Tehran’s hope for a happy nuclear new year - opinion

Diplomacy addicts always believe their lying eyes when a given reality is unpleasant – or when it’s touted by nemeses at home and those overseas in Israel.

A general view of the Bushehr main nuclear reactor, Iran (photo credit: REUTERS/RAHEB HOMAVANDI)
A general view of the Bushehr main nuclear reactor, Iran
The revelation by the FBI last week that Iranian cyberwarriors are behind the death threats against American officials circulating online since the US presidential election on November 3 should not have come as a surprise. One aim of the regime in Tehran and its PR soldiers is to sow internecine discord among its enemies.
To those wearing rose-colored glasses about the dawn of utopia in the United States – thanks to the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and his sidekick, Kamala Harris – the fact that one of the multiple websites set up by social-media-savvy forces in the Islamic Republic targeted such figures as Christopher Krebs makes no sense.
On November 17, US President Donald Trump fired Krebs from his post as head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency for refuting claims of massive electoral fraud on the part of the Biden campaign. It would stand to reason, then, that Iran would have no bones to pick with him.
On the contrary, the mullahs and their puppets in Tehran have made their deep hatred for Trump clear for the past four years, well before he withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – the favorable nuclear deal that it reached in 2015 with world powers, led by the administration of former president Barack Obama.
But the truth about the regime’s modus operandi is simultaneously simpler and more complicated. By attacking those who opposed the bid to prove that the Democrats stole the election, the honchos in Iran were making it appear that Trump supporters were responsible for the trolling.
Their tactic worked, until the FBI issued a statement on December 23 exposing the real culprit.  
“The post-election creation of the ‘Enemies of the People’ website demonstrates an ongoing Iranian intent to create divisions and mistrust in the United States and undermine public confidence in the US electoral process,” the federal bureau announced.
This information didn’t have the slightest effect on the bated breath with which the Biden-Harris camp has been waiting for the administration in Washington to return to the JCPOA. Nor should any observer of the process leading up to its fruition have expected otherwise.
Diplomacy addicts always believe their lying eyes when a given reality is unpleasant – or when it’s touted by nemeses at home and those overseas in Israel.
ANXIOUS FOR Biden to honor his vow to re-enter the JCPOA once he assumes office, some 150 Democratic members of the US House of Representatives penned a letter to him earlier this month urging him to make good on his promise.
“With respect to Iran,” they wrote in part, “we agree that diplomacy is the best path to halt and reverse Iran’s nuclear program, decrease tensions in the region and facilitate our nation’s reincorporation into the international community.”
The missive went on: “We are united in our support for swiftly taking the necessary diplomatic steps to restore constraints on Iran’s nuclear program and return both Iran and the United States to compliance with the... JCPOA as a starting point for further negotiations. The JCPOA, an agreement you helped champion, verifiably constrained Iran’s nuclear program until after the United States’ unilateral withdrawal. Since 2019, Iran has changed course by increasing its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and enriching uranium to a higher purity level, while also installing advanced centrifuges beyond the agreement’s limits.
As a result, Iran’s breakout time of one year, as estimated under the JCPOA by the US intelligence community, has decreased to a few months.”
As if this weren’t both false and ridiculous enough – as the US under Trump has brokered unprecedented Mideast peace accords and has led, not been ousted from, the international community; while Iran has not complied with a single clause of the deal since it was signed; and the difference between a breakout time of a few months and a year is laughably negligible – the House Democrats continued by taking issue with the increase in sanctions.
“The Trump administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign has left Iran with an unconstrained nuclear program, failed effectively to address Iran’s other malign behavior and greatly increased the likelihood of violent confrontation and conflict,” they stated, exhibiting willful ignorance about Tehran’s remaining the world’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism and Trump’s policies aimed at altering this sorry situation.
In the alternate universe occupied by the letter’s signatories, “Re-engaging multilaterally on preventing the development of an Iranian nuclear weapon and re-opening channels of communication are essential to reversing these dangerous developments.”
Are they kidding? Have they not been paying attention to what Iranian leaders have to say about all this, which is that they won’t cooperate unless all limitations on them are removed?  
The answer, clearly, is no. The last part of their plea to Biden indicates a total lack of understanding of, or interest in, the Shi’ite regime and its global hegemonic ambitions. It also illustrates a refusal to learn from past mistakes.
“We understand that returning to the agreement will require the selective lifting of some sanctions and rigorous implementation to verifiably ensure Iranian compliance,” it concluded, adding, “Reinstating our international agreements and engaging in sustained diplomacy are the best ways to achieve long-term non-proliferation and urgent national-security objectives, including the prevention of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon and the laying of a foundation for progress on other critical issues.”
WHAT THESE pathetic politicians, ensconced comfortably in the West, fail to realize or acknowledge is that there is no “dealing” peacefully with the likes of Iran.
This was apparent during the Obama years when former secretary of state John Kerry allowed himself to be humiliated by his counterpart, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, whose repeated verbal abuse was so blatant that even his puppet-master, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told him to cool it a bit.  
Meanwhile, Obama wasn’t worried about Zarif’s treatment of Kerry. He was too busy being furious with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for trying to torpedo the disastrous deal-in-the-making. Indeed, contrary to the way in which the authors of the letter to Biden depict America’s behavior under Trump, it was in fact the Obama administration that abandoned its allies on behalf of its enemies. More egregiously, it put the latter’s interests ahead of America’s.There is no question that Khamenei, Zarif and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani are banking, literally and figuratively, on Biden’s resuming a stance of US supplication.
They’re certainly hoping that he won’t be prevented from dropping completely to his knees by a Republican-dominated Senate. If they get their wish for the new year, all the progress that’s been made where Tehran is concerned will be reversed. This has involved enhancing the Iranian people’s rage at their regime and making them braver about expressing it.
As former Defense Department adviser on Islamic culture Harold Rhode recently described, “Iran is in shambles in every respect, largely due to Trump’s effective sanctions on the regime. Corruption there reportedly has never been worse. The economy is in such dire straits that even the thieves are complaining that there is nothing to steal, because many members of the middle and upper classes have sold possessions to buy food.... When times were tough in the past, Iranians often quipped about the situation and subtly blamed the government for their misery. Lately, however, the jokes have become more blatant, indicating that the people are so desperate that they no longer feel they have something to lose by voicing criticism of the powers-that-be.”
Appeasement only strengthens those evil leaders’ resolve to hone the nuclear weapons with which to destroy the “Great Satan,” America, and the “Small Satan,” Israel. It never has or ever will cause Iran to exchange its swords for plowshares.