Quote of the Day:
President Obama and his foreign-policy admirers—a dwindling lot—hoped that the nuclear deal would make Iran more open to cooperation in the Middle East and with the U.S. Mark this down as another case in which the world is disappointing the American President.
–Wall Street Journal editorial headlined "The Mullahs Say Thanks"
The Iran deal seemed to be predicated on the notion that if we made all sorts of concessions to Iran it would become a different kind of regime. It would play nicer with President Obama's imaginary friend "the international community."
It hasn't gotten off to a good start. For starters, Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, held captive for more than a year, was just convicted of espionage. Reporters keep referring to the Iranian "justice" system, as if there had been a fair trial open to the public. Sure.
The verdict was announced on Monday. As the Wall Street Journal notes:
The timing of the conviction won’t escape students of history. Friday was the 444th day of his captivity. That was the number of days U.S. diplomats in Iran spent as hostages following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Mr. Rezaian’s conviction three days later is the mullah equivalent of mailing a dead fish to an adversary.
Mr. Rezaian's brother has said that he thinks our government should let the Iranians know that "there will be consequences." Strongly worded letter to follow. But even if our government responded (and it won't), the mullahs aren't listening.You see, the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei just banned further diplomatic negotiations with Washington.
In other news from our Iranian friends, the regime tested on Sunday a guided ballistic missile that code-named Emad (“Pillar”), which the Journal notes is in violation of the nuclear deal. This is also in violation of a recent U.N. Security Council resolution banning any Iranian tests of guided missiles for eight years. It will be difficult for Secretary of State John Kerry's crack team to glean further information directly, however, because of that Iranian ban on talking to Washington.
If Iran were not a regime bent on nuclear power and destruction and if this were not so dangerous for the world, particularly our mistreated ally (?) Israel, you'd almost have to cheer the mullahs for their gutsiness. But the regime is a totalitarian monstrosity and Israel is in danger of annihilation, which makes it all very unfunny. The Wall Street Journal comments:
The more likely outcome is that the Obama Administration will find a way to explain that the missile test doesn’t violate the nuclear accord that Mr. Obama considers a crowning achievement. Meanwhile, Iran’s government will bank up to $150 billion that it can deploy to back its militia proxies in the Middle East. Add the new Iran-Russia offensive in Syria, and Tehran would appear to have taken the nuclear deal as a signal that it can now do whatever it wants without consequence.
The American recessional continues apace with word that the U.S. is pulling our Patriot missile defense systems from Turkey. This is a nice bookend to one of President Obama's earliest foreign affairs initiatives, scrapping the missile-defense system for Poland, which would actually be rather nice to have just now as Vladimir Putin is raging through the neighborhood.
Don't worry, though. President Obama is heading for a climate change conference.