Report: Obama offered to meet with Iranian president at UN — and was rejected

posted at 4:41 pm on September 24, 2013 by Allahpundit

As soon as I saw the first news about it on Twitter, I guessed it was Iran that torpedoed the meeting, not O. Plain and simple: Which side can less afford to blow off the other at this point? Obama just backed down from a strike on Iran’s chief client in Damascus because he’s afraid to accept the political risk at home of an attack backfiring somehow when the public’s already war-weary. An attack on Iran would be waaaay riskier than an attack on Assad, and with Russia now offering to play pretend peacebroker between the U.S. and its enemies in the Middle East, diplomacy with Tehran is both more attractive and more politically possible for the White House than it’s been in ages. O would love to strike a sham deal on Iranian nukes a la Syria’s chemical weapons that lets him kinda sorta save face while avoiding a military attack, even if it ends up achieving little by way of actual disarmament. (Which is not to say that he’ll refuse to approve an Israeli attack on Iran, at least, if it comes to that.) That being so, of course Obama was eager to shake Rouhani’s hand. Of course he was.

In which case, if you’re Iran, with the president of the United States diminished and less of a military threat than he’s been in a long time, how do you resist a snub?

A potential encounter at the United Nations between U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani failed to take place on Tuesday as the Iranians indicated it was too complicated, senior Obama administration officials said.

“There will be no meeting,” one official said.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters that Obama had been open to a meeting with Rouhani while both were in New York for U.N. activities but the Iranians were not ready to have an encounter at the presidential level.

So, once again, instead of keeping its cards close to the vest in order to minimize the risk of embarrassment if things go badly (see, e.g., the “red line”), the White House chatted up the possibility of an earth-shaking face-to-face between O and Khamenei’s new figurehead “president” and now has to explain why Iran didn’t feel like making it happen. Meanwhile, if you’re one of the people who’s excited about Rouhani’s alleged moderation, you’ve got two scenarios to grapple with here. Either (a) he’s not a moderate at all and made the decision to snub O himself or (b) he is a moderate but is so powerless within the regime that he can’t get away with so much as a handshake with Obama. As circumstantial evidence for the second theory (although it’s not inconsistent with the first), the Revolutionary Guard issued a statement on Sunday warning vaguely that Iran’s “diplomatic apparatus” should beware of White House officials. Maybe that was Rouhani’s cue to “rethink” any chummy gestures towards The One. Whatever his precise place in Iran’s hierarchy, it’s certainly below the IRGC’s.

On Twitter, Jeffrey Goldberg argues that the snub actually shows, er, Iran’s weakness, not Obama’s:

I.e. the snub exposes Iran’s hot air about negotiations for the blather it is, and now the U.S. and EU can huddle on more drastic action on nukes. Two problems with that, though. One: Why would anyone think this is Obama’s only shot at direct diplomacy? He’ll try again. The weakness of his position, as I described above, doesn’t change because Rouhani ducked him. In fact, Kerry is still set to meet with Iran’s foreign minister face-to-face at the UN later this week. That’s clever of the Iranians — embarrass O but keep stringing America along by increasing diplomacy in other ways. Two: Rouhani could communicate privately that he wanted to meet with Obama, whether that’s true or not, but that it was more reactionary elements in Iran like the IRGC that blocked him for now. That good cop/bad cop dynamic could be useful for Iran; they’re almost certainly practicing a version of it right now with all of Rouhani’s talk lately about moderation. Have him out front pleading with western diplomats that there are real moderate forces in Iran whom he represents, but in order to empower them the west needs to be even more patient with Iran and dedicated to diplomacy than it has been lately. And meanwhile Khamenei and the IRGC go about their bomb-building business.

Speaking of the glories of diplomacy, a Syrian defector tells David Ignatius that Assad has been busy lately moving his chemical weapons towards Iraq and Lebanon. Exit quotation from a Lebanese columnist: “[Assad] is also fortunate because there is an American president who has no appetite for war and because Russia wants to settle its scores with America (via Syria).”


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I guessed it was Iran that torpedoed the meeting, not O.

