An interesting report in the Washington Post about Iran’s defiance of Western sanctions contains this remarkable nugget:
“We are very proud of our diplomacy, although we are mainly benefiting from mistakes made by the United States and its allies,” said Kazem Jalali, a key member of the Iranian parliament’s commission on national security and foreign policy. “We are using all our resources to exploit these weaknesses.”
The new sanctions have been advertised by the Obama administration as a demonstration of world unity against the Iranian nuclear program. In reality, they are so weak and so lacking in international support that they do nothing more than showcase the fecklessness of Obama’s “smart diplomacy”:
The new U.S.-backed measures have been watered down enough that Tehran’s crucial oil sector will probably be spared, and Russia’s and China’s business dealings with Iran will go largely untouched.
Let’s review how we got here: The “reset” with Russia that was supposed to earn cooperation on Security Council sanctions merely taught Russia that Obama can be defied, cost-free. China noticed, and has joined the hands-off-Iran coalition. The “daylight” policy of being rude to the Israelis as a way of unifying the Arabs behind the peace process and against Iran has only left Israel isolated and the Arabs in disarray. Obama’s review conference for the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and his calls for a nuclear-free Middle East have been easily manipulated to deflect attention from the threat to American interests — Iran — to the threat to Iranian interests, Israel.
The world has noticed Obama’s inability to get serious: Russia and China are now joined by Brazil and Turkey in openly thwarting the president’s meek effort to confront Iran. You know your enemy has lost respect for you when he admits, as Jalali does above, that you’re not even making it hard for him anymore.