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July 16, 2015 11:20 am

Don’t Buy Obama’s False Argument About Reagan on Iran Nuclear Deal

avatar by Arik Elman

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The Iranian nuclear program's water reactor at Arak. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Iranian nuclear program’s water reactor at Arak. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In his “totally-not-antisemitic” play about the comeuppance of an evil Jew, Shakespeare told us that “the devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” Same goes with Barack Obama quoting or mentioning Ronald Reagan. In his post-deal interview with Thomas Friedman, trying to explain why, instead of inflicting an easy defeat on a terrorist theocracy, he instead chose to allow it to get very rich and then also to rearm, Obama said:

I have a lot of differences with Ronald Reagan, but where I completely admire him was his recognition that if you were able to verify an agreement that [was negotiated] with the evil empire that was hellbent on our destruction and was a far greater existential threat to us than Iran will ever be, then it would be worth doing.

Obama seems to forget that in Reagan’s time, the Soviet leadership wasn’t pursuing the destruction of the United States – neither rhetorically, nor operationally. Reagan came to power as the USSR entered its terminal economic decline, and the Soviet Politburo, having abandoned the revolutionary dreams of old, was interested only in the survival of the regime. For the USSR, the nuclear reduction agreements were first and foremost a path to cutting the enormous costs of the military-industrial complex that was sucking all life from an enfeebled Soviet economy.

In fact, already after the death of Stalin, the USSR had become a classic status quo power, determined only to protect the sphere of interests it acquired after World War 2. Nor was it eager for direct confrontations with the West, except by proxy in the Third World. Evil Empire it was, but the evil was mostly for internal consumption.

No comparison can be made between the USSR at the time of Reagan and Iran today. Iran is not a status quo power – indeed, its current regime is based on a commitment to destroy the status quo, to create a Shia empire that will serve as a basis for a true Jihad. Iran doesn’t have a gut feeling that it has lost its ideological fight – the opposite is true. Iranian leaders believe that they are winning – against the Sunnis, the Jews, and the West. Iran has no compunction to break the rules, because it does not fear the costs and now has no economic incentive to follow the rules either.

Unlike the Soviets with Reagan, the Iranians will use any opportunity to lie, cheat, and deceive the “international community” in order to prepare for a breakout to a bomb by the time Obama leaves the Oval Office. The laughable inspections regime, which gives Iranians ample opportunities to build a parallel military nuclear program under the nose of the West, will make their job only too easy.

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  • Julian Clovelley

    So how about putting cards on the table

    Rightly or wrongly Israel never speaks about its own nuclear weapons program – which is part of the problem – both the program itself and ignorance of it

    One should not have to go to outside sources to get the essential information

    But here is is, and it has been on line for eighteen months

    The header to the article says “Israel has been stealing nuclear secrets and covertly making bombs since the 1950s. And western governments, including Britain and the US, turn a blind eye. But how can we expect Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions if the Israelis won’t come clean?”

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter – it is a fair question?

    • Mandrake

      Julian: Israel has never threatened to wipe out any country. Since its creation, Israel has been fighting for her survival. Her nuclear arsenal has been for deterrence and survival only. Please do not place Micky Mouse cards over the table or get more education.

    • Stan

      Julian: The acquisition of nuclear weapons by a state needs to be considered on a case by case basis – there is no basic human right for a state to acquire them.
      Iran, as a state in question, is currently demonstrating that it is intent on the violent expansion of its ideology and influence to all regimes on a global basis on the basis of its brand of Islamic fundamentalism (which just so happens to be different from the majority of Muslims in the region) and is hoping to acquire nuclear weapons to use as a nuclear umbrella, which will enable it to embolden its external aggression.
      Israel is said to already have nuclear weapons which provide it with the means to ensure its survival in a hostile environment of total onslaught (of which you are part) by its extremist neighbours who swear by its destruction, have attacked it many times, and refuse to compromise in any way.
      Sweden and Finland are said to be pursuing the acquisition of mega-nuclear weapons – but who gives a fuck and why would anyone?

    • Jaque Bauer

      Your premise that Israel is part of the problem is either written out of total ignorance, or you are a paid agent of Iran assigned to publish Iranian propaganda wherever you can.

  • Martin Nkvack

    In his quote of Reagan,Obama casually uses the word “verify”. One of the glaring problems in the Iran agreement,is the absence of real mechanism to ” verify”.

    • shloime

      verification isn’t the only thing wrong with obama’s “magnum opus”. in fact, iran has not made a concession on any of the issues stated by the security council, enrichment, compliance with nnpt obligations, missile development, or sponsorship of terrorism. they will not destroy or dismantle even a single centrifuge, or dismantle a single (illegal) facility. nor will they stop construction of the arak plutonium reactor, which has no peaceful purpose, or even stop building longer range missiles.

      in exchange for this, obama has already eased sanctions, and will lift the remainder asap. it’s hard work getting a second nobel peace prize.