Oh, absolutely. Obama’s desperate for a diplomatic “victory” with his Syria policy in ruins.

Doomberg on September 24, 2013 at 4:43 PM

God, these people are so friggen clueless. So MSM, is this still “historic”?

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM

So MSM, is this still “historic”?

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Sure is. Not even Carter got his ass handed to him like this.

CurtZHP on September 24, 2013 at 4:46 PM

He planned it that way so it’s triple style points, racists.

rogerb on September 24, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Poor baby.

itsspideyman on September 24, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Oh, absolutely. Obama’s desperate for a diplomatic “victory” with his Syria policy in ruins.

Doomberg on September 24, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Not to mention the buffoon’s backing of the Muslim Brotherhood, in Egypt.

The only “victory” that the Commie can embrace – is tyranny, here.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Obama= Charlie Brown
Iran = Lucy
Diplomacy = Football

portlandon on September 24, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Pee Wee Herman comes to mind

VegasRick on September 24, 2013 at 4:50 PM

PBO’s legacy:

Forever having his alligator mouth being reintroduced to his candy azz.

SteveInRTP on September 24, 2013 at 4:52 PM

And Iran, Iran so far away.
I just ran, Iran all night and day.
I couldn’t get away.

O Flock of Seagulls

Flange on September 24, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Michael Ramirez hits the point home with today’s cartoon….

This isn’t about Iran’s weakness – that’s laughable. It’s about the fecklessness and incompetence of this President – who is making Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain look like foreign policy geniuses.

Now if only the GOP Congressional leadership had the same fortitude towards the President as foreign leaders do.

Athos on September 24, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Jay Carney – Rohani is afraid of that rugged man in the white house

DanMan on September 24, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Schadenfreude pure.

Watch this, for a real man/leader on display, without a prompter.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 4:53 PM

You can all have some of my schadenfreude, gratis :)

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 4:54 PM

Psych

talkingpoints on September 24, 2013 at 4:55 PM

what a pussy

burserker on September 24, 2013 at 4:55 PM

PBO’s legacy:

Forever having his alligator mouth being reintroduced to his candy azz.

way to go Steve!

DanMan on September 24, 2013 at 4:56 PM

a Syrian defector tells David Ignatius that Assad has been busy lately moving his chemical weapons towards Iraq and Lebanon.

“Goin’ home!”

Del Dolemonte on September 24, 2013 at 4:56 PM

God, these people are so friggen clueless. So MSM, is this still “historic”?

NotCoach on September 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Bingo!!

Spot on!

ToddPA on September 24, 2013 at 4:57 PM

God how embarrassing having this as a president.
Won’t negotiate with republicans but willing to be humiliated by Iranian clerics.

We are in soooooo screwed.

ouldbollix on September 24, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Goldberg: “Obama gets to say to the Europeans, Look, the guy won’t even shake my hand. They’re not ready for this.”

And the European response will be that we need to wait until they’re ready. E.g. we can’t do anything harsh or the hardliners will be rewarded.

Same old same old….

SteveMG on September 24, 2013 at 4:58 PM

On Twitter, Jeffrey Goldberg argues that the snub actually shows, er, Iran’s weakness, not Obama’s:

Delusional…intoxicated on obama-shit, not Beluga caviar, fool…

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Putin has mocked him, Assad is blowing him off and now Brazil and Iran have snubbed him. The Whine wanted to weaken America abroad, but really, all he’s done is weaken himself.

President Putz.

rbj on September 24, 2013 at 4:58 PM

That being so, of course Obama was eager to shake Rouhani’s hand. Of course he was.

So we’ll never know which would have accompanied the handshake: a head bow OR a full upper-body bow.

MAAAAAAN it must have been hard for Rouhani to turn down a pic of himself and Obowma.

Marcola on September 24, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Historic

forest on September 24, 2013 at 4:59 PM

President Putz.

rbj on September 24, 2013 at 4:58 PM

FIFY… nothing presidential there.

SteveInRTP on September 24, 2013 at 5:00 PM

If this stuff continues, Obama’s gonna need a Corpseman.

