0 Shares By Kyle Becker 1 year ago
Vice President Joe Biden told AIPAC that while the Obama administration wants a diplomatic solution to a nuclear-free Iran, the President “isn’t bluffing” and will use military force to keep Iran nuke free.
Politicians have a tendency to speak to their audiences, and this has certainly been the case with The American Israel Public Affairs Committee. But how do the rhetoric and the track records of this Obama administration compare?
In 2009, as President Obama was entering the White House for the first time, he was seeking a “reset” of U.S.-Iranian diplomatic relations. He greeted the Iranians on Nowruz or the Iranian/Persian New Year March 20th, which also happened to be Iran’s “Petroleum Day.” In a taped address, the president said that he desired “engagement that is honest and grounded in mutual respect.”
In June 2009, the disputed presidential election of Mahmoud Ahmadenijad led to pro-democratic protests. President Obama said nothing in support of the freedom movement for 10 days; over the course of which the Iranian regime carried out a bloody crackdown.
In October 2009, the Obama administration worked with the International Atomic Energy Administration to arrange a “fuel swap” deal, whereby the Iranians would be provided fuel for a research reactor while implementing safety measures. The Iranians’ initial agreement was later retracted.
By 2010, it became clear that Iran was continuing its repression of dissidents and enriching Uranium. A secret nuclear material-enrichment facility near Qom became known to the public. In the summer of 2010, the Iranian nuclear program was set back by a devastating cyber-attack “Stuxnet,” which we now know from high-level national security leaks within the Obama administration, was ordered by the president.
In November 2011, IAEA reports found “credible evidence” of an Iranian nuclear weapons program. In 2010, the CIA reported that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program (following up on a 2007 NIC report), which drew much fanfare in the media. A 2010 QDR brief said nothing of Iran’s nuclear energy program, but it did highlight the administration’s desire to create a “nuclear free” world. The Obama administration responded with sanctions of Iran’s banking and petrochemical sectors.
In 2012, the Obama administration was still touting the possibility of diplomatic success, even as it said that a military strike was still “on the table.” President Obama told AIPAC that “diplomacy backed by pressure” could deter the Iranians’ nuclear ambitions. The president also said that he had a “policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
In September 2012, in an interview on 60 Minutes, President Obama denied any pressure from Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment that a “red line” needed to be set for Iran’s nuclear weapons program. President Obama called the “red line” comment “not helpful,” and added, “when it comes to our national security decisions, any pressure that I feel is simply to do what’s right for the American people.”
In September 2012, the president addressed the United Nations’ General Assembly, and said the United States wanted to resolve the problem of Iran’s nuclear ambitions through diplomacy, but the time frame for doing so was not “unlimited.”
On October 22, 2012, in the final campaign debate, the president denied that the U.S. would engage in bilateral talks with Iran about its nuclear program after the election.
The president also said in the final debate: “The disagreement I have with Governor Romney is that, during the course of this campaign, he’s often talked as if we should take premature military action. I think that would be a mistake, because when I’ve sent young men and women into harm’s way, I always understand that it’s the last resort, not the first resort.”
As the Obama administration continues its economic sanctions, which have devalued the Iranian’s currency by 80% and cut its oil exports to a twenty-year low, imagine the media’s reaction if President Bush were in office. The same standard should be set for officeholders of each party. The public needs to be informed, not told whatever people want to hear.