After waltzing with the E.U.-3 (France, Germany and England) and the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, the Iranians announced this week that they would like to negotiate there nuclear program with the United States, provided Washington will treat Tehran as an equal.
If Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi hadn’t actually said this, the statement would be so ridiculous that it would be hard to invent. What’s going on?
First, Kharrazi is deeply involved in a strange language we have to call “U.N.-SPEAK” to decipher the meaning. Remember, in the United Nations General Assembly all nations are equal, regardless of their size or their legitimacy, their dedication to peace or whether they are actively protecting genocidal maniacs within their borders. Actually, a few of the countries appear to have genocidal maniacs as their leaders, but that doesn’t bother the United Nations. All countries participating in the General Assembly are equal and each have the same one vote.
So, as far as Kharrazi is concerned, Iran and the United States are equals and he can demand we treat them as such, or else he won’t talk to us. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
No, it doesn’t. We don’t have diplomatic relations with Iran because we consider them a terror-supporting rogue regime. Even Democrats like John Kerry liked the 9-11 commission. On pages 240-241 of the 9-11 commission report, Iran is listed as having helped the terrorists who flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The subtitle of that section is clear: “Assistance from Hezbollah and Iran to al-Qaida.” The text explains how Iran even gave free passage to the 9-11 “muscle” hijackers.
What are we to do? Just forget about it? Iran hasn’t forgotten about it. The Middle East Media Research Institute reports about a TV program broadcast by the Iranian government TV channel directed toward Europe. The program, broadcast on June 1, 2004, advanced the clearly anti-Semitic theory that the Jews were responsible for the 9-11 hijacking. As proof, the program claimed five Israelis photographing the World Trade Center were arrested just hours before the blast. Then 4,000 Jews working in the Twin Towers were not there on 9-11 because they had taken a vacation day, having been warned in advance of the attack that was ordered by World Zionism as defined in the Jewish Protocols.
Sure, makes sense, here we go with Henry Ford and Hitler all over again. Has the world learned nothing since the Holocaust? Oh, I forgot – the Holocaust is a myth, made up by Jews – just to blame the innocent Germans, the real victims of World War II.
This would all be worth of a Lewis Carroll experience, except it is happening all over again, this time with the Iranian mullahs at center stage. Does anyone wonder why we might not want these guys to get their hands on nuclear weapons? Does anyone doubt that the 9-11 hijackers would not have used nuclear weapons to take down the World Trade Center and the Pentagon if they had possessed them?
None of that deters Foreign Minister Kharrazi. He insists that Iran is engaged in the talks with the E.U.-3 and the IAEA “very seriously” and “something useful can be accomplished” if only the Bush administration could forget about the sanctions and enter the talks directly, despite the fact we have no diplomatic relations with this rogue regime. “Axis of Evil?” Don’t worry about it. It was just a figure of speech anyway.
That’s what the Iranians want us to believe.
The E.U.-3 and the IAEA seem to have bought Kharrazi’s logic. Even when the Iranians insist they need to keep some centrifuges running, the E.U.-3 and the IAEA don’t seem bothered. Iran needs to keep pursuing “research and development,” doesn’t it? So what if Iran forgot to disclose this clandestine uranium enhancement location, or that one? What’s a few secret locations among friends?
Nor would many of the Democrats have any problem with Kharrazi’s request. If John Kerry (remember him?) were president-elect today, we’d be running to Vienna or Brussels, or wherever Iran wanted to meet, especially if they could bring along with them a few Europeans and a multinational organization or two to boot. After all, even in the first debate with President Bush, John Kerry said we should give nuclear fuel to the Iranians for peaceful purposes, just like President Clinton did with the North Koreans. If the Iranians had evil intentions, then they would make an atomic bomb. If they made an atomic bomb, then we wouldn’t have to worry about them being evil. We’d have proof they were evil. Get it?
What’s the problem? Clinton used the same logic and it worked with the North Koreans, didn’t it?
The problem is that the Iranians aren’t serious about giving up their nuclear weapons program and most sane people in the world know it, even if a lot of Democrats don’t get it. Besides, the Iranian liars aren’t fooling the Bush administration.
If the Iranians do not want nuclear weapons, then let them give up their centrifuges. Maybe the Iranians can allow open inspection of all their nuclear sites at a time and choosing of the international inspectors. Maybe the Iranians could even stop sending insurgents into Iraq to cause trouble. How about Hezbollah? Maybe the Iranians could call off the suicide bombers who are ready to blow themselves up in Israel.
But it was a nice try, Mr. Kharrazi. Maybe next time somebody besides the New York Times will take you seriously enough to give you attention. Maybe you could get the opening skit on “Saturday Night Live” this coming weekend. Who knows, we could all use a good laugh? Maybe Madeleine Albright could give another speech about appeasing the mullahs. That ought to do it.