Consider this the bookend to 48 hours of Iranian game-playing before the election. On Saturday, the New York Times reported that the US and Iran had agreed to direct negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program, purportedly fueled by the sanctions that have Iran on the brink of economic collapse. The White House vehemently denied this, and the Times began watering down the reporting almost immediately, but Republicans suspected an October surprise on the foreign-policy front just before the foreign-policy debate tonight and the election in two weeks.
If that was an October Surprise for Obama, the mullahs had a less pleasant one as a follow-up (via Weasel Zippers):
Senior Iranian parliamentary sources revealed on Saturday that the Swiss envoy to Tehran has quoted US President Barack Obama as acknowledging Iran’s nuclear rights.
Swiss Ambassador to Tehran Livia Leu Agosti attended a meeting with senior Iranian foreign ministry officials a few days ago to submit a letter from the US president to Tehran leaders.
Vice-Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Hossein Ebrahimi told FNA that during the meeting, Agosti had told the Iranian officials that President Barack Obama recognizes Iran’s right of access and use of the nuclear technology.
“There are a couple of points with regard to this (US) message (to Iran),” Ebrahimi said and added, “Firstly, during the session to submit the message, the Swiss ambassador to Tehran quoted the US president as saying that ‘we (the US) recognize your nuclear rights’.”
As regards the second issue, the lawmaker said that the Swiss diplomat had also quoted Obama as saying that “I didn’t want to impose sanctions on your central bank but I had no options but to approve it since a Congress majority had approved the decision.”
This comes from the mullahcracy’s state-run media, so it’s nothing more than a propaganda outfit that passes for a wire service from Tehran. They don’t report anything that doesn’t serve the interests of the mullahs. In this case, their key takeaway isn’t the fact that the US acknowledged their nuclear rights; we’ve acknowledged that much all along, as long as Iran works within the Non-Proliferation Treaty and gives full access to the IAEA and its inspectors. Their key message is in the last paragraph of the excerpt, which paints Obama as weak and inclined to cave on the Iranian nuclear extortion.
Now, we could wave that around to prove that Obama’s weak on Iran, but honestly … no one can run with a quote from Fars with a straight face. This is the same outfit that a month ago picked up a story from the Onion as legitimate news, reporting that more Americans would vote for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than Barack Obama for President in the US. That lack of credibility extends to both stories.
In fact, I’d say that My Cousin Vinnie gives us the best advice possible when it comes to the credibility of the Iranian regime and its mouthpieces (NSFW):