Iran’s “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Khameni has assured his militiamen that Israel is “doomed to failure and annihilation.” In the same speech, which was broadcast live on State television, Khameni added that “Zionist leaders cannot be called humans.”
Have you seen this reported by our mainstream media? I haven’t. It came to my attention via French television.
Common sense suggests that a nuclear arms deal with a nation whose top leader holds such views is not worth reaching unless it ensures the dismantling of that nation’s nuclear arms capacity. Common sense further suggests that such a nation will not agree to dismantlement, and Iran has not agreed to it.
If forced to address this argument, John Kerry would probably respond, as other analysts have, that Khameni’s remarks are evidence that he is ready to make a deal. In order to sell the deal to his supporters, he must serve up bellicose rhetoric to demonstrate that he hasn’t gone soft. Or so the argument goes.
No one doubts that Khameni is ready to deal. He wants sanctions to be weakened and then terminated in exchange, basically, for not pressing ahead much with his nuclear program. The question is whether we should reach such a deal with a leader who talks about the annihilation of Israel and its subhuman leaders.
If Khameni means what he says, and who can be sure he doesn’t, then the answer is “no.” If Khameni is making these statements only to keep his supporters happy, the answer is still “no.”
The same political exigencies that cause Khameni to rage against Israel now could easily cause him, after an agreement is signed, to decide he needs to “break out” and complete the development of nuclear weapons. Under the kinds of deals being discussed, it appears Iran could do this in a matter of months.
That is why only dismantlement is acceptable.