“It has been said that truth is stranger than fiction,” the Israeli news outlet explained, “and indeed it would be hard to imagine scripting the signing of a nuclear deal with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism on the very day that this regime holds an annual global protest calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.”
After missing the June 30 deadline for a final accord and then also missing a revised deadline of July 7, diplomats involved in the nuclear talks in Vienna now say that they are looking to Friday as the date for a resolution. This also happens to be the final Friday of Ramadan, making it Quds Day in Iran, a holiday dedicated to global Muslim unity and focused on unity in opposition to the continued existence of the state of Israel.
Last year, the Iranian regime’s recognition of Quds Day included requests for the global Muslim population to donate to the cause of re-arming the Gaza Strip and extending that armament to Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank.
Iran’s longstanding support for anti-Israeli terrorist groups including Hamas and Hezbollah goes a long way toward explaining the Israeli government’s hardline stance on the Iran nuclear negotiations, which has involved frequent criticisms that the emerging deal “paves the way” for Iran to obtain weapons of mass destruction.
For some, the prospect of this outcome engenders fears not only of a generally adverse impact on regional and global stability, but also of the actual deployment of such weapons against a state that Iran has threatened to wipe off the face of the Earth. Of course defenders of the ongoing negotiations reject this scenario, recognizing it as suicidal on the part of the Iranian regime.
But Jennifer Rubin, in her an editorial published in the Washington Post on Tuesday, addressed this point by saying that the Obama administration and its allies habitually overestimate the rationality of the Iranian regime. She quotes Jeffrey Herf as saying that the same theocratic ideologies that make Iran committed to the destruction of Israel also imbue it with a “dangerous irrationality” related to the expectation of an apocalyptic turn of history.
“If Iran acquires nuclear weapons,” Herf says, “it would likely be the first such state not to be deterred by the prospect of nuclear retaliation.”
But even if this underestimates the rationality of Iran’s decision-making, other critics of the regime will no doubt remain nervous about the possibility of Iranian nuclear weapons or nuclear know-how making their way into the hands of any of the numerous Islamic terrorist groups it is known to support. This contributes greatly to the perceived danger of an Iranian nuclear weapon and the impact that it would have on overall global instability.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the government of Jordan recently tried to emphasize this by announcing that it had arrested an Iranian agent who was allegedly planning a terrorist attack inside the country. The Post quoted Professor Hillel Frisch as saying, “Jordan’s message is crystal-clear: [US] President [Barack] Obama and Secretary of State [John] Kerry are completely wrong to think that by engaging Iran, the regime will transform into a status-quo state.”
Meanwhile, Iran’s continued influence in Syria and in other parts of the Middle East region has contributed to the same conclusion in the minds of many critics of Obama administration strategy. On Wednesday, Reuters reported that the government of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad had ratified a one billion dollar line of credit extended to it by Tehran.
The Iranian regime’s ongoing effort to prop up Assad has involved not only financing but also direct shipments of arms, military advisers, and by some accounts military forces, as well as the organization and direction of Shiite militias, many of which operate in Syria and Iraq simultaneously.
The Obama administration technically supports moderate rebels against the Assad regime, but has been loath to extend that support for fear of upsetting Iran in the context of nuclear negotiations.