There’s no good reason to put any faith in Iran’s recent charm offensive toward the United States. In fact, there’s every good reason to believe it’s a strategic game to advance their interests at our expense.
These are the people who invented chess after all.
While we have every right to be skeptical of Tehran’s advances, what exactly is motivating the trading of their usual anti-American hate speech for welcome words (by some) of reconciliation?
No question, one of the drivers for Iran must be its concern about the possibility of more punitive action due to its nuclear program. Both the United States and Israel have made it clear that an Iranian nuke is unacceptable.
Tehran could easily be using some dubious, dovish diplomacy to stall for time while it builds the bomb.
By ensnaring us in yet another round of talks — the international community has been negotiating with Iran for 10 years already — they could put off the international community for months while continuing their nuclear naughtiness.
Naturally, Iran also wants to do what it can to prevent a military attack on its nuclear program. They could certainly be cozying up to discourage us — or get us to discourage the Israelis — from conducting a strike.
Let’s not forget Israel talked about Iran entering a “zone of immunity” when an attack on Tehran’s nuclear program would become largely inconsequential. Iran may just need a little more time to get into that “zone,” supported by diplomatic happy-talk.
Beyond that, there are those stifling economic sanctions that Iran is enduring. The new Iranian president, Hasan Rouhani, was “gracious” enough to take a phone call from President Obama last week, and reportedly would like us to lift those sanctions as a reciprocal sign of goodwill.
Wonder what Iran would’ve expected if the two had shaken hands at the U.N.?
Tehran is also painfully aware that Congress is considering more punitive economic sanctions, but probably believes the sanctions won’t be passed or implemented while nuclear talks proceed and Iran’s intentions are being tested.
Lastly, Iran probably feels it has its hands full with the troubles in Syria, where its ally is two-and-a-half years into a bloody civil war. The fall of the regime in Damascus would mean the loss of its biggest ally in the Middle East.
Tehran has also reportedly committed some of its own Qods forces to the Syrian battlefield; according to news accounts, it’s concerned about the effect the war may have on its terrorist ally, Hezbollah, which is thick in the fight, too.
In reality, the last thing Iran needs right now is more trouble. For Tehran, wily words may be a way to avoid that. But what we really need to see from Iran is affirmative actions on nukes that match their tantalizing talk of a new beginning.
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