  • Alan Bly

    We have to face it: Obama is what he is and will not change. He has a firm belief that the Third World is the future and does not see the USA as being anything more than just another country. This isn’t to say that we are better than everyone else…but we are better than many and we shouldn’t forfeit all the accomplishment that we’ve accrued since our inception as a country. Obama has unique and even oddball basic beliefs that will fail as sure as his term ends in a year plus. He will defend them with arrogance, deception and stubbornness so his We can only hope that the damage he’s done and will continue to do till the end will be temporary. Frankly, it’s just about unimaginable that whoever follows can be even nearly as detrimental to the good of the country.

  • Robert Clack

    We’ve missed so many easy opportunities to show we have some spine: Put the defensive missiles in Poland, conduct Navy exercises with allies Japan and Taiwan, wipe out Assad’s air force, shoot up a taunting Iranian gunboat, shoot down a North Korean missile that goes anywhere near Japan, arm the Kurds, help the Ukraine, help the good guys in Egypt. Obama and Kerry can’t decide who the good guys are, us or the bloodthirsty fiends of the world. War that we won’t engage on the peripheries will come to us where we live.

    • shloime

      but it isn’t always about shooting – obama eased off the sanctions in 2013, before rouhani could offer any concessions at all. just doing nothing would have been more effective than what he actually did.

      when a player throws away a winning hand, you have to wonder why.

  • Stan Flamer

    Obama’s comment regarding the USSR: “the evil empire that was hellbent on our destruction and was a far greater existential threat to us than Iran will ever be” should be taken at face value. That is, he sees no threat to the US. Never mind Israel or anyone else.

  • Mr Obama has a very selective forgettery, witness his Christian Crusades remarks.

  • Cynthia

    Obama can cite scripture when it serves his purpose, i agree. The problem for Obama, is that he never quotes it with accuracy either in text or in context, so i never listen to him anyway. There is a plan that God is working out on this earth for all of us, and Obama may be part of that plan, Obama isn’t even aware that he speaks like a dragon.


    “instead of inflicting an easy defeat on a terrorist theocracy”?

    Are you serious? You think the regime will fall because they do not get a deal? Do you really know what you are talking about? Regimes fall (from the Old Kingdom in France to the Soviet Union) when the regime tries to reform itself, but still try to hold onto power. The attempt to reform usually breaks the “dike” of repression. Turning down a deal with Iran will solidify the current regime’s strangle hold.

    Then why oppose the deal? If the deal falls through, I ran will be on the point of getting the bomb. Netanyahu wants that because that will force the US to stop Iran by bombing it. Of course that will set off a war with unknown consequences. But Netanyahu thinks he can handle it.

    • Stan

      Jack: We all know that the quick and easy solution would have been for us all to wake up 1 morning to read on the news that the above and below ground vast nuclear facilities of the Islamic Fundamentalist regime of Iran have disappeared overnight in a puff-of-smoke.
      Recovery and re-building of this vast undertaking that currently totals in the hundreds of trillions of dollars would be well beyond the reach and pockets of the currently sanctioned regime – ending this evil and devilish pursuit forever.
      Today, to the USA – Iran is nothing more than a tasty tit-bit, but left to fester, allowed to spread under a nuclear umbrella, and nurtured by a naïve incompetent white house – who knows where Iran and America will wind up.

  • Hopefully the U.S. Senate will have the good sense to override President Obama’s promised veto of his deeply flawed Iranian nuclear agreement. And the only thing President Obama has in common with President Reagan, is that he was elected to a second term.

  • S B Lewis Lewis Family Farm, Essex, New York Pending Approval
    The significance of this deal cannot be exaggerated.

    For The United States to endorse, not to mention form, any deal must be bullet proof.

    It is not a question of maybe. We must be certain.

    This is akin to signing a deal with Hitler and Japan pre WW II.

    We cannot be wrong about this one. We had MAD, mutually assured destruction, with the USSR for decades with The Cold War. Moscow had nuclear weapons, the world was held hostage. That status quo was intolerable.

    There is no MAD with Iran. The clerics and others have demonstrated beyond question their willingness to die. They want to die.

    These are not Hitler’s Nazis. Incredibly, the folks in Iran’s hard line leadership are suicidal satanic religious psychotic nihilists. They are not elected.

    They will defy their own people or any treaty. They are the world’s leading sponsors of terror. Russia and China seem not to understand fully what this means.

    The nations of the mideast, Saudi Arabia and others, and Israel, cry out for reason. They have the most to lose….

    Nuclear war, a nuclear race in the mideast led by suicidal terrorists, is the world’s worst nightmare. We have enough problems to solve as a planet, there is no excuse for allowing this one to blossom. We must end it now.

    Iran must be stripped of nuclear power in its entirety. There can be no treaty that leaves ambiguity to Iran’s state as a nuclear power.

    Iran must be stripped of nuclear and thoroughly policed.

    They leave the world no choice.

    • shloime

      “regime change” is quicker, easier, and surer.

  • art

    Obama and his friends will lie and go to any depth for their own purposes. American Jews better wake up and pressure their congress people, especially the Democrats. Chuck Shumer must understand that his future depends on his opposition to Obama

  • what ever happened // Judge a person//country not by their words but their deeds and u will not be led astray