Archive for the ‘Middle East’ Category

This LTE wasn’t written by a well-informed group of people. Either that or it was written by some exceptionally dishonest people. The LTE starts by saying “We are voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for a multitude of reasons. We want to see growth in our economy; focus on climate change and our environment; support for our farmers and small businesses; an end to COVID-19; peace, law and order in our cities without racial tension.”

Team Obama-Biden presided over the weakest recovery in US history. If you’re looking for explosive growth, you have to eliminate the Obama-Biden team. Since the Biden-Harris team’s economic policies are just a continuation of the Obama-Biden policies, we shouldn’t expect robust economic growth from them.

The writers say that they want “an end to COVID-19.” If they’re serious about that, they should be voting for President Trump. Thanks to Operation Warp Speed, 3 companies are in the final phase of developing a vaccine. It’s likely that they’ll get FDA approval before the end of 2020. They’re already manufacturing the vaccine so that it can be distributed the minute it’s approved.

If these clowns are serious about “law and order in our cities,” they should consider the fact that Joe Biden didn’t say a thing about the rioting until after Labor Day. The rioting started on Memorial Day. In other words, Biden was nowhere to be found for the entire summer on the subject.

We are voting for Biden and Harris to restore our dignity globally; restore the Voting Rights Act; strengthen our Social Security program for seniors; lift people out of poverty; re-join the Paris Climate Agreement; regain our status as a world leader in NATO.

That’s breathtakingly dishonest. President Trump has the world’s attention. Proof is found in the Bosnia-Kosovo peace agreement. More proof is found in the Abraham Accord between the US, Israel, UAE and Bahrain. As for NATO, President Trump has insisted on NATO countries paying their fair share of the budget. That’s triggered an increase of $500,000,000,000 in spending from US NATO allies. Under Obama-Biden, the US paid to defend western European nations. During the Trump administration, NATO’s budget has significantly increased, thanks to NATO allies paying a greater share. That’s what leadership looks like. We don’t need to return to the Obama administration’s lead-from-behind strategy.

This LTE was written by people who are either dishonest or ill-informed. Since they’re supporting Democrats, I’m betting that they’re dishonest. The Democrats’ attachment to the truth is limited at best.

Tuesday afternoon, President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu joined the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain in signing history-shattering peace agreements. These agreements are now known as the “Abraham Accords.”

In his remarks, President Trump said “Thanks to the great courage of the leaders of these three countries, we take a major stride toward a future in which people of all faiths and backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity.” Prime Minister Netanyahu added “This day is a pivot of history, it heralds a new dawn of peace. For thousands of years the Jewish people have prayed for peace, for decades the Jewish state has prayed for peace, and this is why today we are filled with such profound gratitude.”

They were joined by UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister. Zayani praised the deal, saying “Mr. President, your statesmanship and tireless efforts have brought us here today and made peace a reality.”

Meanwhile, Democrats acted like disgruntled children, with Speaker Pelosi sounding particularly bitter:

The signing of a pair of historic peace agreements is a “distraction” from COVID? What type of warped person is Ms. Pelosi? These agreements are historic because it isn’t often that Arab nations recognize Israel’s right to exist. That’s why Tuesday’s agreements are only the third and fourth agreements in Israel’s history.

The first agreement was the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt. They were signed by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on Sept. 17, 1978. (Sadat was assassinated 3 years later.) Next was the signing of the Israel–Jordan peace treaty in Oct., 1994. That was the last treaty between Israel and an Arab nation until yesterday.

Pelosi is one of the most tone-deaf politicians in DC history. That’s why there’s an anti-Democrat backlash building. Pelosi thinks that COVID is the top issue with voters. Just ask yourself this question. What’s most likely to get your attention — the shooting of the LA sheriff deputies or the daily update of COVID statistics? That isn’t a fair fight.

