Friday, July 3, 2009

Obama to Block G8 Sactions on Iran?!

Haaretz reports that while there is significant momentum for the G8 to impose new sanctions on Iran, the U.S. is "working behind the scenes to prevent new sanctions from being imposed against Iran."

(Hat tip to HotAir)

Apparently, Obama is still stuck on the crazy notion that he can talk the Supreme Leader of Iran to give up nukes, and doesn't want to antagonize Iran.

Idiot! Khamenei and Ahmadinejad will never give up the nukes. Negotiations with them are worthless. Regime change is the only chance to stop them short of military action. Mousavi is still hanging on, and Khatami just spoke out against the regime. Rafsanjani is almost certainly opposed but must not have enough support in the Assembly of Experts to oust Khamenei. Right now is exactly the right time to put MORE pressure on the regime and bolster the opposition in any way possible.

Instead Obama is putting blind faith in his ability to negotiate with the current regime when it doesn't have a chance of success. In the meantime, he won't even allow sanctions to go forward to put more pressure on the regime. Dimplomacy is only successful when it is backed up by credible threat of military or economic force.

And if I am right so far, then all of the election protestors are about to become martyrs with no help at all from the U.S.

Now I know what living during Carter's presidency must have been like.

For those that need a primer on Iran's Government, first this Wikipedia graphic:

Note that the Supreme Leader has control of the military and the judiciary, and also has almost complete control over the 12 member Guardian Council. He appoints 6 members directly and appoints the Head of the Judiciary who nominates the other 6 members of the Guardian Council, subject to Parliament's approval. The Guardian Council, in turn, controls the elections. All candidates for Parliament, President, or the Assembly of Experts must first be approved by the Guardian Council.

The Assembly of Experts is a 86 member body that meets twice a year whose sole purpose is to appoint and monitor the Supreme Leader. They apparently have the power to remove the Supreme Leader if "the Leader becomes incapable of fulfilling his constitutional duties, or loses one of the qualifications mentioned in the Constitution, or it becomes known that he did not possess some of the qualifications initially..." I assume this could be done on a majority vote. Reform-minded Rafsanjani is currently head of the Assembly of Experts, and appears to have a majority of the members on his side. However, it is unclear if that means enough support that they could ever oust the Supreme Leader. Rafsanjani recently called an emergency meeting of the Assembly of Experts. However, all notes are classified and only viewable by the Assembly Members and the Supreme Leader, so its hard to say what they discussed. The Assembly of Experts has never publicly opposed a Supreme Leader on any matter.

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