The UK Telegraph does an epic job of burying the lede in their story about Amir Hossein Motaghi, a media aide to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who bailed out of the theocracy and requested political asylum while attending nuclear negotiations in Switzerland.
Rouhani’s story is interesting, including his assertion that many of the Iranian “media” people attending the negotiations are actually conduits to their intelligence service and his belief that he faced arrest if he returned to Tehran. But the most intriguing thing he said is floating at the bottom of the Telegraph story, the very last line in the piece:
In his television interview, Mr Mottaghi also gave succour to western critics of the proposed nuclear deal, which has seen the White House pursue a more conciliatory line with Tehran than some of America’s European allies in the negotiating team, comprising the five permanent members of the UN security council and Germany.
“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” he said.
Wow. Obama’s crew is spending its time trying to sell recalcitrant Europeans on the deal — France seems to be the big holdout — rather than driving a hard bargain with the Iranians? The Obama Administration is serving as Tehran’s diplomatic corps now?
That’s not entirely surprising, because we’re clearly into the bitter endgame of this farce, where Obama gives away the sun, moon, and stars to the nuclear mullahs in order to keep that deal alive. Lately he’s been ringing up skeptical Democrats in Congress and telling them to eat his crap sandwich of a deal, and produce some Congressional cover for Obama’s initiative, because the alternative would be a win for the Republicans. “In recent days, officials have tried to neutralize skeptical Democrats by arguing that opposing President Barack Obama would empower the new Republican majority, according to people familiar with the discussions,” the Wall Street Journal wrote on Sunday.
Denying your sadly ineffective domestic political adversaries a talking-point victory sounds like a great reason to rush headlong into a nuclear deal with a comically intransigent psycho dictatorship! Maybe we should count ourselves lucky that Obama still thinks Congress has some Constitutional role to play, or else he wouldn’t bother rattling Democrat cages with this “support me to spite Republicans” appeal. (Don’t get too excited about His Majesty’s sudden respect for the Constitution, because he doesn’t think Congress has much of a role to play. “White House officials still oppose legislation that would give Congress final approval of a deal with Iran or apply new sanctions. And officials don’t want lawmakers to vote on any Iran deal until after the June 30 deadline for a comprehensive agreement,” reports the WSJ.)
A taste of how cynical the French have become about Obama’s intentions is offered by Foreign Policy:
Numerous French diplomats suspect that the United States, now that it is less dependent on Gulf oil, “pivoting” to Asia, and focused on fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is on the verge of profoundly reshaping of its traditional alliance system in the Middle East, moving from a system where Iran replaces Saudi Arabia as the central pillar of regional stability. This especially concerns the French because they have built strong political and defense relationships with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates in recent years.
The nuclear talks, French diplomats suspect, are just one part of a strategic rapprochement with Iran. Washington has practically sub-contracted the war against the Islamic State’s forces in Iraq to Iranian special forces and Tehran’s Iraqi militia proxies. The French view this as a potentially counter-productive move, one more part of Washington’s turn away from its Sunni allies and toward Tehran.
As critics have been saying all along, Obama’s Middle East policy is all about building Iran up into a regional empire, which Obama thinks he can do business with. Is there any evidence suggesting the French assessment of his goals is incorrect?
Iran, of course, knows that Obama can’t afford to admit he was wrong, so they’re squeezing every last penny out if him with an endless string of last-minute demands. There is very little Iran could do at this point that Team Obama would consider a deal-breaker. He can’t afford to give his real enemies the satisfaction of calling this debacle off.