I can’t recall an event since I started this website in 2008 that has been as historically consequential as the nuclear deal the United States and five other countries just struck with Iran.

It is the sweep of history.

The deal is Obama’s deal. He drove it, he crafted it with John Kerry as the scrivener, and he pulled the other powers along with it.

The defects in the Iran nuclear deal are being exposed in great detail. Those problems are serious and real.

But what has troubled me the most as I read through the varied technical analyses is the same thing that has bothered me since June 2009, when the Iranian people rose up against the Mullah regime after fraudulent elections.

Obama was silent for weeks in the face of brutal regime oppression and repression, and then structured a response designed to keep the Mullahs in power.

[Video of the Rooftop Revolution in Tehran, June 9, 2009]

I wrote about it at the time, Negotiations Preconditioned On Mullah Rule:

During the [2008] campaign and after assuming the presidency, Barack Obama repeatedly stated his willingness to engage in negotiations with Iran without any preconditions. But that was and is not true.

The events of the past two weeks [of June 2009], including the revelation that Obama sent a letter in May to “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reveal that there is one precondition to negotiations which Obama willingly embraces: United States acceptance of Mullah rule in Iran in perpetuity.

Acceptance of Mullah rule, notwithstanding what the people of Iran may want or basic human rights, is the key to the Grand Bargain the Obama administration seeks to strike with Iran. In fact, U.S. help to perpetuate the Mullahtocracy appears to be the ONLY precondition.

Making continued Mullah rule the only precondition to negotiations has two negative effects. First, it demonstrates the falsity of the notion that Obama stands for positive change in the Muslim world, particularly for women. Second, it takes off the table the only issue which really matters to the Mullahs, and thereby makes negotiations over Iran’s nuclear weapons program less, not more, likely to succeed.

Only someone who never has had to negotiate anything of significance in his life would pursue a policy of conceding his best negotiating point as a precondition to negotiations. Only someone who is supremely cynical would make a “historic” speech to the Muslim world promising to work for fundamental human rights, yet concede that issue before negotiations with Iran have started.

[Protests, Tehran June 13, 2009]

Barack Obama cast his lot with the Mullahs in 2009, and has again in 2015.

The economic and military sanctions on Iran will be lifted, the nuclear program continued, and above all, the Mullahs strengthened throughout the region, and beyond.

In every way, Iran is the new hegemon.

That will be the sweep of history, and it didn’t need to be that way.

But it’s what Obama always has wanted, and his greatest achievement.


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