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November 13, 2013 9:51 am

Seven Reasons Why Obama Isn’t Serious About Stopping Iran Nukes

avatar by Morton A. Klein and Daniel Mandel

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President Obama on PBS. Photo: Screenshot.

Before entering the White House, President Barack Obama promised repeatedly to do “everything, everything” to prevent the Iranian regime obtaining nuclear weapons. Upon closer examination, one sees this promise is as true as his statements that Americans can keep their healthcare plans and that an unknown anti-Muslim video caused the terrorist slaughter of Americans in Benghazi. Why? For at least seven reasons.

First, last weekend, the Obama Administration sought to finalize a deal with Iran that would enable Tehran to continue operating its plutonium reactor, retain all its centrifuges and maintain uranium enrichment program to 3.5% — enough, given Iran’s recent, hugely expanded number of centrifuges, to become a “break-out” nuclear state. The previous week, Obama urged the U.S. Senate not to impose new sanctions and American Jewish leaders to stop asking Congress for them.

Second, contrary to its declared policy, Obama has revealed a willingness to live with a nuclear Iran. In July 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. would extend a “missile shield” over the Middle East if Tehran went nuclear. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel argued for years before his confirmation in 2013 that the U.S. should repudiate both military and economic measures to stop Iran.

Both Clinton and Hagel subsequently reversed their positions when they attracted controversy, but doubts remain. After all, why speak of containment, why appoint as Defense Secretary one who supports containment, if that’s not the actual policy? This might also explain why, during his confirmation hearings, Hagel blurted out that he supported Obama’s policy of containment (before an aide rushed up to whisper to him that the Administration opposed containment).

Third, Obama repeatedly pressures Israel into not striking Iran, despite verbally affirming its right to do so if its security dictates it. Vice-President Joseph Biden has warned Israel against it, as has Obama’s hand-picked Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey. There was nothing here about what Obama has called Israel’s “sovereign right to make its own decisions.”

Fourth, Obama has a disturbing record on Iran sanctions. For over a year after entering office, he prohibited a Congressional vote on new sanctions. The 2010 UN Security Council sanctions President Obama supported did not cover Iran’s vital oil, financial and insurance sectors and included huge exemptions for numerous countries, like China, which has huge contracts in Iran’s energy sector developing oil refineries, and Russia, which supplies S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran. Obama sought to torpedo or weaken new and stronger Congressional sanctions on Iran, even after these had been softened at his request, leading Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, topublicly and angrily criticize the Administration.

In his 2012 AIPAC speech, President Obama took credit for imposing sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank. Yet, not only had he not implemented these sanctions at the time but he tried to slow their passage and dilute their strength. Now, when Iran has made no concessions at all but agreed to further talks, Obama, instead of maintaining the pressure achieved through existing sanctions, wants to weaken them and unfreeze some Iranian assets. Already in June, he quietly lifted financial pressure, stopping the blacklisting of entities and individuals assisting Iran’s evasion of international sanctions.

Fifth, the Obama Administration has damagingly publicized Israeli military and intelligence information, including regarding Israeli preparations to deal with Iran. This has included revelations in March 2013 about Israeli use of Azerbaijan airfields with regard to a possible operation against Iran.

Sixth, Obama has not altered course, no matter how bad the news from Iran. He says nothing –not on reports that Iran may now be able produce a nuclear weapon in as little as one month; not when Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called Israel an “illegitimate, bastard state,” the U.S. “an enemy who smiles,” and insisted on no compromises on Iran’s alleged right to enrich uranium. Obama also said nothing when seeing tens of thousands of Iranians rallying in Tehran, screaming “Death to America”; nor when Tehran brutally suppressed demonstrations over rigged presidential elections in June 2009,observing only that the U.S. shouldn’t “meddle” — quite the opposite of his call in February 2011 for U.S. ally, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, to step down “now” when Egyptians demonstrated against his rule.

Seventh, Obama ignores the character and acts of the Iranian regime. He says nothing about its role in international terrorism, of which it is the leading state sponsor, its funding and arming Hamas, Hizballah, Syria and others, its murder of scores of Jews in terrorist attacks in Argentina and assassinations of numerous Iranian dissidents and human rights activists abroad. He says nothing about Iran’s drive to develop bigger and better ICBMs, which can carry nuclear weapons and in a few years will have the range to strike America.

This is not a record that inspires confidence that he means what he says when it comes to stopping Iran. Everyone concerned for the future security of the U.S. and Israel should be afraid — very afraid.

Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America. Dr. Daniel Mandel is Director of the ZOA’s Center for Middle East Policy and author of H.V. Evatt & the Establishment of Israel (London, 2004).

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  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    Lets face it: Obama is a pathological liar.

    • Fritz Kohlhaas

      Why moderate my comment? It’s the truth!

  • John

    Someone needs to tell the author that the Arak reactor is still being build so it’s not “operating” as the author suggest. I guess truth shouldn’t come in the way of the Israeli propaganda machine now can it.

    • Pearl

      oh, stick a sock in it! why don’t you travel to Israel, then any of the Arab countries, and compare living conditions, citizens rights and humanitarian actions. then you can talk propaganda.
      your ignorance is showing!

  • Esther Sarah Evans

    Obama’s just being what he is – a puppet of these Muslim extremist powers who be (not to be confused with the normal, mainly more or less practising Muslims).
    Given his already shaky position because of Obamacare etc., he is not likely to open his mouth, let alone raise a finger against Iran or any other Muslim entity.

    • Pearl

      Obama will go down in history as our WORST president in history. unfortunately, he’s succeeded in damaging the image of the USA all over the world!

  • I have been digging very deeply into the Obama agenda in regard to Iran and am convinced that he does indeed want Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. It it one devious and diabolical plan.

  • Geoffrey

    To Obama and Kerry, Israel seems to be “a small far off country of which we know little”. That is what Chamberlain said of Czechoslovakia. Does Obama care about Israel or does he want to walk away? The latter applies, I believe. He has been a disaster for his country and the West and will continue as such. He vacillates and appears to have no clear policy towards Iran and Israel. Oprah Winfrey was reported, only yesterday, thst criticism of Obama is based on his being a black man. Surely she isn’t so stupid as to be unable to see that he is simply no good at his job.

    • Pearl

      they say love is blind…maybe Oprah is blind to his shortcomings. for such an intelligent woman, I’m surprised at her.

  • Fred

    Barak Hussein Obama is the new Chamberlain. Peace in our time means pieces of Israel. He is treacherous so is Kerry.

    • Geoffrey


  • Obama is pathetic. He is destroying 2 nations at the same time. Only he is moronic enough to pull that off.

    • if he is so pathetic, and a danger to this country, as well as Israel, why isn’t there a hue and cry to impeach this unqualified disaster of a president???? shame on anyone and everyone that voted for him, not once, but twice. they’re all as stupid and gullible as they come.
      he has led this country down the lane with rose colored glasses.

  • ryan

    reason # 7:

    The Pentagon, and the American army is opposed to a regional conflict (maybe world) in ME…

    reason # 8:

    Short of full scale invasion, and occupation for decades, an attack would have catastrophic consequences (human, economic) without lasting results,

    • Beatrix17

      Baloney. Israel was in and out of Iraq and Syria destroying their nuclear facilities with hardly a whiffle. Iran would be harder but not as complex as you state. Obama wants a power in the Mideast to replace America. Turkey folded and so now he’s turning to Iran. But why would Iran attack Israel the only other nation in the Mideast that has nukes? I’m not sure if Israel has to worry.

      • Beatrix, you are the first person other than myself who has discounted the apparent danger to Israel in regards to Iran’s effort to obtain nuclear weapons.
        I am currently working on a series of essays exploring Obama’s willingness to allow the mullahs to proceed with their plan while restraining Israel from doing what needs to be done. While I certainly hope that you take the time to read the entire series as it unfolds, Part Two should be of particular interest to you.

      • ryan

        Me I state nothing!

        I said US military OPPOSE, since Richard meyers in 2003… veritally ALL US military top brass oppsed a war on iran, for the reason it won’t prevent a nuclear but would have catastrophic consequences.

        No one ask u to believe me! but you certainly have to listen Gen James Mattis CENTCOM commander:

        ” I don’t think anyone can destroy a program that has spread out from Tehran to the mountains, from underground facilities to above ground,” retired Marine Gen. James Mattis said.

        “Even successful military strikes would likely only destroy and block the entrances to hardened underground facilities, Gen. Mattis said.

        “With a good backhoe, you can open that back up,”

        Mike Mullen,
        Martin Dempsey,
        James Cartwrigth,
        William fallon,
        Michael Hayden,

        and the list go on.. have voice the same concerns.

        If iran wantr nuclear deterrence it will get it PERIODE.
        are on the same