Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Mullahs Say Thanks

Iran becomes more belligerent in the wake of the nuclear deal.
President Obama and his foreign-policy admirers—a dwindling lot—hoped that the nuclear deal would make Iran more open to cooperation in the Middle East and with the U.S. Mark this down as another case in which the world is disappointing the American President.
WAPO reporter Jason Rezaian in 2013. 
Photo: zoeann murphy/WAPO/Reuters
Iran’s judiciary on Monday announced that Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post’s Tehran correspondent, has been convicted. He was on trial for “espionage.” Security forces arrested Mr. Rezaian and his wife, journalist Yeganeh Salehi, in July 2014. Ms. Salehi was later released, but the regime has held Mr. Rezaian “in a black hole for 14 months,” as his brother, Ali, told us. Mr. Rezaian, a U.S. citizen, has been denied even the basic rights the regime sometimes affords political prisoners, including bail and phone calls.
The timing of the conviction won’t escape students of history. Friday was the 444th day of his captivity. That was the number of days U.S. diplomats in Iran spent as hostages following the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Mr. Rezaian’s conviction three days later is the mullah equivalent of mailing a dead fish to an adversary.
Mr. Rezaian’s brother also told us that “I’d like the U.S. government to say [about Jason’s detention]: This kind of behavior has consequences. Up to now this has had no consequences. What have been the consequences? It hasn’t stopped them from getting their nuclear deal. And it hasn’t stopped them from getting over half a billion a month in sanctions relief since we started talking to them.”
The Iranian judiciary answers to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who last week issued an edict banning any talk with Washington. Supporters of the Iran deal are sure to blame Mr. Khamenei and his hard-line faction for the Rezaian case and the regime’s permanent anti-American posture. President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, deal supporters say, don’t share Mr. Khamenei’s view of America as the Great Satan.
Read the rest of this WSJ op-ed HERE.

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