful” that someone like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address Congress in March to “lay these issues out clearly so that we start debating what Obama is doing” on Iran. But he said it takes someone like Netanyahu to challenge Obama’s Iran policy because there is a “lack of leadership” in this Congress. In the end, Doran said it is up to Americans who oppose Obama’s caving to Iran to “send a clear message to Tehran” that the American people will not accept the type of deal that Obama wants to strike with Iran.