Speaking in London, President Obama restated his belief that Iran has a right to pursue nuclear technology for energy purposes, providing they prove their aspirations are peaceful. He also restated his desire for direct diplomacy with Tehran and warned Iran could face more sanctions if they didn’t respond positively to US overtures.
The President is correct when he says that Iran has a right to nuclear power (a right, as RedState notes, conveniently isn’t held by the United States). The only problem is that virtually everyone in the world knows that Iran isn’t pursuing nuclear technology for energy purposes – they want nuclear weapons. A nation that is flush with oil doesn’t need nuclear power, though that might be a nice side effect to their quest for the Bomb.
Obama was trying to sound fair-minded, but the problem is that, at a time when he should be taking a harder line toward Iran and the mullahs, he’s playing right into their hands with this kind of rhetoric, as Iran has innocently suggested that all they wanted the whole time was merely nuclear power. Indeed, they have gleefully taken Obama’s statement as a sign that America now recognizes Iran’s rights.
I believe, as Ed Morrisey suggests, that Obama wants to be focused on his domestic agenda, and Iran, along with North Korea, provide untimely distractions. He wants to get along and reach out to the Muslim world, which is all well and good, but you must simultaneously take seriously the threats that the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea present to the world, and yes, that does include us.