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Iran Has Confounded the White House - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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President Barack Obama has received another slap in the face from Iran, the country that he has outstretched his hand [in friendship] to numerous times; and this time the slap in the face is both painful and humiliating. The Tehran government resorted to another trick at the last second, hosting the Brazilian president and citing Turkey as a false witness [in order to] say that they have reached an agreement on exchanging enriched uranium. By doing so, Ahmadinejad has confounded all of Obama’s plans, who had postponed taking punitive steps [against Iran] several times in the hopes of convincing Ahmadinejad to give up his nuclear weapons program. Of course it would be a miracle if it turns out that Iran is being sincere [with regards to this deal], however all signs indicate that this is nothing more than a rabbit from Iran’s hat.

On the contrary, the delay is caused by Obama and his refusal to use the threat of force in a genuine manner, and this has made everybody – not just Tehran – believe that nothing will stop the Iranian project, whether this is its nuclear weapons project or its conventional weapons project. Iran stole a proposal put forward by Saudi Arabia and Russia last year with regards to uranium enrichment abroad, this project would enable Iran to gain the nuclear fuel that it needs and put an end to the international treats against it. However Tehran rejected this idea out of hand and said that it would be impossible for them to accept uranium enrichment outside of Iranian territory. Then just a few days prior to international sanctions being approved against them, Iran announced that it is prepared to send a portion of its uranium to Brazil via Turkey! However this agreement does not include a guarantor to ensure that this deal takes place, and therefore it is clear that their goal is to embarrass Obama internationally.

Unless the US administration understands the nature of the Iranian regime in the region then it will continue to find itself under siege, in the same manner as the US administration of former President Jimmy Carter, who left the White House in disgrace in 1980 after making a series of concessions to the leaders of the Iranian revolution. Ahmadinejad’s government has split apart the international community; China has given way with regards to sanctions while Russia has been silenced. As for France, it agreed to release a prisoner in exchange for the return of the French hostage [held by Iran], however the French government had previously said that it would be impossible to deport criminals convicted in France [to Iran] in return for a wrongly imprisoned hostage, however in the end the French government agreed to this.

As long as Iran, its allies, and the rest of the undecided countries know that no effective sanctions will be imposed against the actions and violations of Tehran, things will only continue to get worse.

If Obama’s government does not want to undertake military adventures, are they in a position that allows them to suffer further loss of reputation in the international arena?

The US administration has been following a policy that has no connection with kind words, the promise of mediation, or the promise of talks, for the past 16 months. The Iranian trick came at a clever time, and it has confounded the Americans, who tried to encircle them by exploiting their rejection [of the deal]. The US has stressed its commitment to pursuing international sanctions against Iran; however it will be far more difficult to implement these sanctions today than it would have been last week.

Iran is the only country in the world that has occupied Obama since the first day he took office until now, and it continues to be a thorn in his side. Obama has given Ahmadinejad – despite the ongoing internal revolution that is taking place in Tehran against him – concessions beyond his wildest dreams, all of which has resulted in more uranium enrichment, more incitement of violence, and more threats.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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