As a person that lived through the Iranian Revolution, I can tell you that Iran has been a problem for the United States since the gross mismanagement of Middle East policy by President Carter and the subsequent religious revolution in the country. The naive manner in which Carter approached people like Ayatolla Khomeni was dangerous, and blew up in the face of the United States.
Obama is every bit as naive, and the Middle East is a much more dangerous place today than it was in 1979.
In the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution, the 80′s were dotted with Iranian sponsored terrorist incidents, most notably plane hijackings, and Iran was engaged in a fierce war with the US supported Iraq. By the end of the 80′s, Iran grew tired of the 8 year war, the economy was lagging, and people wanted an end to the violence. A ceasefire with Iraq was signed in 1988.
During the 1990′s, Iran took a step back, especially as George Bush Sr. attacked Iraq, their mortal enemy. There were hints of moderation peeking through and possibilities for re-engagement were beginning to brighten during the Clinton years, but all these hopes were dashed against the rocks when the Supreme Council removed all the moderates from the ballot during the 2005 election. It was this year that Mahmūd Ahmadinejād was installed as President.
His nationalistic and religious rhetoric has fired up the base in Iran. The days of moderation and hopes for re-engagement are long gone and Iran continues to grow more hardline. Recently, a man named Ali Larijani has been named Parlimentary Speaker. He was the secretary of Iran’s national security council and chief nuclear negotiator prior to his new appointment.
Larijani stepped up the rhetoic in his most recent speech, explicitly threatening terrorist and suicide bomb attacks against the United States:
From The Jerusalem Post
Only a few days ahead of the American presidential election, Iranian parliamentary speaker ‘Ali Larijani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah ‘Ali Khamanai have launched harsh verbal attacks against the United States.
“The US method and conduct, expressed by this aggression, will only be stopped by a clear-cut and unexpected response, whose grounds were set by the martyr Hussein Fahmida,” Larijani said during a parliamentary session on Wednesday.
Fahmida was 13 when he detonated an explosive device he carried on him, destroying an Iraqi tank during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.
As one of the architects of Iran’s nuclear ambitions and, because he is an Ahmadinejad appointee, this man is very likely to share the same religious beliefs that they are meant to bring about the end of the world, I take these statements very seriously. These are not people that joke around about things like this. This is a serious threat.
It is very likely that Jospeh Biden predicted just such a scenario when he said, “Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy…. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.” and “Gird your loins,”
Madeline Albright agreed with Biden’s assessment and said, “it is a “statement of fact” that the election of the Democratic senator from Illinois as president will result in him being tested by a generated international crisis by America’s enemies.”
And recently, the French President explained why this is very relevant to our relations with Iran in the light of a possible Obama presidency when he said that “the Democratic candidate’s stance on Iran as ‘utterly immature’ and comprised of ‘formulations empty of all content.’” and that “Until now, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany have tried to maintain a united front on Iran. But according to the senior Israeli source, Sarkozy fears that Obama might ‘arrogantly’ ignore the other members of this front and open a direct dialogue with Iran without preconditions.”
This is a dire and immediate problem because in that same article it is reported that, in addition to the threats of suicide bombing, French intelligence has concluded that Iran has already obtained up to 40% of the enriched uranium it needs for a bomb, the newspaper reports, and will have obtained the rest next summer.
The reaction of an Obama presidency is a worry as well because it is bound to be completely unpredictable. Not only is the direct dialogue an issue because it gives a direct platform for Ahmadenijad to grand stand in the face of the President of the “Great Satan” but the subsequent decision making is suspect.
As Joseph Biden, the Vice Presidential nominee, so eloquently explained that the American people are not going to like the decisions being made and that “there are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision.” Apparently, as we find with Sarkozy’s comments, neither are foreign leaders, and we all know the super position the last President put us in when he did things that both the international community and the American people hated.
It turns out that even the Iraqi experts agree that Obama would make the situation with Iran much worse. Professor Ali from the University of Baghdad and an expert on the Sumerian region said that “the Iranians believe that if Obama is elected he will not take action against them despite their nuclear ambitions. That worries me… If the Iranians get the bomb they will become the Tarzan of the region….” And there are many more Iraqi experts saying the same thing.
So who do we want running this country and dealing with the very real threat that Iran is posing as they rattle their sabres?
The young and untested President who, as his running mate conceeds, will invite violent attacks and even the French think is completely inadequate and arrogant when it comes to foreign policy?
A tried and true experience President that knows what war is like, understands strategic and tactical military planning and has worked in foreign policy and diplomatic realm for decades?
Mr. Obama, I regret to inform you of my decision. No Deal. Country First.