Sunday, September 29, 2013

#1290 Pipes NRO blog: "Believe Khamene'i and Assad? Not Me"

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Believe Khamene'i and Assad? Not Me

by Daniel Pipes
September 28, 2013
Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner
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Has anyone else noted the similarity in today's top two Middle East news headlines – the telephone call between the Iranian and American presidents and the passage of U.N. Security Council Resoluton 2118 that calls for the "expeditious destruction" of Syrian chemical weapons? In both cases:
  • A long-ruling tyrant (Ali Khamene'i, Bashar al-Assad,) is reaching out to the West.
  • Those tyrants are furiously signaling an apparent reform (a smiling Hassan Rouhani, Assad acknowledging his chemical weapons and agreeing to turn them over).
  • "Who us, WMD?" they ask. "No interest at all in them."
Supreme Leader Ali Khamene'i (left) with President Hassan Rouhani. Let's not forget who's in charge in Tehran.
Count me skeptical. In part, I've learned over the decades that pessimism is good for one's career as a Middle East analyst. In part, both the Iranian and Syrian governments have shown such dedication to their WMD buildups that it's nearly inconceivable either will voluntarily undo them.
I just hope that the U.S. and other governments don't fall prey to manipulations and delays. Given the occupant in the White House, however, that seems like a very probable outcome, especially in the Iranian case. (September 28, 2013)
Related Topics:  US policy This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete and accurate information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

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