Amir Taheri: Unlike Kennedy, Nixon And Reagan, Who Drove A Hard Bargain In Negotiations With Enemies, Obama Is Capitulating And Chasing Illusions. HT: Memri.
In an opinion piece published August 25, 2015 in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Amir Taheri, a prominent Iranian analyst, author and columnist, compared Obama's policy towards Iran to the policies of Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan in their dealings with the U.S.'s main rivals in their day – the USSR and China.
Taheri wrote that, in making the deal with Iran, Obama wishes to portray himself as an heir to the tradition established by these presidents of defusing conflict through diplomacy and negotiations.
He noted, however, that these leaders negotiated from a position of strength, and pursued a detente with America's enemies only after the latter had fulfilled important American demands and changed key elements of their policies.
For example, Kennedy negotiated with the USSR only after forcing it to remove the nuclear sites from Cuba; Nixon's normalization with China came only after the latter had turned its back on the Cultural Revolution and abandoned its project of exporting communism, and Reagan engaged with the Soviets only after taking military measures to counter the threat they posed to Europe.Moreover, says Taheri, the U.S. warmed its relations with China and the USSR only after they abandoned their absolute enmity towards it and began regarding it as a rival and competitor rather than a mortal enemy that must be destroyed.
Conversely, says Taheri, Obama demanded nothing of the Iranians before commencing negotiations, not even the release of U.S. hostages.
Moreover, he pursued rapprochement with Iran despite the absence of any positive change in this country's hardline policies and ideologies. On the contrary, America's overtures only encouraged Iran's worst tendencies, as reflected in a sharp rise in human rights violations within Iran and in its continued support for terror groups and for Assad's regime in Syria.
The detente with America did not even cause Iran to abandon its calls of death to America, Taheri notes.
He concludes "Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan responded positively to positive changes on the part of the adversary," whereas "Obama is responding positively to his own illusions." Read the full post here.