Iran to Obama: Pound sand

posted at 8:48 am on November 9, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

It’s always a little embarrassing when a person woos another without having their efforts requited.  Offer to get together and chat?  No answer.  Offer an outstretched hand?  Silence.  Beg for another chance to rescue a foolish “agreement” that the intended never would have honored anyway?  The New York Times reports on the response:

The Obama administration, attempting to salvage a faltering nuclear deal with Iran, has told Iran’s leaders in back-channel messages that it is willing to allow the country to send its stockpile of enriched uranium to any of several nations, including Turkey, for temporary safekeeping, according to administration officials and diplomats involved in the exchanges.

But the overtures, made through the International Atomic Energy Agency over the past two weeks, have all been ignored, the officials said. Instead, they said, the Iranians have revived an old counterproposal: that international arms inspectors take custody of much of Iran’s fuel, but keep it on Kish, a Persian Gulf resort island that is part of Iran.

A senior Obama administration official said that proposal had been rejected because leaving the nuclear material on Iranian territory would allow for the possibility that the Iranians could evict the international inspectors at any moment. That happened in North Korea in 2003, and within months the country had converted its fuel into the material for several nuclear weapons.

The intermediary in the exchanges between Washington and Tehran has been Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the energy agency. He confirmed some of the proposals — including one to send Iran’s fuel to Turkey, which has nurtured close relations with Iran — in interviews in New York late last week.

But members of the Obama administration, in interviews over the weekend, said that they had now all but lost hope that Iran would follow through with an agreement reached in Geneva on Oct. 1 to send its fuel out of the country temporarily — buying some time for negotiations over its nuclear program.

Gee, what a shock that must have been to “members of the Obama administration,” suddenly realizing that Iran didn’t intend to “follow through with an agreement” that would have limited its pursuit of nuclear weapons!   Why, who could possibly have foreseen that?  The fact that the previous two administrations got the same result from their attempts to engage Iran, and just because the intelligence we had in hand showed the Iranians in hot pursuit of nukes doesn’t mean that gabbing on about “outstretched hands” wouldn’t suddenly bring a new dawn of rationality in Tehran!

Well, at least Barack Obama won that Nobel Peace Prize. Thank goodness something of substance came out of all that Smart Power.

I’m not sure which is more darkly humorous: the fact that the Obama administration apparently just figured this out, or that the Gray Lady reported it.  The Times also reports that Obama will wait until the end of the year to conclude that he’s been stood up.  After that?  It’s “unclear” what Obama will do.  Obama has “suggested” he’ll return to the tough sanctions that he abandoned to offer an outstretched hand.

In other words, Obama essentially lost a year that the West could ill afford to lose, and meanwhile he’s shocked, shocked to find that Iran has taken his measure.  That means Obama is eligible for the Captain Louis Renault Medal of Honor Award:

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We knew the fix was in when Present Obama and the Change Posse failed to support the Iranian anti authoritaian movement.

Lest the administration inflame relations, they deemed it best to sit on their collective hands, move to the back of the diplomatic bus and speak softly.

If Present Obama was not motivated to speak out in support of Iranians standing up against tyrants and taking their lives in their hands, it is false hope to think Present Obama will be motivated to do much of anything here besides reacting to situations as they unfold.

R Square on November 9, 2009 at 11:31 AM

Iran’s largest export, sand for the western world to pound.

ClanDerson on November 9, 2009 at 11:40 AM

I guess it’s time for Obama to call out the Iranians for making false statements.

Oh wait…that function is reserved soley for US citizens. What I meant to say was “Hey Iran…wanna come over for Thanksgiving Dinner?”

BobMbx on November 9, 2009 at 12:36 PM

It is a truly infantile notion to believe that Russia and China want to help defuse these sorts of situations. The facts simply don’t support this sort of wishful thinking.

Absolutely 100% correct and an informative post.

Baxter Greene on November 9, 2009 at 12:42 PM

by Obama (the new “honest” broker, messiah, etc.), and fail, before they can believe that their governments are doing the right thing with sanctions and military actions.

AlexB on November 9, 2009 at 11:07 AM

Your point seems to assume the general public is to stupid to know how dangerous Iran is.

Watching Obama make a fool out of himself is not going to endear the public to him or the strategy of stopping Iran.

It actually reduces Obama’s standing in the international community and reduces his standing with the general public.

The world does not need anymore confirmation that Iran is a major terrorist supporter and is on the brink of obtaining weapons that can kill millions of people.

We are to a point where serious action needs to be taken and Obama’s naive appeasement is doing nothing but providing Iran with more time and cover.

“Appearances” to the international community are going to mean squat when Iran hands off a nuclear device to Hamas/Hezbollah/Taliban/al-qaeda.

Sanctions have already been proven over and over and over to be an absolute failure.

Worrying about people’s “feelings” and “appearances” should be pretty low on the list when dealing with such a dangerous problem.

Baxter Greene on November 9, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Three hikers just charged with espionage.Lets kiss a little more Iranian **s.

LennyV on November 9, 2009 at 12:54 PM

“they had now all but lost hope that Iran would follow through with an agreement reached in Geneva on Oct. 1 to send its fuel out of the country temporarily”-NYT

Lie. There was no “agreement”:

“Iran agreed in principle yesterday to export much of its stock of enriched uranium for processing and to open its newly revealed enrichment plant to UN inspections within a fortnight…Western officials cautioned that the preliminary agreements could unravel in negotiations over the details.”
The Guardian (London) – Final Edition
October 2, 2009 Friday
Julian Borger, Geneva

There was no final agreement – the details had yet to be discussed. Iran made it very clear that there was no deal. So the details were this – the West wanted Iran to send out the majority of its enriched uranium, with a “promise” that it would be replaced by highly enriched uranium at a future date. This, after being screwed repeatedly on similar deals in the past, such as Eurodif. Imagine getting ripped off by a car dealer, then you go back there, and they insist that you pay for a car in full, and that they will deliver the car sometime in the future. What a joke.

So Iran wants to send it batchwise. Send a little, get back the enriched material, send a little more. Very reasonable. The West rejects this, and they spin it by saying that Iran rejected the initial deal. Propaganda.

dave742 on November 9, 2009 at 1:58 PM

Baxter Greene on November 9, 2009 at 12:50 PM

I disagree. The general public, particularly outside of the US, is oblivious to Iran’s connection to terrorism, Hizballah, HAMAS, their utter hatred for Israel, “death to America” chants, their attempts at hegemony over the Middle East, their relentless attempts to export their dear Islamic Revolution worldwide, their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan that is killing coalition soldiers, their flirtation with al-Qaeda before 9/11 and probably after, etc.

They don’t even know that Ahmadi-Nejad is only a mouthpiece and that the real decision maker in regards to the nuclear issue is Khameni.

So yes, all these public moves by Obama are necessary. You and me, who follow events closely, know what Iran is up to. So do all the European intelligence agencies, who are more hawkish on Iran than the CIA, by the way. There are people who are oblivious about Iran, and there are those who aren’t, yet think talking first is the better approach. Now they see that the only yield from this approach (which they believe can only be in good faith if Obama is the one doing the outreach) is more uranium.

The path is clear for the inevitable but unfortunately necessary confrontation. And China and Russia have less and less excuses to stand in the way.

AlexB on November 9, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Don`t panic people, DON`T PANIC!

I`m sure as we speak, he`s preparing another “I`m o.k., you`re o.k.” video for them to watch.

ThePrez on November 9, 2009 at 3:03 PM

What an embarassement Dear Leader has turned out to be. I knew it would be bad…but he seems to be one of the worst presidents since Jimmy the Peanut Farmer.

nyx on November 9, 2009 at 9:27 AM

And he was supposed to be an improvement over George Bush!!!! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, !!!!!!

Cybergeezer on November 9, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Don`t panic people, DON`T PANIC!

I`m sure as we speak, he`s preparing another “I`m o.k., you`re o.k.” video for them to watch.

ThePrez on November 9, 2009 at 3:03 PM

His speech sounded like he was talking into the end of a sewer pipe, today!

Cybergeezer on November 9, 2009 at 5:46 PM

The American People to Obama….POUND SAND!

nelsonknows on November 9, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Pookie’s a Suckah!!!

AH_C on November 9, 2009 at 11:26 PM