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1/29/2009
WILL US GUARANTEE THE LEGITIMACY OF THE IRANIAN REGIME?

No “hope and change” for the Iranian people - not if Obama’s State Department gets their way regarding a new “overture” to Tehran.

It will apparently take the form of a letter - either addressed directly to Supreme Leader Khamenei or an open letter. The letter may do something that no American president - not even Jimmy Carter - was willing to do; guarantee the legitimacy and sovereignty of the Iranian regime.

In othe rwords, both a “no invasion” pledge as well as the US promising not to seek regime change by proxy or otherwise:

State department officials have composed at least three drafts of the letter, which gives assurances that Washington does not want to overthrow the Islamic regime, but merely seeks a change in its behaviour. The letter would be addressed to the Iranian people and sent directly to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or released as an open letter.

One draft proposal suggests that Iran should compare its relatively low standard of living with that of some of its more prosperous neighbours, and contemplate the benefits of losing its pariah status in the west. Although the tone is conciliatory, it also calls on Iran to end what the US calls state sponsorship of terrorism.

The letter is being considered by the new secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, as part of a sweeping review of US policy on Iran. A decision on sending it is not expected until the review is complete.

In an interview on Monday with the al-Arabiya television network, Obama hinted at a more friendly approach towards the Islamic Republic.

Ahmadinejad said yesterday that he was waiting patiently to see what the Obama administration would come up with. “We will listen to the statements closely, we will carefully study their actions, and, if there are real changes, we will welcome it,” he said.

Ahmadinejad, who confirmed that he would stand for election again in June, said it was unclear whether the Obama administration was intent on just a shift in tactics or was seeking fundamental change. He called on Washington to apologise for its actions against Iran over the past 60 years, including US support for a 1953 coup that ousted the democratically elected government, and the US shooting down of an Iranian passenger plane in 1988.

Will Obama give in to Ahmadinejad’s demand that we apologize? If we are going to go as far as guaranteeing their legitimacy, why not? Bill Clinton toured the world his second term apologizing for America’s past behavior to anyone who was ever even slightly offended (or pretended to be) at US actions over the years. Given the critique by Obama of our Iran policy during the campaign, I certainly wouldn’t put it past Obama to grovel before the Persians.

There may be some political gamesmanship at work here as Allah points out at Hot Air:

In fairness, there may be an ulterior motive to this: Ahmadinejad’s up for reelection in June and Khatami, the “moderate” who preceded him in office, is evidently planning to challenge him. By showing a conciliatory face now, The One may be trying to swing Khamenei towards backing Khatami and the reformists and leaving Ahmadinejad and the hardliners out in the cold. Although if Khamenei’s planning to dump the tiny terrorist for anyone, I’d guess it’s for his protege Larijani. He is high on Hopenchange, after all.

Good points and I would add that Larijani, who resigned as chief nuclear negotiator last year, has been slowly gathering support in the Guardian Council which could prove to be very significant. The Council chooses who gets to run for president and the Iranian Majlis. They can nix a candidate for the most specious of reasons - that they do not interpret the Koran correctly or commit some other religious faux pas. It is possible Larijani could out manuever Khatami, even to the point of having him denied access to the ballot.

Khamenei, who is reported to be in poor health, has no interest in making Obama look good but may see a lessening of tensions as a godsend for the Iranian nuclear program. The drive for ever more biting sanctions in the UN will be slowed if there is any kind of a rapproachment with the US. Russia and China, who have subsumed their own commercial interests in Iran to go along with the sanctions, will almost certainly reject any further efforts to punish Tehran for their nuclear program. There is even a possibility that the sanctions already in place will be lifted - at least there may be more of an effort to circumvent the sanctions.

This is a pretty bad idea in my view. Anything that legitimizes the Iranian regime condemns the Iranian people to further indignities under the rule of the religious crazies who still beat women in the streets for not covering themselves and jail anyone who breathes opposition to them. And any idea that improving relations with Iran will keep Hezb’allah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and any number of terrorists groups at bay is wishful thinking.

Seems to be a lot of that at the White House since Obama took over.

This blog post originally appears in The American Thinker

By: Rick Moran at 12:18 pm
7 Responses to “WILL US GUARANTEE THE LEGITIMACY OF THE IRANIAN REGIME?”
  1. 1
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    3:28 pm 

    This is a pretty bad idea in my view.

