When President Obama arrives in Jerusalem for the first time as the United States President, he will undoubtedly brief Israeli officials on his three-week old proposal to solve the Iranian nuclear crisis. Ironically, the president’s new policy shift is still mostly unknown in the U.S. because it has been deliberately ignored by U.S. political reporters. The main stream media has been consumed by Senate filibusters, big-gulps, gay marriage, Oscar Pistorius and CPAC invitations. Meanwhile, the Administration reversed its position on Iranian nuclear enrichment by offering the hostile regime the opportunity to enrich some Uranium during talks involving the Permanent 5 members of the Security Council plus Germany, commonly referred to diplomatically as the P5+1. In the words of Madhi Mohammadi, an advisor to Iran’s nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, “they expected Iran to change, but in practice, it was the United States which changed.” Not only is President Obama’s new offer in direct violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions dating back as far as 2006, but it also serves as another unreported and dangerous sign of his foreign policy of appeasement.
The many UN Security Council resolutions ordering Iran to cease its nuclear production were the results of previous hard-fought battles to force the world to address the issue of a nuclear-armed Iran. Yet at a moment when international opinion had finally seemed to be against the oppressive and dangerous Iranian regime’s nuclear pursuit, the U.S. President made an about-face that has confounded world leaders. In addition to the complete change in enrichment policy, the Obama Administration has also offered to unilaterally ease sanctions against Tehran if it would cease enrichment at its Fordow facility and agree to immediate inspections of its nuclear facilities by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Commission. What the president did not point out, however, is that these demands were made in the past by the UN Security Council, the UN Human Rights Council, the United States Congress, and dozens of other international bodies without any offers to ease sanctions for compliance. The move is akin to an unruly child demanding more candy after the parent has been insisting he’s had enough – only to acquiesce with giving him a few more pieces to stop the crying.
The policy shift could not come at a worse time from the Administration, too. Recently, Iran announced that, contrary to its obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions, it had installed more advanced enrichment centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility in central Iran. In the wake of this news, Iran’s continued and increasingly harsh rhetoric against Israel and the United States, as well as their continued financial support of world terrorism, the Administration’s shift in policy appears weak and naive. Instead of acquiescing to Iran’s demands, the President should instead be doubling down on his efforts to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, and as importantly, emphasizing his support for Israel should it feel the need to take preventative military action against Iranian nuclear facilities. The “credible threat” of which the President speaks appears as neither credible, nor a threat.
As President Obama makes his way across the Middle East, much of the region will likely be as perplexed as Israel to learn of his new policy of contradicting the very institutions and allies he claims to support. Sadly, President Obama has also given this big political gift to Iranian President Ahmadinejad just ahead of Iran’s presidential election scheduled for June 14. Ahmadinejad will look like a masterful negotiator who outmaneuvered the U.S. president. While Israel’s leaders fear for their nation’s very existence, they are now left to wonder why their closest and most important ally is pressuring them to accept a new U.S. deal on Iran that is weaker than the UN’s previous demands.