A Lawyer in a Region of Thugs

(Wall Street Journal) Fouad Ajami - In recent years Iran's theocrats have pushed on with their nuclear program, kept up the proxy war against U.S. forces in Iraq, and pushed deeper into Arab affairs, positioning themselves, through their proxies, as a power of the Mediterranean. Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had no interest in a thaw with the Great Satan. Last month at the UN, Mr. Obama hailed Khamenei for issuing a "fatwa" against his country's development of nuclear weapons. Even though there is no evidence that any such fatwa exists, the notion that the Iranian regime is governed by religious edict is naive in the extreme. Muslims know that fatwas can be issued and abandoned at the whim of those who pronounce them. We will ultimately discover that Iran's rulers are hell-bent on pursuing a nuclear-weapons program while trying to rid themselves of economic sanctions. The sanctions haven't stopped Iran from aiding the murderous Assad regime in Syria, or subsidizing Hizbullah in Beirut. And they will not dissuade this regime from its pursuit of nuclear weapons. In Israel, there is the bitter realization that America's strongest ally in the region is now made to look like the final holdout against a blissful era of compromise that will calm a turbulent region. A sound U.S. diplomatic course with Iran would never have run so far ahead of Israel's interests and of the region's moderate anti-Iranian Arab coalition.

2013-10-25 00:00:00

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