Obama's Isolation Of Tehran

It's working, as reports of possibly lethal sanctions bubble to the surface. Roger Cohen reports:

One of the first people I saw in Iran was Saeed Leylaz, an economist close to Moussavi. (Like many of Iran’s reformist intellectuals, Leylaz is now in jail.) He told me Obama’s outreach his recognition of the Islamic Republic and pledge of “mutual respect” had affected the campaign, unsettling hard-liners. “Radicalism creates radicalism,” Leylaz said. He was referring to the way President Bush’s talk of Iran as evil opened the way for Ahmadinejad to build a global brand of sorts through lambasting U.S. arrogance.

By contrast, a black American president of partly Muslim descent reaching out to the Islamic world and demonstrating, by his very election, the possibility of change had placed the Iranian regime on the defensive. One conservative Iranian official put it this way to Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: “If Iran can’t make nice with a U.S. president named Barack Hussein Obama who’s preaching mutual respect and sending us greetings, it’s pretty clear the problem lies in Tehran, not Washington.”

For a closer look at Cohen's piece, Ackerman breaks it down. For an abridged version, see the Goldblog Insta-Translator:

The Making of an Iran Policy, by Roger Cohen

Iran is going to get the Bomb. This is okay. Iran's government is not nice. They used to be nice, but not anymore. It doesn't matter. Israel wants to stop Iran from getting the Bomb. One thing is clear: Them Jews is crazy. They must be stopped. Dennis Ross works in the American government. But he's Jewish. Is he too Jewish to talk to Iran? Maybe. But he could make the Jews learn to love the Iranian bomb. It remains to be seen.

The End