Editor’s note: Reza Kahlili will discuss this breaking story on an upcoming edition of “Fox and Friends,” time yet to be announced.
The United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program for the first time, the New York Times reported today.
The agreement comes just two weeks before Election Day and the weekend prior to the final debate, which is to focus on foreign policy.
The timing of the unfolding events fits the template for an “October surprise” already suggested by WND’s report this week that the Obama administration had cut a deal with Iran that would end many of the sanctions against the Islamic Republic in exchange for the promise of a temporary halt to uranium enrichment.
The story of the administration’s secret negotiations was broken on WND by Reza Kahlili. Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray”.
While the New York Times reports Iranian officials insisting that talks wait until after the election so Tehran knows whom they will be negotiating with, WND sources say one of the enticements for Iran to announce a halt to enrichment now is to assist Barack Obama’s re-election chances. Mitt Romney is seen as less yielding than Obama and a president who will be quick to support Israel.
The New York Times story spotlights the political ramifications of the announcement on Romney, noting his opposition to any level of enrichment by Iran – a concession that experts say is likely to be part of any deal – and warning his opposition to today’s announcement “could make him look as if he is willing to risk another American war in the Middle East without exhausting alternatives.”
“It would be unconscionable to go to war if we haven’t had such discussions,” R. Nicholas Burns, who led negotiations with Iran as under secretary of state in the George W. Bush administration, told the Times.
Iran’s nuclear program “is the most difficult national security issue facing the United States,” Burns said. “While we should preserve the use of force as a last resort, negotiating first with Iran makes sense. What are we going to do instead? Drive straight into a brick wall called war in 2013, and not try to talk to them?”
Indeed, WND’s earlier exclusive report of the secret deal, negotiated in Doha, Qatar, revealed guarantees would ensure the regime’s right to peaceful enrichment, quickly remove many of the sanctions, accept that Iran’s nuclear program does not have a military dimension and relieve international pressure on the regime while it continues its nuclear program. Also, the U.S. would announce that the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists was the work of a foreign country, though Israel would not be named, to increase legal pressure on Israel.
WND’s highly placed source, who remains anonymous for security reasons and is highly placed in Iran’s regime, said that once Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, received a letter from President Obama guaranteeing the details of the agreement, he would authorize an announcement by Iran on a solution to the nuclear crisis before the U.S. presidential elections.
The source in Tehran said Khamenei has made it clear that unless he received Obama’s written guarantees, he would not begin the process, which would dramatically boost Obama’s re-election chances. If the guarantees are not given, Khamenei warned, Iran will speed up its nuclear program.
According to the Iranian source, a previous Obama letter to Khamenei indicated that it’s best for the regime not to give any motive to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, a message that was re-emphasized in the Qatar negotiations.
As reported exclusively by WND Oct. 4, a three-person delegation led by a woman on behalf of the Obama administration traveled to Qatar about Oct. 1 and met with Iranian counterparts, including Ali Akbar Velayati, the former foreign minister of the Islamic regime and a close adviser to Khamenei on international matters.
In the meeting, according to the source, the U.S. delegation urged an announcement, even if only on a temporary nuclear deal, before the U.S. elections to help Obama get re-elected. A Romney presidency, the delegation said, would surely move more toward Israel, and the Iranians were reminded that Obama has stood up to Israel against any plans to attack Iran. The regime’s delegate was urged to understand that if Iran does not stand by Obama, Israel will attack Iran.
Days after the WND report, Ali Akbar Salehi, the regime’s foreign minister, in an
interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, stated, “If our right to enrichment is guaranteed, we are prepared to offer an exchange.”
Citing WND’s report, political analyst Dick Morris today predicted the administration would soon announce a deal with Iran.
The Iranians, Morris said, may prefer another four years of Mr. Obama to the possibility of a Mitt Romney presidency.
“I think they feel that Romney would assist Israel in attacking them,” Mr. Morris said.
“The Iranians have a real history of intervening in U.S. elections,” Mr. Morris said in an appearance Saturday on Fox News. “Bear in mind that in 1980, they did not release the hostages until after the election because they wanted to defeat [President Carter].”