The thing that came through the most from President Obama’s speech to the DNC was that his thin skin still is his dominant insecurity. A quick perusal of his speech exposes his thin skin. For instance, it’s painfully obvious when he said “The one Constitutional office elected by all of the people is the presidency. So at minimum, we should expect a president to feel a sense of responsibility for the safety and welfare of all 330 million of us — regardless of what we look like, how we worship, who we love, how much money we have — or who we voted for.”

President Obama should read a newspaper once in awhile. When Andrew Cuomo failed his state in preparing for the next epidemic by not stocking up on ventilators and PPE, President Trump got him those supplies. When Cuomo panicked about his hospital capacity, President Trump built a 2,900 bed hospital inside the Javits Center. Then he sent the USNS Mercy into New York Harbor to supplement the existing supply of hospital space, including ICU units. It should be noticed that New York didn’t vote for President Trump. Nonetheless, he got things under control without hesitation.

I have sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president. I never expected that my successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies. I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care.

But he never did. For close to four years now, he’s shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.

First, it’s rich to hear that the man who famously talked about using his pen and phone to get things done:

Further, it was his fierce desire for his successor to continue his policies. When President Trump won, President Obama used holdovers from his administration to sabotage President Trump’s administration. Instead, President Trump ripped up President Obama’s regulations meant to cripple the energy industry by using the Congressional Review Act 16 times.

Then Trump removed the US from TPP, renegotiated NAFTA, slapped tariffs on China, authorized the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline and cut taxes to bring jobs homes from overseas. Included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was something Tim Scott figured prominently in — Opportunity Zones — which led to the lowest minority unemployment rates in our nation’s history.

That wasn’t all. After that, the man that Democrats call Orange Man Bad dramatically increased funding for HBCUs. He did that after signing into law the First Step Act, which the first black president didn’t have time for in 8 years. The First Step Act is undoing the damage done to black families by the 1994 Crime Bill that then-Sen. Joe Biden inflicted upon black families.

Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t. And the consequences of that failure are severe. 170,000 Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone while those at the top take in more than ever. Our worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before.

This is typical Obama. He intentionally omits the fact that the jobs are returning at a record pace. with 9,300,000 jobs created in the last 3 months. It’s also typical Obama for him to say “while those at the top take in more than ever.” Under the Trump administration, blue collar workers’ wages increased at a significantly higher rate than white collar wages increased, thereby shrinking the gap of income inequality that exploded during the Obama administration.

As for the US’s “proud reputation around the world badly diminished,” the truth is that Obama’s international reputation is diminished, not Trump’s. Finally, our “worst impulses unleashed” is accurate, just not in the way Obama means. BLM rioted in Portland earlier this week, putting a white man into the hospital after he crashed his truck. Looters invaded Chicago’s Miracle Mile, justifying it as reparations. Those riots are on Ted Wheeler and Lori Lightfoot, the Democrat mayors in charge of Portland and Chicago, respectively.

President Obama can’t stand the thought that his successor has a lengthy list of accomplishments. Obama hates it because it puts his microscopic list of accomplishments to shame. If only he’d taken his job seriously.

John Kerry, who once fought in Vietnam, is the worst Secretary of State in US history, in my opinion. His massive ego, though, forces him to think of himself in a positive historic light. Last night, he spoke at the Democrats’ National Convention to paint a distorted picture of the world.

For instance, Kerry said “When this president goes overseas, it isn’t a goodwill mission. It’s a blooper reel. He breaks up with our allies and writes love letters to dictators. America deserves a president who is looked up to, not laughed at.” That’s revisionist history on steroids. Here’s a snippet from President Trump’s speech “to the Arab Islamic American Summit”:

Our vision is one of peace, security, and prosperity—in this region, and in the world. Our goal is a coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God.

And so this historic and unprecedented gathering of leaders—unique in the history of nations—is a symbol to the world of our shared resolve and our mutual respect. To the leaders and citizens of every country assembled here today, I want you to know that the United States is eager to form closer bonds of friendship, security, culture and commerce.

