No, no, no. Listen: If, in the name of exhausting all non-military options, we need to keep up the farce a bit longer of pretending that Iran might be convinced to abandon its bomb project, fine. Keep talking. Plenty of military experts think even an attack on their nuclear infrastructure will do little more than slow the program down for a few years. But if we’re going to go on with this charade, let’s please have the dignity not to comply with the regime’s Orwellian lie that it was “elected” and therefore, by implication, is legitimate. For one thing, Ahmadinejad wasn’t elected; the vote was rigged. For another thing, even if it wasn’t rigged, Ahmadinejad doesn’t hold ultimate power. Khamenei, the supreme leader, does. One of the core functions of velayat e-faqih is to keep power in the hands of Shiite clerics, particularly the theocrat-in-chief, and away from the people. If the regime was “elected,” why do Iranians chant “Marg bar diktador”?
Besides, since when are elections some touchstone of whether the U.S. will talk to a foreign government? Our bestest buds the Saudis aren’t fans of democracy, but the White House has been very careful not to hold that against them. Especially after American allies started toppling during the Arab Spring.
“Iran is a country with a government that was elected and that sits in the United Nations,” Kerry said in France standing alongside French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. “And it is important for us to deal with nation-states in a way that acts in the best interests of all of us in the world.”
The comment is similar to what Hagel said on Jan. 31 when he told the Senate Armed Services Committee Iran was “an elected, legitimate government, whether we agree or not.”…
Hagel had to walk back his declaration that Iran was “an elected, legitimate government” after being challenged in the hearing by Democratic New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
“I can understand if you meant it’s a legal entity that has international relations and has diplomatic relations, that is a member of the UN, I do not see Iran or the Iranian government as a legitimate government, and I’d like your thoughts on that,” Gillibrand said.
Hagel eventually walked it back, just as he did every third sentence he uttered at his confirmation hearing a few weeks ago. I don’t hold what he said about Iran against him since he does, after all, seem to be a bit “slow,” but what’s Kerry’s excuse? Let’s compromise: From now on, only one of the two cabinet members in charge of U.S. foreign policy is officially allowed to help the mullahs out with their Big Lie. Kerry and Hagel can take turns if they like. Deal?
Now, go read this and see for yourself how swell the effort to talk Iran down from the nuclear ledge is going.