U.S. Naivete Could Turn Iran Into Regional Superpower
When Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday that there might be "ways" Iran could "contribute from the sidelines," "weigh in," or "help the process" in the Syrian peace conference in Montreux, Switzerland, to begin later this month, he apparently thought the mullahs would be flattered.
Predictably, Tehran responded with more contempt of the Great Satan, complaining that "the Islamic Republic of Iran will not accept any proposal which does not respect its dignity."
It is a very old, wise saying that evil begets more evil. Kerry, in signing in blood a pact with the devil seeking to appease Iran out of its nuclear program, seems to think he might as well have the devil check his blood's cholesterol level while he's at it.
Since we're on such smiling terms with Iran in Geneva, why not have Tehran help out with their friends in Syria, Kerry's thinking seems to be.
The New York Times' Tehran correspondent even told us Tuesday that America and Iran "find themselves on the same side of a range of regional issues" as they are "drawn together by their mutual opposition to" common enemies, such as Sunni insurgencies in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.
We'll soon be the best of friends, apparently.
President Obama, whose unfounded self-confidence in his diplomatic acumen dates back to early in his campaign, must now be more full of himself than ever.
The Iran nuclear problem is not only proving easy as pie; they'll be helping us with other Mideast problems that until the Obama era were insurmountable.
If it all seems too good to be true, that's because it's far worse than you think.
In grousing that Kerry's suggestion "does not respect its dignity," the Iranians are upping the ante. We won't "contribute from the sidelines" like some second-rate power, they're telling Kerry and Obama; but if you invite us to become the player on the Syrian negotiations, we might very well be happy to help ourselves to that.
The devious and globally ambitious Russian ruler Vladimir Putin was the one who, at Kerry's suggestion, got the Syria negotiations going. And Russia over many years, after all, built Iran's nuclear program.
It would be an exercise in black comedy to wonder who is more eager to reduce the influence and prestige of the world's lone superpower: Moscow or Tehran?