It’s only fitting that the negotiations between the U.S. and Iran were extended to Wednesday, April Fools’ Day. Whatever the precise outcome, it seems clear that the Obama administration has invested far too much political and diplomatic capital in these talks, which have gone on for 18 months, to walk away from a deal. Despite Iran’s classic bargaining moves in the last few days, pulling back on previously agreed-on commitments, the administration would not be swayed. This comes as no surprise. The very notion that talks could take place between Iran and the West and exclude any discussion of the revolutionary Islamic regime’s role as the world’s leading exporter of terror was a non-starter.
“Death to America” has been a consistent rallying cry of the Supreme Leader and his associates for years. The U.S. response has been to dismiss such talk as meant only for local consumption in Iran. Such denials parallel the response of Shimon Peres when, in the early days after the Oslo Accords were signed, he was questioned about Yasir Arafat telling audiences back home, in Arabic, that the pact was but a stepping stone to jihad.
“Give the man his rhetoric,” he told us back then with a flip of his hand.
Washington’s blind eye toward reality is what prompts so much concern among nations in the region, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and several Gulf states. Indeed, they have already signaled their response to the likelihood of a more brazen and unrestrained Iran by organizing a militia, led by Riyadh, to act in Yemen. The message to the U.S. seems clear: “If you’re not going to back us up by taking on Iran, we’ll do it ourselves.”
This may be just what President Obama hoped for in his quest to reduce the presence of U.S. military forces from the chaotic Mideast and let the local players step up on their own.
Now it appears that the final details on the Iran pact will not be flushed out or known for months, and by then it will be even more difficult to declare the exercise a sham. We hope to be proven wrong. But the Iran regime’s long history of prevarication, brutal violence around the globe, and passionate commitment to extend its Islamic hegemony suggest otherwise.