Is Obama Quietly Courting A Coalition With Iran?


Is Barack Obama trying to shift alliances in the Middle East away from traditional allies and toward Iran? Robert Kaplan, author and geopolitical analyst for the Stratford consulting firm, thinks so. In a realclearworld.com article, Kaplan argues that the Obama administration sees the recently elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “as a potential Deng Xiaoping, someone from within the ideological solidarity system who can, measure-by-stealthy-measure, lead his country away from ideology and toward internal reform.” Such a development, he goes on, is “something that could, in turn, result in an understanding with the West.” That of course is not what the president and Secretary of State John Kerry say they’re up to. They say they’re trying to get Iran to agree to stop its nuclear weapons development. No talk of a new alliance. But Kaplan’s view provides a more convincing explanation of what they’ve actually been doing. It helps explain why Obama and Kerry remain equable in the face of Iranian officials’ public statements that they have not given up their nuclear program. It also helps explain their adamant opposition to the sanctions bill supported by 59 senators and a large majority in the House. That bill would apply enhanced sanctions if and only if the administration did not achieve its stated goals at the end of the six-month negotiating period agreed to in November and that took effect, after resolution of “technical” issues, in January. Obama spokesmen say the sanctions legislation might torpedo the negotiations and even lead to war. The Iranians, brought to the table by sanctions, will walk out if more sanctions are threatened. More
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