President Barack Obama’s move towards normalization of relations with Cuba has generated lots of hope and analyses that a similar development may take place with Iran. Jim Lobe, founder of the Lobe Log and Washington Bureau Chief of the Inter Press Service, is one such observer. His recent article offers an excellent elaboration of the arguments. I rarely comment on writings by others, but his article deserves a response.
Lobe writes, “In my opinion, Obama’s willingness to make a bold foreign policy move [on Cuba] should—contrary to the narratives put out by the neoconservatives and other hawks—actually strengthen the Rouhani-Zarif faction within the Iran leadership who are no doubt arguing that Obama is serious both about reaching an agreement and forging a new relationship with the Islamic Republic.”
As someone who has spent 25 years trying to mend relations between the US and Iran, I wish Mr. Lobe and his liberal allies were right, and that their “neoconservative” opponents were wrong in their assessments that after Cuba comes Iran; unfortunately they are not. The truth is that Obama cannot so easily unlock the 35-year US-Iran entanglement that involves complex forces, including an Islamic Revolution.Read More