Grudgingly, we must admit that Iran is doing quite well. Tehran’s ayatollahs have effectively managed to hoodwink the US, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, whose representatives are now trying to reach a final deal in New York on Iran’s nuclear ambitions before the July 20 deadline.
But in actual fact, more than Iran has managed to pull the wool over the eyes of the international coterie, the nations of the world desperately wish to be fooled.
Iran’s interlocutors prefer to believe that by a miraculous happenstance the country has transformed itself overnight from a ruthless theocracy – whose agenda inter alia includes wiping Israel off the map – to an agreeable member of the international community.
Had self-bamboozlement not played a key role in the international attitude vis-à-vis Iran, there would be no difficulty seeing through the ruse and sweet talk.
Thus, while International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors visited a uranium mine and a uranium- thickening facility in the central Iranian towns of Ardakan and Yazd, Iran banned access to the WhatsApp messaging site. It explained – without embarrassment or hesitation – that the move arose from the fact that WhatsApp is owned by a “Jewish American Zionist.”
This was a reference to the acquisition of WhatsApp two months ago by Facebook, whose founder is Mark Zuckerberg. According to Abdolsamad Khorramabadi, head of the regime’s Committee on Internet Crimes, the fact that Zuckerberg is Jewish legitimizes cracking down on a particularly popular social media site.
The astounding fact isn’t so much that Tehran’s Shi’ite rulers fear social networks and incite against Jews, but that the world’s democracies are so silent on any hate propaganda so long as its targets are Jews.
Were Zuckerberg a passionately committed Zionist, it should not be held against him. Supporting Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, ought to be a source of pride and not treated as a crime. But the fact is that while Zuckerberg is Jewish by birth, he is hardly a committed Jew. If anything, this goes to the heart of contemporary Judeophobia.
A Jew is hated not for what he does or what he espouses, but for his parentage. A Jew can be totally assimilated and fail to significantly identify with fellow Jews and Jewish causes, but to the eyes of the enemies of the Jewish people – even these days – he remains anathema for no other reason than his lineage.
We can only express dismay that the world’s most liberal governments, among them the Obama administration, have chosen to not so much as notice the non-stop stifling of elementary freedoms in Iran and the vehement anti-Jewish pretext to which Ayatollah Khamenei’s cohorts resort for outlawing applications the regime intends to repress.
Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman of Iran’s Atomic Department, maintains that by allowing the visit to the uranium extraction and refinement sites, “Iran will be able to say that the seven-agreed measures between Iran and the Agency [IAEA] have been fulfilled. Already six steps have been taken.”
This is the pose. Iran postures as an accommodating partner, oozing goodwill, and the international powers, seeking to strike a bargain, are only too happy to pretend right along that all is well on the Iranian front and that danger to the world can be avoided by easing the sanctions on Tehran.
It’s easier to make believe that Iran is now ruled by a moderate regime, that it will indeed – as per its promises – redesign its Arak heavy-water reactor (to greatly limit the amount of plutonium it can produce) and that it will dilute half of its 20-percent-enriched uranium.
Yet all these seeming Iranian concessions, if indeed made, are eminently reversible and will only delay the manufacture of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
The true test for Iranian intentions shouldn’t be sought in the self-serving promises of its nuclear negotiators but in other spheres – including the denial of rudimentary liberties to the Iranian population and the ongoing unmitigated expressions of hate toward all Jews, no matter where and who they are.