The Corner

No Time for Election Hangover: Dealing with Obama’s Appeasement of Iran Can’t Be Ignored Until January

It will be tempting to ride the red wave for a while. A startling Wall Street Journal report, however, reminds us that the urgent business of reining in President Obama’s recklessness — in this case, on Iran — cannot wait until the new Republican-controlled Congress takes over in January.

In a nutshell, Obama granted exemptions from congressional sanctions against Iran in order to promote the mullahs’ investment in Afghanistan – where American troops are still fighting jihadist terrorists, who, as even the Obama State Department acknowledges, have been armed and trained by the Iranian regime, the world’s chief state sponsor of jihadist terror, for nearly a decade.

You read that correctly.

As the Journal reports:

Twice in the last two years, [a Pentagon] task force [on “business and stability operations”] secured special permission from the U.S. government to seek help from Iran in setting up Afghanistan’s first pharmaceutical company and in developing four mines, according to government documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and interviews with people directly involved in the unusual outreach effort….

The unusual and quiet cooperation with Iran represents one small example of the Obama administration’s tentative efforts to allow for a closer relationship with America’s longtime adversary that would make it easier to work together in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. From last year’s ice-breaking phone call between Mr. Obama and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani to ongoing nuclear talks, the two nations have been trying to repair their relationship—much to the dismay of American allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, which are wary of Iran’s intentions.

Some of this is abject nonsense. For example, “the two nations” have most certainly not been trying to repair their relationship – Obama has been pleading with the mullahs for an alliance while the mullahs continue their terror-promotion and “Death to America” jihad. And as for “working together in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria,” Iran has backed the terrorists fighting American forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and has worked assiduously against the inclusive political settlement in Iraq that the Obama administration says it seeks, while Obama has claimed to seek the ouster of Syrian dictator Assad, Iran’s top regional client.

Nevertheless, the lengths to which the president has gone to appease a jihadist regime dedicated to warring against the United States are astonishing. I have always believed that Iran’s sponsorship of terror was a more significant concern than its pursuit of nukes. But even if you myopically focus on the nukes, as most of Washington seems to, the sanctions waiver undermines the administration’s supposed determination to end the regime’s program. As Journal report elaborates:

“It’s why they see us as a paper tiger,” Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois said in an interview. “It is impossible to convey to the Iranians that you are getting tougher on them if DoD personnel are involved in granting Iranians special favors. It represents a total incoherence in the Obama administration,” he added. “You would expect that Afghans would outreach across the border to Iran, but for Americans to do it is really stunning and defeats the purpose of nuclear negotiations,” he said.

It certainly does … unless, of course, you’ve come to believe, as I have, that it is not Obama’s purpose to abort Iran’s nuclear ambitions – rather, to get what looks like an agreement at any cost, to cling to the fantasy of rapprochement with a country run by a revolutionary jihadist regime while enabling its hegemonic ambitions.

Currently, there is a November 24 deadline for arriving at a “comprehensive” deal that would feign serious curbs on Iran’s nuclear activities while lifting sanctions that Obama is not enforcing anyway. It is possible that the deadline could slide, but with the GOP’s takeover of the Senate, Obama will be even more hell-bent on structuring his capitulation to attempt to end-run the Constitution’s mandate that the Senate approve treaties.

This won’t wait until January.

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