Iranian President and his Senior Advisor Ridicule Obama
In a recent interview with NBC News, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani mocked President Barack Obama and America’s strategy to destroy the terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). President Rouhani was referring to Obama’s pledge not to put ‘boots on the ground’.
Iran’s disrespect for the American President has been on display for the world with the latest coming from Rouhani’s senior advisor calling Obama the ‘weakest of U.S. presidents’.
With that in mind, what hope is there that an agreement can be reached to impede Iran’s nuclear ambitions?
Adviser to Iranian President Mocks Obama’s ‘Humiliating’ Presidency Sees Democrats in Power as an Opportunity
The Iranian president’s senior advisor has called President Barack Obama “the weakest of U.S. presidents” and described the U.S. leader’s tenure in office as “humiliating,” according to a translation of the highly candid comments provided to the Free Beacon.
The comments by Ali Younesi, senior advisor to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, come as Iran continues to buck U.S. attempts to woo it into the international coalition currently battling the Islamic State (IS, ISIL, or ISIS).
And with the deadline quickly approaching on talks between the U.S. and Iran over its contested nuclear program, Younesi’s denigrating views of Obama could be a sign that the regime in Tehran has no intent of conceding to America’s demands.
“Obama is the weakest of U.S. presidents, he had humiliating defeats in the region. Under him the Islamic awakening happened,” Younesi said in a Farsi language interview with Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency.
“Americans witnessed their greatest defeats in Obama’s era: Terrorism expanded, [the] U.S. had huge defeats under Obama [and] that is why they want to compromise with Iran,” Younesi said.
Younesi, a former minister of intelligence in the country, also had some harsh comments about U.S. conservatives and the state of Israel.
“Conservatives are war mongers, they cannot tolerate powers like Iran,” he said. “If conservatives were in power they would go to war with us because they follow Israel and they want to portray Iran as the main threat and not ISIS.”
Younesi took a more conciliatory view towards U.S. Democrats, who he praised for viewing Iran as “no threat.”
“We [the Islamic Republic] have to use this opportunity [of Democrats being in power in the U.S.], because if this opportunity is lost, in future we may not have such an opportunity again,” Younesi said.
The candid comments by Rouhani’s right-hand-man could provide a window into the regime’s mindset as nuclear talks wind to a close.
The Obama administration has maintained for months that it will not permit Congress to have final say over the deal, which many worry will permit Iran to continue enriching uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon.
About the potential for a nuclear deal, Youseni said, “I am not optimistic so much, but the two sides are willing to reach results,” according to an official translation posted online by Fars News.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have adopted a much more pessimistic view of Iran’s negotiating tactics, which many on the Hill maintain are meant to stall for time as Tehran completes its nuclear weapon.
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.), for instance, wrote a letter to the White House this week to tell Obama his desire to skirt Congress is unacceptable.
“Congress cannot and will not sit idly by if the Administration intends on taking unilateral action to provide sanctions relief to Iran for a nuclear deal we perceive to be weak and dangerous for our national security, the security of the region, and poses a threat to the U.S. and our ally, the democratic Jewish State of Israel,” Ros-Lehtinen wrote.
Obama to Go It Alone?
The Obama administration initially demanded a complete dismantling of the nearly 20,000 centrifuges Iran has amassed to enrich uranium for the production of nuclear fuel. Tehran said it would ultimately need up to at least five times that number to have enough fuel to power the country’s reactors.
Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons and says its activities are for peaceful purposes only, such as the production of energy.
Signs of a potential compromise have emerged in recent days with Iranian state media reporting that Tehran and its negotiating partners, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council along with Germany—a diplomatic bloc known as the P5-+1—focused on a number of 4,000 centrifuges.
U.S. officials have neither confirmed nor denied the numbers. Outside experts said the number could be acceptable to the P5+1 and to Congress because it would place constraints on Iran’s ability to produce weapons-usable fuel.
“It’s not as simple as saying X-number of centrifuges, because it has to be taken as a whole package,” said another senior U.S. official. “We’re looking at all of the ways that we can basically block off any potential combination that they could think of how to get to a weapon.”
The White House’s outreach to Congress will be critical to sealing an agreement with Iran. The issue of Congress’s role is a contentious one.
The White House is arguing that an agreement wouldn’t be a formal treaty, and, therefore, wouldn’t require congressional approval. Leading U.S. lawmakers are threatening to impose new sanctions if a deal isn’t seen as doing enough to roll back Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.
Pro-Israel lawmakers have voiced concern and are demanding the White House seek congressional approval to forge an agreement with Tehran.