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Friday, 17 January 2020 07:55

THE UNITED STATES VS. IRAN MERRY-GO-ROUND

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The saga of U.S. Iran relations in its current context roughly spans my lifetime. After coming to power during the 1940s, the pro-western Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, gained status as an absolute monarch in 1953 with the help of British and American spy agencies. He continued to rule with U.S. support until overthrown in 1979 during the Iran Revolution.

On November 4, 1979, a government supported student seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran led to the 444-day hostage crisis. Ultimately, a financial settlement was reached with the release of frozen Iranian funds. The Shah first fled to the U.S. and ultimately died in Egypt in 1980.

 

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Some of the more prominent Iranian leaders during recent decades. Can you name them?

 

 

Now, in 2020, democrats are accusing President Trump of reckless behavior dealing with Iran? Let’s take a closer look.

First consider Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear “agreement.” This was Obama’s intended legacy for creating peace in the Mideast. A closer look helps us understand how the agreement was full of wishful thinking.

The U.S. wasn’t even involved in direct monitoring of compliance. And because of lengthy dispute resolution procedures, “anytime monitoring” didn’t really exist. Also, Iran was permitted to continue developing missile technology, the nuclear warhead delivery system, and uranium enrichment could continue at agreed levels. And, believe it or not, Iran had the right to declare some military sites “off limits” to inspection. What could go wrong there? I could go on and on.

Iran received cash in the agreement, possibly up to $150 billion. Democrats have claimed that some of this should be considered separate from the agreement because it was their own frozen funds. Also, former Secretary of State Kerry says these billions went into their economy, not to further international terrorism. If you gain reassurance from that, I’ve got a bridge……
Perhaps the most damning piece of information about that deal is that while Obama signed it, he never submitted it to the Senate for approval because of bipartisan opposition. Leading democrat senators Schumer and Mendendez joined republicans in opposing the probably ineffective agreement. And finally, Iran wasn’t required to sign the agreement. Can you believe it?

This was never an official treaty or agreement, perhaps no more binding than a blank piece of paper. No, Trump didn’t open the gates to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, they were open all along.

Let’s connect that nuclear agreement to something happening in recent weeks. While writing this article, I recalled reading about the late General Suleimani being mentioned in the Iran nuclear deal. I quickly found an interesting article by Con Coughlin in the July 2015 UK Telegraph.

Coughlin wrote that he had found, in an annex to the agreement, that Qassem Suleimani, the head of the elite Quds Force in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, “has been granted an amnesty and taken off the list of proscribed Iranians – together with a number of senior members of the Revolutionary Guards. Thanks to Mr. Obama’s scandalous capitulation to Tehran, Mr. Suleimani has overnight gone from being one of the world’s most wanted terrorists to the White House’s newest best friend.”

I probably don’t need to explain that General Suleimani organized many terrorist activities, including the recent attempt to break into and burn the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. How can democrats keep straight faces while claiming Trump endangered national security by withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal or in his decisions relative to recent aggressive military and terrorist actions by Iran?

The President showed patience and restraint following the Iran attack on Saudi oil facilities. He refrained from retaliating after Iran shot down our drone. Only when American lives were lost did he take measured retaliation. And only after our embassy was attacked and partially burned did he order the fatal attack on General Soleimani, the terrorist leader of the attempted embassy burning.

Bottom line, Trump didn’t back down. Our president is now publicly backing an Iran citizens’ uprising, and warned Iran leaders not to harm these freedom seekers. I believe if other more reticent presidents had been in charge, there would have been dancing in the streets in opposition to the U.S., “the great satan.” These demonstrators are praising the U.S. while condemning the mullah regime. What’s wrong with that?

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Steve Bakke,
Fort Myers

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