Why Trump’s Iran Deal is Really About Religion

Is Iranian Faith in the 12th Imam Stronger Than America’s Negotiating Patience?

By Michael Ledeen July 8, 2019

So the Iranians—through the voice of President Rouhani—are going to enrich more uranium.  My guess is that they’ve been doing it all along, and the announcement simply confirms their past behavior.  I doubt that our spies know the details, and the Iranians love to tell tall tales, if necessary for a thousand and one nights.

There’s significant nuclear traffic in and around Iran, as we just heard from the Turks:

Anti-smuggling and organized crime police in Turkey have arrested five people after 18.1 grams (0.64 oz.) of the highly radioactive element californium, were found hidden in a car.

The stash was discovered hidden under the gearshift, wrapped in a plastic bag, in a car stopped in the northwestern province of Bolu. Police had to cut through the upholstery to retrieve the material, valued at $72 million.

After seizure, the bag was sent to the Turkish Atomic Energy Authority.

Californium was first synthesized by physics researchers in 1950 at the University of California Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley, and can be used in nuclear weapons and to help start up nuclear reactors.

Do you think our spooks are on top of all this?  Not I. I don’t even believe that our government “experts” understand what the Iranian regime is after.

I’ve been following Iran ever since the revolution of 1979 that created the Islamic Republic, which declared war on the United States and continues to wage that war today. You don’t hear a lot about it from our pundits, and virtually nothing from the policymakers, but it’s actually a religious war. Despite the manifest failure of radical Islamic ideology, and the wreckage of the country produced by a greedy, selfish and incompetent ruling class, there is a thin layer of true believers who believe Iran is destined to defeat us and they ruthlessly pursue their enemies and critics in Iran and around the world. They believe that the vanished Imam guarantees it.

To that end, Khamenei et al. are waging a multi-front assault on us and our friends and allies, from attacking shipping in the Gulf to preparing for aggressive acts against the Saudis during the Hajj, to active meddling in American politics. Isn’t that the upshot of the new “think tank” funded by George Soros and Charles Koch, to be headed by the infamous Trita Parsi? Parsi is the pro-Iranian founder of the Council on Iranian-American Relations, and one will get you ten his new operation will work in cahoots with the Tehran mullahcracy.

Meanwhile, no American president has designed a strategy to win the war. We want Khamenei to mind his manners, so we can make a new deal. We do NOT want to attack Iran directly, and this is true about both civilian and military policymakers. If you knew more about our war planning, you’d be aware that we have done very badly in war games over the years. So, no matter how many threats come from the White House, no matter how many red lines get drawn, we aren’t attacking. We want to talk to them, not change the regime.

This is evidently not due to the political or psychological foibles of one U.S. leader or another.  After forty years, we’d all conclude it’s a feature of American policy per se. But why?

Most of us were excited and inspired by the Independence Day festivities on The Mall, as the president invoked our many victories, military and diplomatic. One would think, wouldn’t one, that such a president would seek a new victory against Iran.

No way. We want Iran squeezed harder and harder, hoping that something good will come of it.  I don’t think it’s going to work. I think the ayatollahs’ faith in the 12th Imam is stronger than America’s negotiating patience.

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