OhEssYouCowboys on September 24, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Obama= Charlie Brown
Iran = Lucy
Diplomacy = Football

portlandon on September 24, 2013 at 4:50 PM

That would make a great headline: “Charlie Brown Obama Gets Lucy-ed by Iran”

Mallard T. Drake on September 24, 2013 at 5:01 PM

At least we don’t have to witness him bowing to the Iranian diplomats.

Mallard T. Drake on September 24, 2013 at 5:01 PM

LOL, maybe they aren’t impressed. Not many people are.

Lonetown on September 24, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Well, the Iranian Film Ministry has been chomping at the bit
to do a rebuttal to ARGO…..now thay have their material…

ToddPA on September 24, 2013 at 5:09 PM

So, Israel demolishing Iran’s nuke facilities by end of this year?

riddick on September 24, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Ok so much for smart power. What’s the foreign policy initiative to get the world to love us?

jaywemm on September 24, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Gays in Iran hit hardest.

fogw on September 24, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Why should Iran want to meet with this feckless loser, The puss admits he’s even afraid of his wife…! He should be. Moochel has bigger cajones than he does.

Kuffar on September 24, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Sounds like Putin has been advising the Iranians on how to deal with the REB.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2013 at 5:15 PM

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OmahaConservative on September 24, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Why didn’t O work out the “will they/won’t they” meet in private, instead of hanging out on a limb publicly. Isn’t that the way diplomacy is done? You work out the details behind the scene, then look like the good guy/smart guy/hero in public.

Sigh. It’s still amateur hour at the WH into year 5. Do these people never LEARN?

Mayday on September 24, 2013 at 5:16 PM

So far he has continued the Bush policy of standing idly by while Iran builds the bomb? Weak.

kunegetikos on September 24, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Sounds like Putin has been advising the Iranians on how to deal with the REB.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Oh, boy goody!! 3 1/2 more years of America being diminished.
Obama has done his job.

redguy on September 24, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Oh, the poor Rodeo Clown media. What to do, what to do. Cover Cruz’s epic speech to cover up the Rodeo Clown having his narcissistic face once more shoved into the playground dirt by one of the world’s tyrants? Or ignore Cruz and risk having little Barry’s ass-kicking at the hands of the Iranians today bubble up to the top of the news cycle. What to do, what to do…

Rational Thought on September 24, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 5:22 PM

“You love me, you really love me” NOT!

I guess this is what he meant by “fundamentally changing” the country.
The nominal “Leader of the Free World” asks for a meeting with a tin-pot president, and gets rejected.

Earth to Ear Leader: Everything that the Mullahs say about their nuclear program, and politics in the ME, is a lie! If you don’t understand that, you need to resign and see if you can reclaim your seat in the University of Chicago faculty lounge, because you’re a stinking disaster in your current one.

Another Drew on September 24, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Obama continues to diminish the office he holds. We’re going to need Hercules to be elected to fix this gawd awful mess he’s created. What a farking LOSER.

/Oh, and if you don’t shake his hand – its cuz you are rrrrrrrracist.

Key West Reader on September 24, 2013 at 5:28 PM

On topic, all is…RP is helping out Ted Cruz.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Sounds like Putin has been advising the Iranians on how to deal with the REB.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Yep… they’re bouncing him around and stretching him out and throwing him against the wall… Just like playing with a wad of silly putty.

/embarrassing for him

Key West Reader on September 24, 2013 at 5:30 PM

So, once again, instead of keeping its cards close to the vest in order to minimize the risk of embarrassment if things go badly (see, e.g., the “red line”), the White House chatted up the possibility of an earth-shaking face-to-face between O and Khamenei’s new figurehead “president” and now has to explain why Iran didn’t feel like making it happen.

One more example of just how inept this administration is when it comes to foreign policy.

Foreign policy was the kid that Obama kept locked up and ignored in the closet under the stairs for four years. Finally the kid is out in the open and Obama doesn’t have a clue what to do.

Happy Nomad on September 24, 2013 at 5:34 PM

What a FOOL. Being played like a fiddle. This pantload has done so much to lower the planet’s respect for America. Worse than Jimmah Carter.

rjoco1 on September 24, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Why didn’t O work out the “will they/won’t they” meet in private, instead of hanging out on a limb publicly.

Mayday on September 24, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Because Captain Kickass all but promised he was going to bring peace to the middle east in his speech at the UN today. The optics of the POTUS hugging the representative of one of this nation’s biggest enemies would further that concept. I suspect the idea of a meeting was leaked in an attempt to pressure Iran to agree.

At this point, I’m looking for an announcement that he’s asked Kim Jun Un for a pick-up game of basketball followed by a slumber party in the East Room.

Happy Nomad on September 24, 2013 at 5:38 PM

A potential encounter at the United Nations between U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani failed to take place on Tuesday as the Iranians indicated it was too complicated,

Of course it’s ‘complicated’. You have to rehearse the lines you’re going to use. It’s not easy to string together a bunch of diplomatic weasel words on just a few minutes notice.

Besides, it just makes Obama WANT THE MEETING THAT MUCH MORE.

GarandFan on September 24, 2013 at 5:38 PM

What do you expect from a president who is afraid of his wife?

Philly on September 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Around the world our enemies’ leaders are showing up obama. I appreciate their intelligence.

GaltBlvnAtty on September 24, 2013 at 5:42 PM

What do you expect from a president who is afraid of his wife?

Philly on September 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

If you were married to “that” wouldn’t you have just a bit of fear?

/just saying

Key West Reader on September 24, 2013 at 5:45 PM

the Iranians indicated it was too complicated

IOW, send someone smarter next time.

antipc on September 24, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Obama got rope-a-doped again. LOL.

Putin, Assad and the Iranians have started a game of “Obama is da fool”.

Next up, Putin will ask Obama to pull his finger…

albill on September 24, 2013 at 5:55 PM

This insulting snub is really embarrassing for Obama. There have been pundits arguing that meeting with the US President is still a big deal and confers prestige. This rejections says that the US president is of no account, basically a nobody. Only Obama could bring the US presidency to this state.

Chessplayer on September 24, 2013 at 5:58 PM

I’m sure the President of Iran is much too busy to meet with every third-world dictator.

RoadRunner on September 24, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Shorter Rouhani = “You’re likable enough, Barack…”

bobnox on September 24, 2013 at 6:01 PM

What. A. Loser!

MPan on September 24, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Awkward! But I’m sure by the time CNN and the rest tell the low info voters about it. Obama will be a hero.

petunia on September 24, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Only the bi-sexuals are worthy of a meeting in the WH, yesterday! No wonder the Iranians won’t meet with him at the UN, today! This President is a freak!

Oh, for the simplicity of Jimmah Cattah! Excuse the spelling.

tomshup on September 24, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Just when I thought Obama couldn’t humiliate us more.

John the Libertarian on September 24, 2013 at 6:05 PM

She nailed him.

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 6:06 PM

The Fake in Chief

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 6:10 PM

He’s a fake and a flake, but he got reelected. God help us over the next 3+ years.

GaltBlvnAtty on September 24, 2013 at 6:12 PM

World: “This is what weakness looks like.”

US MSM: “What meeting?”

NickelAndDime on September 24, 2013 at 6:17 PM

And Iran, Iran so far away.
I just ran, Iran all night and day.
I couldn’t get away.

O Flock of Seagulls

Flange on September 24, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Thank you…. I needed the chuckle.

tru2tx on September 24, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Did Rowhani’s foot make as big an imprint as Putin’s on Obama’s backside?

Not yet but he ain’t done with our spine of steel president.

jukin3 on September 24, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Sigh. It’s still amateur hour at the WH into year 5. Do these people never LEARN?

Mayday on September 24, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Sometimes I really miss the Obamateurism of the Hour.

AesopFan on September 24, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Why didn’t O work out the “will they/won’t they” meet in private, instead of hanging out on a limb publicly.

Mayday on September 24, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Because he’s accustomed to tossing out his brilliant strategies off-the-cuff, half-baked, and letting the media carry the ball for him.

(His red-line policy with Syria, Sen. Obama, D-IL spouting the promise of universal health care during his first term, etc, etc)

He still hasn’t figured out that this only works with his flying monkeys in the US media. The rest of the world is glad to let him hang.

timmytee on September 24, 2013 at 6:46 PM

“[Assad] is also fortunate because there is an American president who has no appetite for war and because Russia wants to settle its his father’s scores with America (via Syria).

wytshus on September 24, 2013 at 6:46 PM

Iran won’t talk to Obama. Gee should have seen that one coming.
First the esteem of Iran in the world continues to grow with the speeches of their new president.
Obama gets the world on the edge of WWIII with his stupid ego. The world unites to let him off. Before the dust settles he announces that his CIA has been shipping weapons to the rebels. This also means we already have boots on the ground, you know those boots from Benghazi. Then when the NEW President of Iran said that he would like to open talks. President Obama said that “HIS” sanctions are working and he has brought them to their knees. What an absurd policy maker. Please someone tell us how to get minimize him so he can do no more damage.

jpcpt03 on September 24, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Ruh roh.

You mean the handshake that MSM predicted was going to halt the rising of the seas and usher in a new era of dialogue and peace… never… er, uhhh… never materialized?

After Obama in his UN speech threw all those roses at the feet of Rouhani, while begging for a ‘reset’, Rouhani said… “ummm, get lost”?

Oh nooooes, why do they hate us so much?

petefrt on September 24, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Kraut got it right on O’Reilly: Obama vis-vis Iran made a wimp of himself before the UN. A wimp. Blames his own inaction, his own failure of leadership on the UN, which everyone knows is effete. Obama showed himself to be total wuss.

petefrt on September 24, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Meanwhile, if you’re one of the people who’s excited about Rouhani’s alleged moderation, you’ve got two scenarios to grapple with here. Either (a) he’s not a moderate at all and made the decision to snub O himself or (b) he is a moderate but is so powerless within the regime that he can’t get away with so much as a handshake with Obama.

Rouhani is a Twelver. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be a leader in Iran today.

The definition of a “moderate Twelver” is “one who believes they should verify exactly which well in Qom the Twelfth Imam is in, before nuking everything within reach to convince him to come out and lead them in the Final Jihad against everybody else on Earth.”

The real “moderates” in Iran were “purged” over three decades ago by Khomeini almost immediately after he seized power. “Purged”, BTW, sounds nicer than “beheaded, shot, hanged, and/or two or more of the above in the main square in Teheran at noon”. Which, in case you don’t remember, went on for the better part of four years just to make sure he got all the “moderates”.

Today, the “moderate” leadership is reduced to doing it to gays, women who violate dress codes, kids who listen to music (any music- their version of Islam considers all of it evil), anyone with “unofficial” contact with anyone outside of Iran, anyone owning a dog, and a laundry list of other “offenses” too long to quote here.

The trouble is, to The One and his minions, this looks like moderation.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 24, 2013 at 8:40 PM

That being so, of course Obama was eager to shake Rouhani’s hand. Of course he was.

So we’ll never know which would have accompanied the handshake: a head bow OR a full upper-body bow.

Marcola on September 24, 2013 at 4:58 PM

That was my first thought too, but I think by now he’s ready for the full Persian kowtow that so disgusted Alexander’s men.

Tzetzes on September 24, 2013 at 8:58 PM

What do you expect from a president who is afraid of his wife?

Philly on September 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

If you were married to “that” wouldn’t you have just a bit of fear?

/just saying

Key West Reader on September 24, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Well, you do know that she could rip his arms off, right?

justltl on September 24, 2013 at 9:31 PM

What do you expect from a president who is afraid of his wife?

Philly on September 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

If you were married to “that” wouldn’t you have just a bit of fear?

/just saying

Key West Reader on September 24, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Well, you do know that she could rip his arms off, right?

justltl on September 24, 2013 at 9:31 PM

The SOB lives with that, and Mother in Law Robinson, and Valerie Jarrett. Little wonder he sits with his legs crossed.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Obama is a fking reject.

Murphy9 on September 24, 2013 at 10:45 PM

But but but but…………….but ……….. I’m the NICE GUY! ……I’m not a cowboy like Booosh!

Herb on September 25, 2013 at 8:05 AM