Iran: Obama's Faith

Edited by Robin Silberman

The American President has based his openness towards Iran on the hope that Ahmadinejad, the ultra-radical and aggravated enemy of Israel, would end up losing the next presidential elections in June. Being kind and showing good will, they were thinking about the White House. The ayatollahs would understand that it’s better to have a moderate leading the country and not a fundamentalist who would not be able to arrive at any agreements. Obama bet on the pragmatism of the leaders in Tehran.

However, Obama’s hopes seem to be vanishing into thin air. Not only has Iran not responded to the offers pitched by Washington, but the supreme leader of the Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has just made his support public for Ahmadinejad, the candidate Obama wanted to see removed. In the Islamic part of Iran, the elections are a complete farce. But now that Khamenei, the main source of power in that country, has opted for the most radical of radicals, it leaves even less to hope for in the polls.

Khamenei’s announcement comes less than a week after the first official visit of the new Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to the White House. Obama should not be conditional about the diplomatic action to end Iran’s nuclear program to speed the process towards peace between Israel and Palestine. They are different problems with different implications and solutions that have nothing to do with each other.

In order to improve the image of America, Obama has wanted to show a sort of equal distance between friends and enemies. He mistreated Gordon Brown in his day; he outraged the Europeans with his support of the addition of Turkey to the European Union; he denied Lula the discussion about free commerce… If next Monday succeeds in upsetting Netanyahu, Obama’s going to end up without friends, and only with enemies. And those, at the moment, do not seem to follow him in his naive game.

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