Thursday, September 17, 2015

Most Americans Disapprove of Obama’s Handling of Iran - Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

by Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

According to the study, 59% disapprove of the way President Obama has dealt with Iranian leaders. It also demonstrates that an increasing number of American citizens believe that Iran is a serious threat to the United States.

In order to secure Iran’s nuclear deal, as well as to ensure that economic sanctions would be lifted against the Islamic Republic, President Obama always buttressed his position with the argument that the American people were in favor of such a deal and that the majority of Americans support how he is handling US foreign policy towards Iran. 

Just as the details of the nuclear deal were hidden from the American people, the aforementioned argument that President Obama used was also inaccurate. 

While the administration continued to hide what the details of the deal were, the impression was given that this was what the American people favored. 

ORC International has conducted widespread research in order to seek Americans' opinions about how President Obama is handling the case of the Islamic Republic and whether Iranian leaders will keep their word on the nuclear deal. 

According to the study, 59% disapprove of the way President Obama has dealt with Iranian leaders. It also demonstrates that an increasing number of American citizens believe that Iran is a serious threat to the United States. What is intriguing is that the overwhelming majority believe that the Islamic Republic will not abide by the nuclear deal and instead will violate the agreement. 

In light of mounting disapproval, does the public opinion even matter to President Obama? Or does he still believe that he is the most intelligent man in the room? Will President Obama continue to believe that his policy and ideological view on Iran is correct and that the American people are wrong?

It is quite informative that, when one considers the latest developments in Iran, one cannot fail to see that the overwhelming majority of Americans are accurate. Their argument and valid concerns that Iran will violate the nuclear deal, and that the Islamic Republic is a serious threat to US national security, economic, geopolitical and strategic interests is proving to be true. 

A recent concrete example of this is that, right after President Obama secured the nuclear deal in the Senate by influencing the Democrats to seal the nuclear agreement, Iranian leaders “suddenly” found an “unexpectedly high” reserve of uranium. 

Al Akbar Salehi, the Iranian deputy foreign minister, the nuclear chief, and a close adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamemeni, first announced this information to Iran’s state news agency (IRNA). After the news was reported by Reuters, IRNA removed the news from its sites.  

Salehi was quoted as pointing out that "I cannot announce (the level of) Iran's uranium mine reserves,"  adding, "The important thing is that before aerial prospecting for uranium ores we were not too optimistic, but the new discoveries have made us confident about our reserves."

After Iranian leaders made sure that the nuclear deal was sealed not only in the United Nations Security Council but also in the US Congress, they felt comfortable enough in their new position of power to boast about their supposedly newly discovered nuclear facilities and capabilities, all of which were not disclosed at the time of nuclear negotiating.

It is possible that this information was disclosed to President Obama, but he chose not to reveal it to the American people. Either way, the American public was deceived. With the deal sealed, the US lost its leverage against the mullahs. 

In addition, after the nuclear deal was sealed, Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, contradicted Obama’s claim and promise that the nuclear deal would slow Iran’s nuclear activities. Salehi pointed out that the nuclear deal is not going to slow Iran’s nuclear activities: “The official said the restrictions which the JCPOA entails are by no means the ones which would restrict Iran in its nuclear activities.”

In fact Salehi added that Iran’s nuclear program will be completed quite some time before the nuclear deal ends. 

After President Obama provided the Islamic Republic with its biggest economic, ideological, geopolitical, and strategic gain by sealing the nuclear deal, one would think that Iranian leaders might become less hostile towards Americans and possibly thank the US for the nuclear deal. 

But Iran’s position is: Thanks, but no thanks.

Instead, the Supreme autocrat of Iran, Khamenei, and other Iranian officials continue -- and have increased and intensified -- their anti-American slogans and efforts. This is the Ayatollah's way of thanking the US. 

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a former senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf Project at Columbia University. He can be reached at Follow Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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