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October 23, 2013

Washington Post Columnist Gets Iran Right

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In the Oct. 17, 2013 print edition of The Washington Post, syndicated columnist Anne Applebaum (“A New Iran? Hardly.”) highlights the fundamental issue when it comes to negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programs.

“We [the United States] oppose Iran’s nuclear ambitions for one reason: because we object to the Islamic Republic of Iran, a quasi-totalitarian state that since 1979 has been led by brutal, volatile men with no respect for the rule of law.” Exactly. And in their brutality and volatility, these quasi-totalitarian leaders have called for the destruction of Israel.

Applebaum provides one of the few relatively detailed analyses in mainstream media that calls for more caution than optimism following October 16 talks between the United States, Britain, Russia, France, China, and Germany (the “P5+1” countries) and Iran.

The columnist notes that President Hassan Rouhani does not “represent a new radical strand of Iranian thinking about nuclear power. After all”, she writes, “he was Iran’s nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005…. Nor does Rouhani’s new cabinet mark a profound break from those who have run the Islamic Republic since its inception. As his justice minister, Rouhani has appointed Mostafa Pourmohammadi, a former high official in the Ministry of Information during the bloody and violent 1980s.”

Moreover, among Pourmohammadi’s greatest “achievements,” says Applebaum, were “the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988…. the bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires and the assassination of dissidents in Iran and around the world.” And during the week of September 23, “when Rouhani was at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, more than 30 Iranians were reportedly executed without due process of law”.

Applebaum’s timely commentary comes when words and rhetoric, not actions, are welcomed by some reporters and pundits as indications of change from the aggressive style of Rouhani’s immediate predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. “[A]s long as the Iranian judicial system is subverted by a politicized version of sharia [Islamic law], there will always be a limit to what can be achieved through any conversations with Tehran,” Applebaum stresses.

She implies that Iran will say anything to lift international sanctions that have been crippling its economy. But will it agree to limit what appears to be a large, secret nuclear weapons program? Applebaum summarizes: “Talking is fine. But the negotiators in Geneva should leave any optimism at the door”. -- by Lee Golan Fischgrund, CAMERA Washington research intern.

Posted by ER at October 23, 2013 03:24 PM

Comments

It appears that we hope Israel will do our dirty work for us, and then we can roudly condemn them.

Posted by: Arline Mathews at October 25, 2013 01:45 AM

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