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NOW TOUTS “STRONG AND PRINCIPLED DIPLOMACY” IN THE FACE OF THREATS AGAINST ISRAEL, U.S.
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 11, 2015) — An article in the Rockford Register Star from the Associated Press dated October 24, 2007 reported that then-U.S. Senator and 2008 presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama voted against a U.S. Senate resolution deeming Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.
Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2004, soundly defeating a last-minute challenge from Republican Alan Keyes. Articles from various sources revealed that as early as 2006, Obama was considering seeking the presidency despite his public denials.
AP journalist Mike Glover reported that in a campaign mailing in Iowa, Obama denounced the Revolutionary Guard resolution, which was supported by some Democrats, including fellow Democrat primary contender Hillary Clinton, as a “conventional” but ineffective approach to dealing with one of America’s “enemies.”
The article was also published at USA Today.
Instead, Obama said that “We have to talk not just to our friends but also to our enemies. That includes Iran. That includes Syria.” Obama had criticized Clinton for supporting the resolution, which also received an affirmative vote from Illinois’s senior U.S. Senator, Richard Durbin.
Three weeks after declaring himself a presidential candidate, on March 2, 2007, speaking about then-President George W. Bush, Obama told an organization which lobbies on behalf of Israel’s interests, “One of the most profound consequences of the administration’s failed strategy in Iraq has been to strengthen Iran’s strategic position; reduce U.S. credibility and influence in the region; and place Israel and other nations friendly to the United States in greater peril.”
“While we should take no option, including military action, off the table, sustained and aggressive diplomacy combined with tough sanctions should be our primary means to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons,” Obama told the group.
In July 2007, Obama said that in contrast to Clinton, he would “meet _ without precondition _ in the first year of his presidency with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea.”
On April 17, 2008, the AP reported that during a primary debate between Hillary Clinton and Obama involving the hypothetical question of what the U.S. would do if Iran were to “obtain nuclear weapons and use them against Israel,” Clinton was quoted as having said, “An attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation by the United States,” while Obama responded, “The U.S. would take appropriate action.”
On May 23, 2008, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote:
Before the Democratic debate of July 23, Barack Obama had never expounded upon the wisdom of meeting, without precondition, with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar Assad, Hugo Chavez, Kim Jong Il or the Castro brothers. But in that debate, he was asked about doing exactly that. Unprepared, he said sure – then got fancy, declaring the Bush administration’s refusal to do so not just “ridiculous” but “a disgrace.”
After that, there was no going back. So he doubled down. What started as a gaffe became policy. By now, it has become doctrine. Yet it remains today what it was on the day he blurted it out: an absurdity.
Krauthammer’s article appeared in various publications under several titles, including “Obama, Time to Meet Reality;” “How Political Gaffes Become Policy;” and “A Gaffe, an Absurdity, and a Policy.”
On July 23, 2008, Obama pledged to “take no options off the table” to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon, including that “tougher sanctions could be imposed.”
An article by AP writer David Espo on July 26, 2008 reported Obama’s meeting with then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy during Obama’s European campaign tour, quoting him as having said that “he and Sarkozy agreed that Iran poses ‘an extraordinarily grave situation,’ and the world must send ‘a clear message to Iran to end its illicit nuclear program.'”
Espo continued, “Obama has spoken frequently of Iran on his trip, stressing that its nuclear ambitions pose a threat to Israel’s existence and threatens to destabilize the entire region.”
Also during the tour, Obama stated, “The way you know where somebody’s going is where have they been. And I’ve been with Israel for many, many years now.” Espo wrote that Obama “was confident that in several private meetings he had not left Israeli politicians with the impression that, if elected president, he would be ‘pressuring them to accept any kinds of concessions that would put their security at stake.'”
On November 7, 2008, the AP reported that then-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “congratulated Barack Obama on his election win–the first time an Iranian leader has offered such wishes to a U.S. President-elect since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.”
“An analyst said Ahmadinejad’s message was a gesture from the hard-line president that he is open to some sort of reconciliation with the US,” the AP reported.
According to the United States Institute for Peace:
A majority of the international community is at odds with Iran over its nuclear program because of its history of concealing its nuclear activities, the possible military nature of some of these activities, and its building of facilities in secret. Many of Iran’s Arab neighbors, in addition to Israel, fear an Iranian nuclear bomb and could seek their own nuclear deterrent if Iran succeeds in acquiring nuclear weapons.
…Against the backdrop of diplomatic negotiations, the U.N. Security Council passed four rounds of economic sanctions against Iran between 2006 and 2010, for its failure to suspend enrichment and cooperate adequately with the IAEA. The sanctions target entities and officials associated with the nuclear program, and Iran’s illicit banking, shipping and trading activities that support its nuclear program.
A total of six world powers, the “P5+1,” engaged over a several-year period in negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland in an attempt to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Just before the 2012 presidential election, The New York Times reported that Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, who was born in Iran, was engaged in “secret” negotiations with that nation’s leaders, a claim the Obama regime denied at the time. Jarrett had secured a job for Michelle Obama, then Robinson, at then-Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s office in 1991 and is now a senior adviser to Obama.
On November 2013, The Times of Israel reported that “The Geneva negotiations between the so-called P5+1 powers and Iran are a mere ‘facade,’ because the terms of a deal on Iran’s nuclear program have been negotiated in talks between a top adviser to President Barack Obama and a leading Iranian nuclear official that have continued in secret for more than a year.”
In accord with The New York Times’ report, Fox News’s timeline of events states that in July 2012, “U.S. and Iranian officials meet secretly in Oman to see if diplomatic progress is possible. Talks gain speed the following year, particularly when Ahmadinejad’s presidency ends.”
By August 2013, Fox reported that U.S. analysts had determined that Iran could have a nuclear weapon within a few months. Further talks were held which broke down, resumed and were then extended to June 30, 2015. After the date passed, discussions continued.
In January 2014, FrontPageMag reported that Imad Mugniyah, the mastermind behind the Beirut, Lebanon bombings which killed 220 U.S. Marines and 21 others in October 1983 was “honored” by Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif Khonsari. Mugniyah was also described as a “bin Laden mentor.”
Mugniyah was a member of a Hezbollah-related group which later “inspired Osama bin Laden,” who planned the attacks carried out 14 years ago today in Manhattan, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC which killed nearly 3,000 people.
Iran did not voluntarily come forward with the money. The country’s U.S. assets were frozen, then released in part to the relatives in 2013.
On April 15, 2015, Reuters reported that Israel expressed support of a “compromise deal” about which Obama had reportedly said that “Congress should have the power to review a nuclear deal with Iran.”
On July 14, the U.S. Treasury Department announced the consummation of the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)” designed to “provide Iran with phased sanctions relief upon verification that Iran has implemented key nuclear commitments.”
On July 27, an editorial at The Washington Post reported that two “secret side deals” between Iran and the IAEA which “no American is ever going to get to see.”
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, opposes the “deal” the Obama regime has hailed as a victory. Shortly before his re-election in March, Netanyahu traveled to Washington to address Congress directly about his strong opposition to the developing agreement, stating that Iran “will always be an enemy of America.”
In an article dated August 29, Obama was quoted as having said that those opposed to the plan are “crazies” and that strained relations between Israel and the U.S. resemble “a family feud” after which there would be “quick improvements in ties between the longtime allies once the accord is implemented.”
On September 9, 2004, a Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow, Max Boot, wrote:
Iran has trained and armed Muqtada Sadr’s militia, which has been attacking U.S. forces in Iraq. Former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani, the cleric who now heads an influential government council, makes no bones about what his country is up to. In an April sermon, he declared that the situation in Iraq posed “a threat because the wounded American beast can take enraged actions, but it is also an opportunity to teach this beast a lesson so it won’t attack another country.”
…Faced with this grave and gathering threat, John F. Kerry advocates appeasement. He recommends making a deal for Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program in return for U.S. concessions, such as helping it to build “civilian” nuclear reactors. There’s no reason to think this approach would work any better than a similar accord with North Korea in 1994. Iran has already violated a 2003 agreement with Britain, France and Germany to curtail its nuclear weapons development. The mullahs are hellbent on going nuclear…
Kerry is now Secretary of State and played a key role in negotiations with the Iranians. On July 24, Kerry said that the Iran agreement “will make the region, our friends and allies, safer. It will make the world safer … in the absence of any viable alternative.”
As the agreement was being hammered out, Iran continued to call for “death to America” as Obama “appealed to Iran to seize a historic opportunity for a nuclear deal and a better future.”
On August 5, Obama stated that if his “deal” was not approved by Congress, “America will have to attack Iran — and Israel will bear the brunt of the response.”
On Thursday, Obama met with unnamed veterans and “Gold Star mothers” who reportedly support the accord as “strong and principled diplomacy.”
That evening, the U.S. Senate was two votes short of the number of votes needed to derail the agreement, which some maintain should be considered a treaty and therefore require a two-thirds vote of approval as stated in Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.
In a private call, the Senate Democratic leader secretly assured Secretary of State John Kerry that he would back the deal, though he would keep quiet about it publicly, Democratic sources said. He promised to help deliver critical information about which Democrats to target — but Reid himself needed to let about a dozen friends, supporters and donors who were sharply critical of the deal know why he was backing it before his position became public…
Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the GOP chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and an opponent of the deal, said his Democratic friends reported to him that the White House was “breaking arms and legs” to prevent Congress from voting down the deal. And it worked, culminating in a Thursday victory where Senate Democrats filibustered a resolution to reject the deal and House Democrats secured enough support to sustain a veto, handing Obama the most far-reaching international achievement of his presidency.
Just before Thursday’s Senate vote, Bloomberg News characterized Netanyahu as having appeared “on the defensive” and having stated that he “won [the] Iran battle with Obama after all” because of “the ‘simple truth’ that more Americans agree with his Iran policy than Obama’s.”
Also on Thursday, The Washington Times reported that “…Obama found enough support in Congress to ensure survival of his nuclear deal with Iran, but he still has a steep hill to climb in convincing a skeptical American public — and Jewish voters in particular — that the agreement is in the best interests of both the U.S. and Israel.”
On August 29, CNN reported that “construction activity” at a known nuclear-development site at Parchin, Iran was noted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
On Friday, he predicted Israel’s demise within the next 25 years.
Netanyahu has now received an invitation to meet with Obama as the United Nations convenes the General Assembly later this month, although another report stated that a November meeting date is being sought.