Team Iran

Featured image If you want to understand the current state of play with Iran, there is nothing better to read than Lee Smith’s “Team Iran. This long Tablet column extricates us from the fog of stupidity that permeates the subject among Democrats and their mainstream media adjunct. I would only add this note. Lee credits Obama with decent motives for realigning our foreign policy consistent with Iranian interests. Michael Doran’s 2015 analysis »

On blaming Trump for Iran’s aggression against Saudi Arabia

Featured image It has become a standard talking point among leftists and Democrats to blame President Trump for Iran’s attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. This Washington Post column by David Ignatius provides a good example of the genre. In his opening sentence, Igantius claims that Trump “start[ed] the fight” with Iran. We shouldn’t be surprised by this line of argument. As Jeane Kirkpatrick observed decades ago, the left always blames America »

What Next in the Persian Gulf?

Featured image Assuming Iran is indeed behind the attack on Saudi Arabia’s major oil refining facility, it represents a step-increase in Iranian-backed aggression in the region. The Wall Street Journal‘s Spencer Jakab says this attack is “the big one“: Saturday’s attack on a critical Saudi oil facility will almost certainly rock the world energy market in the short term, but it also carries disturbing long-term implications. Ever since the dual 1970s oil »

Saudi oil facilities attacked, Trump administration suspects Iran

Featured image Without wanting for even a minute to downplay the immense importance of what Brett Kavanaugh did or didn’t do at a party in 1983, I think by far the major news story right now is the drone attack on two major Saudi oil facilities. The two damaged installations process the vast majority of Saudi Arabia’s crude output. Thus, the attacks may significantly disrupt world oil supplies. Who is responsible for »

John Bolton as scapegoat

Featured image President Trump must be frustrated. That, at least, is the most innocent explanation I can think of for the way he behaves. Trump has plenty to be frustrated about. By now, if one believed candidate Trump, our border with Mexico should be secure, thanks to a big beautiful wall paid for by Mexico. It isn’t. By now, the trade war with China should be won. After all, Trump assured us »

Obama Swept Iran Terror Plot Under the Rug

Featured image Former Defense Secretary James Mattis has a book coming out in which he is harshly critical of President Obama. Among other things, he recalls his dissent from Obama’s decision to pull troops out of Iraq prematurely, which had nearly-disastrous consequences. But this less well-known story about Iran is also noteworthy: Mattis says Washington didn’t even inform him when Iran committed an “act of war” on American soil. Mattis was CENTCOM »

Iranian foreign minister received warm welcome in Europe

Featured image I don’t mind that French president Emmanuel Macron met with Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif last month, although it did bother me that the meeting occurred while the G-7 summit was in progress and President Trump was still in France. But what really aggravates me is the warm reception Zarif received in Europe from various public figures. Mina Bai of the Gatestone Institute has the details. In Sweden: After »

Trump trolls the mullahs

Featured image President Trump’s detachment of the United States from the wagon of the Iranian regime was a mighty deed. What can be said about the Obama administration’s funding of the regime and blessing of its nuclear program? Perhaps that it made the Munich Agreement look good by comparison. At least Neville Chamberlain didn’t agree to fund Hitler’s regime. The abject humiliation of the United States by the terms of the the »

Trump and Macron, a bromance renewed?

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about what I called “Macron’s stunt” — the high-level meeting between French and Iranian officials that occurred while France was hosting the G-7 conference. I viewed the meeting as an affront to President Trump. Not because Trump doesn’t want France and Iran to talk, but because holding talks in the midst of the summit, and without Trump’s prior approval, seemed like grandstanding and an attempt to show »

Iran’s Cruz stunt

Featured image There is nothing funny about the Iranian regime’s threat to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and other Americans, but the regime’s impending imposition of sanctions on Trump administration figures and other opponents such as Senator Cruz injects an element of comic relief. The Trump administration’s sanctions on Iran must be taking a serious toll. Now Iran is about to retaliate. At the Washington Free Beacon, Adam Kredo picks »

Macron’s Iran stunt

Featured image French president Emmanuel Macron invited Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, to Biarritz, France, where the G-7 summit is convened. Zarif reportedly met for several hours with Macron, his foreign minister, and diplomats from Great Britain and Germany. Macron’s stunt didn’t just catch President Trump off guard. At least some leaders of other G-7 nations apparently weren’t told in advance about Zarif’s visit, either. Macron disagrees with the Trump administration’s »

Iran revisited (2)

Featured image To this date the American public has not been advised of the side deals that the Obama administration made with Iran to announce its agreement to the JCPOA. A complete accounting of these side deals remains classified, so I am reliably informed. Jay Solomon has reported that the side deals Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated were largely about infusing Iran with more cash and investment. Here is »

Iran revisited

Featured image What did the Obama administration have in mind when it chose to empower and enrich the murderously anti-American and viciously genocidal regime Iran? Michael Doran explained all in the Mosaic 2015 essay “Obama’s secret Iran strategy.” Doran’s analysis is still worth reading and still hard to believe. Why was the strategy secret? Perhaps the Obama administration promulgated some counterpart to the Truman administration’s NSC-68, the top secret strategic assessment adopted »

Has Trump tapped Rand Paul for a mission to the mullahs? Trump says no

Featured image Yesterday, I saw reports that President Trump had agreed to have Rand Paul talk with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, who is in New York City this week for a U.N. conference. The reports struck me as questionable. Is Trump impatient or even disillusioned with his own Iran policy? He might be. Is he unhappy with the advisers who urged him to adopt the policy? If he’s unhappy with the »

What Iran is really up to

Featured image If you want to understand the current state of the conflict with Iran, I urge you to read Michael Doran’s invaluable Mosaic essay “What Iran is really up to.” The stakes are high and the conflict is complicated. The mainstream media are acting as little more than a vehicle of Iranian/Democratic disinformation and propaganda. This week’s Tikvah podcast features Doran and is posted here at Mosaic. I have embedded it »

Will Trump’s Iran policy succeed?

Featured image President Trump should be commended for recognizing the bankruptcy of President Obama’s Iran policy and, accordingly, for scrapping it. Obama’s policy did not even purport to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. What it did was finance Iranian aggression throughout the Middle East and solidify the mullahs’ hold on the Iranian people. Obama hoped that lifting sanctions and forking over gold to the mullahs would induce Iran to become a »

Trump’s dilemma

Featured image Donald Trump campaigned as the man who would restore teeth to American foreign policy. Red lines would be enforced. The Iran nuclear deal, thanks to which the mullahs were able to finance aggression throughout the Middle East, would be overturned. Iran would not obtain nuclear weapons. There would be a new sheriff in town. This was good campaign rhetoric. Weakness is unappealing. Strength sells. Trump also campaigned as the man »