Iran’s Ayatollah and America’s Obama: Dictators at Heart

by | Apr 14, 2015 | Foreign Policy

Obama should clarify whose side he’s really on -- America’s, or the Iranian regime’s.

President Obama said Saturday that partisan wrangling over the nuclear agreement with Iran has gone beyond pale and said the harsh criticism of the deal “needs to stop.”

Maybe he should tell this to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In his keenly-awaited reaction to the provisional nuclear deal announced in Switzerland a week ago, Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday attacked a key pillar of the entire deal being promoted by the Obama administration – the question of inspections of suspect sites in Iran.

The administration has characterized the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection regime to be put in place under a final Iran agreement as the most intrusive and comprehensive ever devised.

Not only must Iran allow IAEA inspectors to “have regular access to all of Iran’s [declared] nuclear facilities,” according to an official U.S. fact sheet of “parameters” of the framework agreement, it must moreover “grant access to the IAEA to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of a covert enrichment facility, conversion facility, centrifuge production facility, or yellowcake production facility anywhere in the country.”

But that Iran agreed to such a provision – admitting inspectors on demand to any suspicious site anywhere in the country – is now under dispute. In his speech Khamenei called the fact sheet an example of White House “lying”.

“One must absolutely not allow infiltration of the security and defense realm of the state on the pretext of inspection[s],” he declared. “The military authorities of the state are not – under any circumstance – allowed to let in foreigners to this realm under the pretext of inspection, or stop the country’s defense development.”

“Any unconventional inspection or monitoring which would make Iran into a special case, would not be acceptable, and the monitoring must only be as monitoring regimes taking place all over the world and nothing more,” Khamenei added. [sources: 4/10/15,]

This gives you an idea about the level of commitment within Iran’s leadership about their willingness to follow either the letter or the spirit of Obama’s agreement.

Iran is a religiously based totalitarian dictatorship. There are no checks and balances, no elections, and no Constitution they even claim to follow. The attitudes and opinions of religious leaders in Iran matter. Their whims and wishes are, most often, the supreme law of the land.

Not just Obama, but many Americans are incredibly naive about dictatorship. One major assumption of this so-called treaty with Iran is that the Iranian government cares about its own people. In other words, it cares that economic sanctions are lifted so that the people may flourish and grow, both personally and economically, and the country will be stronger for it.

That’s ridiculous. If dictators cared about their own people, they wouldn’t violently and arbitrarily force their will upon them on a daily basis. This is the case whether you’re talking about dictators of the Communist or socialist or Nazi variety, or dictators of the religious kind.

Dictatorships don’t care about people, including their own. By definition, they care nothing about rights. What they care about is power. They may rationalize their desire for power as being good for the people; what authoritarian mindset doesn’t rationalize anything and everything as “for your own good”?

It’s impossible to trust dictators, because they have already shown — regarding their own countries — that they will lie, cheat and kill to attain and maintain what they want. Signing an “arms negotiation” with such an entity on the premise that you will “trust, but verify” is kind of like handing a loaded gun to a hostage taker who has run out of ammunition, and trusting that he’ll “do the right thing with it.”

Obama argued last week that arms negotiations with Soviet Russia, back in the 1970s under Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, “worked.” Actually, they didn’t. Late in the 1970s, despite arms control, Russia became more aggressive and President Jimmy Carter escalated the quest for peace treaties. The more he did this, the more aggressive the Soviet Union became, culminating in their invasion of Afghanistan in 1980. Ultimately, the Cold War ended only after President Ronald Reagan escalated the arms race, pushed treaties aside, and the Soviet Union was forced to collapse of its own economic failures.

Obama is furious because Republican opponents of his treaty with Iran have questioned his motives in public relations “spinning” in its favor. Yet one of the supreme leaders in a nation where Obama has extended the olive branch has accused him of “lying.” It seems unlikely Obama will criticize the ayatollah, or anyone involved with Iran’s murderous and terrorizing regime, for this overt criticism. Yet he’s chastising Republicans and others for daring to dissent. Maybe Obama should clarify whose side he’s really on — America’s, or the Iranian regime’s.

[U.S. Senator John] McCain last week said that comments by Iran’s supreme leader had suggested that Iran and the Obama administration were on different pages. McCain called the supreme leader’s suggestion that Iran wouldn’t allow unlimited inspections “a major setback,” adding that it was the supreme leader, not President Hassan Rouhani or Iran’s foreign minister, who really calls the shots in Iran.

“These widely divergent explanations of the nuclear deal must be fully explained and reconciled if we are to give serious consideration to this agreement,” McCain said.

McCain, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, was among the signatories to the GOP letter to Iran’s leaders warning that any deal struck with Obama would be “a mere executive agreement” that the next president could revoke. [ 4/12/15]

Obama is accustomed to wobbly, unprincipled or even nonexistent opposition to most of his edicts and proclamations, whether it’s about immigration, gun control, environmentalist policies, turning Obamacare “on” and “off” at will, and numerous other matters. Perhaps you can’t blame him for being shocked and outraged when, for a few moments, Republicans in Congress have shown a rare display of principled dissension, as they have with Iran.

Obama insists that Republicans should stop criticizing his arms agreement with Iran, and start suggesting on how to improve it. How do you improve upon the fundamentally and fatally flawed?

Obama clearly feels he’s entitled to agreement in principle with the very idea of having negotiations with totalitarian rulers you will never be able to trust, or verify anything with, at all. He’s not getting it, and he’s pissed off as hell.

Maybe Obama and the ayatollahs of Iran can hold a support group. When it comes to their views on dissension in a free society, they have a surprising number of things in common.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at:

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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