Readers may recall the hyperbolic cries of the Hands Off Iran coalition not long ago over a non-binding House resolution calling for tougher sanctions on the Islamic Republic, which, the group erroneously claimed, called for a naval blockade and thus amounted to a declaration of war. The resolution did no such thing, but such are the concerns of those peacemakers in the United States that we might “provoke” the Iranians into doing something ill-considered that any step — other than offering the Iranians “incentives” — is deemed an act of warmongering.
Today, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards threatened to close the Straits of Hormuz, a major route for transporting oil from the Persian Gulf to market. He also boasted of a new, long-range missile capable of striking at American warships in the Gulf. These actual provocations follow a high-level meeting between diplomats representing United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany and Iranian counterparts at which Iran was offered a string of incentives to stop enriching uranium.
Reports the Times:
Specifically, the world powers wanted Iran to accept a formula known as freeze-for-freeze. Under this plan, Iran would not expand its nuclear program, and the United States and other powers would not seek new international sanctions for six weeks to pave the way for formal negotiations. The proposal, first offered last year, is intended to give Iran economic and political incentives to stop enriching uranium.
Iran dismissed the deadline and on Saturday President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed that Iran would not move an inch on its nuclear rights, although he said it welcomed talks.
Will the Left acknowledge this failed diplomacy? Will the “engagement” crowd finally acknowledge that the presence of America’s number three diplomat bearing concessions failed to win over the Iranians?
Iran’s threat to block the Straits of Hormuz is effectively a threat to declare war. But don’t expect the Hands Off Iran caucus to have the intellectual consistency or moral clarity to admit as such.