    What if it’s part of a bigger picture? If Iraq does eventually become a functional democracy, biting the bullet and and creating some kind of semi functional relationship with Iran might eventually lead to commerce channels opening up between Iraq/Iran, and the US by proxy.

    If the Iraq experiment does work, then there will be a lot of people in Iran that might want to work towards that model because it’s right next door, and seems to be working. Inserting ourselves into that process might do more for commerce and, eventually, human rights in the long run.

    I hate to interrupt this beautiful dream you’re having but in what universe does the Iranian leadership care what their own people think about democracy and human rights?

    As far as commerce, I don’t think there’s much of a market for anything the Iranians sell except oil. We can help them a helluva lot more than they can help us - their oil output has dropped 25% since Ahmadinejad took over. Pure incompetence is the reason - he put true believers in the oil ministry and purged the technocrats.

    There very well may be a “big picture” I am missing - hopefully some kind of regional effort at easing tensions. For that, Iran must renounce enrichment - bottom line. Don’t think that’s a possibility.

    ed.

  2. 2
    gregdn Said:
    3:48 pm 

    You’ve written much about how attacking Iran would be a bad idea. Wouldn’t this merely formalize such thinking? And wouldn’t any such ‘guarantee’ be contingent on Iran not doing something stupid?

    You are right about my position. I have even written that guaranteeing Iranian soveriegnty is a good idea - if they stop enriching uranium in the bargain. He is essentially giving away our best chips before the negotiation game even starts.

    ed.

  3. 3
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    4:16 pm 

    I hate to interrupt this beautiful dream you’re having but in what universe does the Iranian leadership care what their own people think about democracy and human rights?

    It’s not that they care what the people think, it’s that if the people start to notice the sweet smell of the capitalism pie that’s cooling in the window right next door, they might be more motivated to pressure the leadership to get a piece of that pie.

    It’s obviously not without problems, but if the Iranian leadership notices a sea change in the attitude of it’s people, it might be more willing to work with us and give up the nuke aspirations, at the risk of diminished power. Aspirations which seem to only be held by a tiny minority of the leadership anyway.

  4. 4
    Right Wing Nut House » WILL US GUARANTEE THE LEGITIMACY OF THE … | Right Views Pinged With:
    5:21 pm 

    [...] Go here to see the original: Right Wing Nut House » WILL US GUARANTEE THE LEGITIMACY OF THE … [...]

  5. 5
    Chris Schandevel Said:
    2:24 am 

    Wow. Crazy stuff, but what did we expect?

    By the way, I’ve just started a new blog that will be highlighting the dangerous advances of the secular progressive movement (pro-gay “rights”, pro-abortion, anti-religious freedoms, etc).

    We’re looking to build a solid group of conservatives who’ll frequent our site regularly and contribute to some good discussions. The site gets updated daily with breaking news, so you’ll want to check back often, or you can just sign up for our News Feed.

    If you’ll add us to your blogroll we’ll gladly add you to ours. Our blog is called Religion and Morality.

    Thanks!

  6. 6
    Neal J. King Said:
    4:49 am 

    It seems fairly basic to me that, if you are trying to open up a channel of communication with someone, you give them a hint that you’re not out to destroy them.

    Particularly when there’s been so much noise in the last 2 years about either a direct U.S. attack, or a win-and-a-nod to Israel.

  7. 7
    elixelx Said:
    7:34 pm 

    “Guarantee the Legitimacy and the Sovereignty of Iran OR of the Iranian Regime”???
    If Barry is saying that the COUNTRY, IRAN, is legitimate and sovereign what’s he giving them?? We all know that!
    And if Barry says that the REGIME OF THE MULLAHS is legitimate and sovereign, all he’s doing is making sure that if there is an internal revolution the Mullahs can ask the US for help and that the Pahlavis can never come back to power!
    It all looks so innocuous!1
    And what will Barry do for his next Iranian trick? Well, if the Mullah’s do get their bomb, he can do nothing; after all he cannot interfere in the affairs of a legitimate and sovereign Nation!
    So it comes down to this: that, if Israel attacks the Mullah Regime after they get their bomb, Barry will have to choose between TWO legitimate and Sovereign Nations, and that means he will do nothing and feel himself justified in doing nothing.
    This kind of recognition of the “legitimacy and sovereignty” of a REGIME rather than a COUNTRY is a stealth alliance with that regime, and delegitimises all opposition to that regime.
    That’s the danger of Barry’s approach: it is utterly PACIFIST, and that suits him and his acolytes just fine!

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