Iran, through the WaPo Looking Glass

In recent weeks, Iran has made it abundantly clear that, while it’s ready for talks with Western powers, it will not make any concessions or compromises that might slow down its nuclear development.  To the contrary, it remains fully determined to pursue entry into the ranks of nuclear powers.

While the White House continues to tout diplomacy as the best option to rein in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, the ayatollahs make no secret of the fact that they’re expanding advanced centrifuges regardless of President Obama’s wishful rhetoric.  The only real concession has been on the U.S. side, with Washington now ready to let Iran retain a “limited” nuclear program to continue uranium enrichment.  The centrifuges will continue to spin, this time with Obama’s blessing.

Findings by the UN nuclear watchdog show that Iran is taking Washington and its Western allies for a ride. Saudi Arabia, the leader of Sunni Muslims and prime regional rival of Shiite Iran, is livid about Western appeasement of Tehran.  At the same time, Iranian leaders merrily continue to tout their nuclear objectives, while declaring that any of their seeming concessions are “non-obligatory.”  As a result, Iran has pocketed more time to pursue its nuclear agenda, while mocking toothless sanctions from U.S.-led negotiators. 

 Actually, we’ve seen this movie before.  It played Munich and starred Neville Chamberlain.

Given the reality of continued Iranian pursuit of full-scale nuclear capacity, it comes a bit of a shock to read in a March 1 article by Anne Gearan in the Washington Post that “Obama is closer than ever this year to his campaign goal of a nuclear accord with Iran.”  And, in the same upbeat tone, Gearan tells readers that Obama intends to reassure Israel and its supporters at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that an “improving relationship with Iran does not damage ties with Israel.”  (“Iran likely to dominate talks on sidelines of AIPAC forum,” page A9)

Try to convey that soporific to skeptical Israelis and nervous Saudis.  While Gearan’s piece fully accords with the line pursued by the White House and the State Department, it nevertheless is a PR con job that should be exposed -- not embraced -- by professional journalists worthy of the name.  

Too bad Gearan is not among them.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers

In recent weeks, Iran has made it abundantly clear that, while it’s ready for talks with Western powers, it will not make any concessions or compromises that might slow down its nuclear development.  To the contrary, it remains fully determined to pursue entry into the ranks of nuclear powers.

While the White House continues to tout diplomacy as the best option to rein in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, the ayatollahs make no secret of the fact that they’re expanding advanced centrifuges regardless of President Obama’s wishful rhetoric.  The only real concession has been on the U.S. side, with Washington now ready to let Iran retain a “limited” nuclear program to continue uranium enrichment.  The centrifuges will continue to spin, this time with Obama’s blessing.

Findings by the UN nuclear watchdog show that Iran is taking Washington and its Western allies for a ride. Saudi Arabia, the leader of Sunni Muslims and prime regional rival of Shiite Iran, is livid about Western appeasement of Tehran.  At the same time, Iranian leaders merrily continue to tout their nuclear objectives, while declaring that any of their seeming concessions are “non-obligatory.”  As a result, Iran has pocketed more time to pursue its nuclear agenda, while mocking toothless sanctions from U.S.-led negotiators. 

 Actually, we’ve seen this movie before.  It played Munich and starred Neville Chamberlain.

Given the reality of continued Iranian pursuit of full-scale nuclear capacity, it comes a bit of a shock to read in a March 1 article by Anne Gearan in the Washington Post that “Obama is closer than ever this year to his campaign goal of a nuclear accord with Iran.”  And, in the same upbeat tone, Gearan tells readers that Obama intends to reassure Israel and its supporters at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that an “improving relationship with Iran does not damage ties with Israel.”  (“Iran likely to dominate talks on sidelines of AIPAC forum,” page A9)

Try to convey that soporific to skeptical Israelis and nervous Saudis.  While Gearan’s piece fully accords with the line pursued by the White House and the State Department, it nevertheless is a PR con job that should be exposed -- not embraced -- by professional journalists worthy of the name.  

Too bad Gearan is not among them.

Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers

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