Throughout the summer, the Iranian regime arrested, persecuted, and in some cases killed the vocal critics of the sham elections. The Obama administration said little and continued to insist that the United States wanted to engage Iran.
Iran finally answered the invitation for talks on September 9--five months after it was first proffered. The response--two days after Ahmadinejad declared that his country "will never negotiate" on nuclear weapons--was almost farcical. The ten-page document offered to talk about a wide variety of issues, including "elevating the weight and position of environmental issues in the international relations" and the "enhancement of ethical and human considerations and their full observance in international mechanisms, ties and practices." Conspicuously absent from the response was any mention of the issue that the proposed negotiations were called to address: Iran's nuclear program.
The fist was still clenched, and the Obama administration clasped it anyway. "We'll be looking to see if they are willing to engage seriously on these issues," said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, without obvious irony. The meeting is set for October 1.
Last week, Ali Akbar Javanfekr, a top press adviser to Ahmadinejad, was asked about news reports that the United States had offered to sell Iran Boeing planes as a gesture of goodwill. He mocked the reported overture:
The offer for an economic deal such as selling Boeing planes with the aim of establishing bilateral ties is derived from an inhuman and materialistic view towards other nations. We consider no value and nobility for such relations.
He added that Obama "is held captive by extremist Republicans and has been very unsuccessful with keeping George Bush's ideas out of the White House."
Obama's kindheartedness is dangerous. It requires his administration to ignore an uncomfortable fact: Iran is the world's foremost state sponsor of terror and its regime is committed to killing Americans in both Afghanistan and Iraq.
For years Iran has been providing lethal aid to terrorists in Iraq. Brigadier General Kevin Bergner extensively detailed this support in a press briefing in July 2007. The Qods Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, in particular, provides weapons and training to a variety of terrorist organizations--or "special groups"--operating in Iraq:
Funding and training of the special groups started in 2004. The Qods Force supplies special groups with EFPs, machine guns, rockets, sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and IEDs. Iraqi special groups are trained in one of three training camps inside Iran and are operated by the Qods Force and supported by Lebanese Hezbollah operatives.
Bergner added: "Our intelligence reveals that senior leadership in Iran is aware of this activity."
Former CIA director Michael Hayden was equally blunt in a speech at Kansas State in May 2008. "It is the policy of the Iranian government, approved to the highest levels of that government, to facilitate the killing of Americans in Iraq."
And earlier this year, Lieutenant General Austin Lloyd, the second-ranking U.S. military official in Iraq, said that U.S. forces had continued to find caches of Iranian-made weapons. He said the discoveries "lead us to believe that Iranian support activity is still ongoing."
The support for terrorists in Iraq is well known, but Iranian mullahs' support for terrorists in Afghanistan has been less publicized.
In February, Dennis Blair, the new director of national intelligence, provided answers to a long list of questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee. In July, the Federation of American Scientists released a copy of Blair's answers that it had obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The report has garnered surprisingly little attention considering the explosive claims Blair made. On page 12, he addressed the deadly role Iran is playing in Afghanistan--supporting the Afghan government and the insurgents that seek to bring it down. This support for insurgents--Blair calls it "lethal aid"--means that Iranian weapons are being used against American soldiers and their NATO counterparts.
Among the disturbing findings: