President held captive by Iran

The deal agreed to by the Obama administration and the mullahs in Iran is no deal at all.  It is a piece of paper Obama can point to as a legacy item, but a legacy the United States will very likely regret in the near future.

Until now, President Obama’s biggest foreign policy disaster has been his tragically irresponsible decision to pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq in 2011.  But now the Obama administration has given away the proverbial store so it could say it got a deal with Iran to perhaps curb Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  Perhaps, because the details of the agreement released seem to take Iran’s word that its nuclear weapons programs isn’t a nuclear weapons program, period.

The administration has chosen to empower Tehran further by allowing it to fill the vacuum it created with its leading-from-behind approach to Iraq.  Tehran is able to exert undue influence on Baghdad as it puts boots on the ground to fight IS.  U.S. abdication of leadership in the region has resulted in Iran’s expanding influence in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen as well.

Iranian officials are already saying they got everything they could have hoped for – complete sanctions relief and U.S. blessing of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.  The potential consequences are severe: a Sunni Arab nuclear arms race, an Israeli attack on Iranian facilities, increases in Iranian sponsorship of terrorism, and more dead Americans with the windfall profits Iran is getting from sanction relief. 

The Obama administration did not even have the decency to insist that the mullahs acknowledge their murderous behavior.  This isn’t ancient history; hundreds of American troops were killed and thousands more maimed by Iranian IEDs throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Even more current are the four Americans being held in Iran.  At a 15 July press conference, the president testily dismissed a question asking why the hostages’ freedom was not a part of the negotiations.

Some Obama administration officials have compared the Iran deal with President Reagan’s nuclear arms treaty with the Soviets.  This is nonsense.  First of all, the current administration doesn’t have enough faith in its own deal to call it a treaty and subject it to binding congressional oversight through ratification.  Reagan’s mantra was “trust but verify.”  In contrast, Obama’s mantra seems be “cross your fingers.”  The best the president can hope for is that Iran plays along long enough that it doesn’t build a bomb before the end of his administration.  Unfortunately, this appears to be the whole point of this tortured deal that had more cave-ins than a dilapidated coal mine. 

President Obama’s Iran deal has much more in common with the one the Clinton administration pursued in the 1990s with North Korea in pursuit of its own legacy.  What is that legacy?  North Korea is a rogue nuclear regime.  Like the U.S. Embassy staff held hostage in Tehran in 1979, President Obama is held captive by the Iranians, captive to the lure of a legacy that recent history tells us will be fleeting indeed.