Those “closer bonds” are paying off. Last week, the Trump administration helped negotiate a deal between Israel and the UAE. That didn’t happen during the Obama administration. That wasn’t possible during the Obama administration because they preferred cozying up to Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism.

Kerry also said this:

Donald Trump pretends Russia didn’t attack our elections. And now, he does nothing about Russia putting a bounty on our troops. He won’t defend our country… The only person he’s interested in defending is himself.

President Trump has said that Russia tried to interfere with our elections. He’s also said that he doesn’t think it was only Russia. In fact, President Trump said that the previous Ukrainian administration interfered with our elections. What’s more is that there’s proof to support President Trump’s statements.

When President Trump left the JCPOA, he took tons of grief for that decision. When President Trump ordered the strike on al-Baghdadi, the Obama administration ‘experts’ predicted chaos throughout the region. When the US took out Qassim Soleimani, the Obama administration experts predicted a region-wide destabilization. Both predictions have been wildly inaccurate.

After Russia invaded Crimea, President Obama sent blankets and MREs to Ukraine. When he took office, President Trump sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia. It’s particularly noteworthy, too, that President Trump has increased fossil fuel production, which cripples Russia’s economy. Biden and Kerry favor getting rid of fossil fuels, which strengthens Putin’s Russia. While President Trump talks nice to Putin, his actions are anything except nice.

Since Secretary Kerry ‘negotiated’ the JCPOA, he’s been a laughingstock on the international stage. His credibility on what is or isn’t a blooper reel is questionable.

Saying that Laura Ingraham isn’t honest isn’t easy for me to say. Still, it’s what I must do after reading her latest pro-Trump spin piece. It isn’t that I disagree with everything in her article. I’d be lying if I said she’s constantly dishonest. Still, I can’t sit silent after she said “I, too, would have preferred an ideal candidate who would unite us and cruise to an easy win over Hillary. Unfortunately, the conservative movement failed to field such a candidate. Much of this is due to the fact that many so-called conservatives, and their enablers in the donor class, wasted their time and money promoting the candidacies of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, two men who were, and are, utterly unacceptable to almost all actual voters in the Republican Party.”

While there’s no disputing the fact that large parts of the GOP rejected Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, it’s equally true that they were significantly more qualified, and more honest, than the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Further, Trump has been rejected by a large percentage of “actual voters in the Republican Party.” He just wasn’t rejected by as many people as Bush or Rubio.

This paragraph can’t go unquestioned:

First, some NeverTrumpers (like the Bush family) violently disagree with Trump on issues relating to immigration, trade, and foreign policy. In each of these key issues, however, Trump represents the traditional views of conservatives like Ronald Reagan, while the supporters of Bushism are locked into an extremist ideology that makes no sense in theory, and has been a disaster in practice.

That’s breathtakingly dishonest. The only other explanation is that Ms. Ingraham is just stupid. Since she once clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas, it’s a safe bet that she isn’t stupid.

Saying that Trump’s foreign policy is identical to Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy is like saying that an arsonist’s goals are essentially the same as the firefighters’ goals. First, when did President Reagan ask President Gorbachev to squash America’s enemies? When did President Reagan think it was wise to give the Soviet Union free run in the Middle East? When did President Reagan insist that we were getting screwed by other countries? When did President Reagan insist that America couldn’t compete with the world if our taxes were low and our regulations were reasonable?

The answer to these questions is simple: never.

Further, saying that Trump’s foreign policy is virtually identical to President Reagan’s is saying that Trump has carefully thought through what he’d do. How does that square with Trump telling a rally that he’d “bomb the s—” out of ISIS, then telling a national audience during a debate that he’d get President Putin to take ISIS out?

The reality is that Ms. Ingraham isn’t being honest with her readers or with us. That’s a sad thing because she used to be a person of integrity. I wish that woman hadn’t disappeared.

There’s a situation that’s approaching crisis status here in central Minnesota. The federal refugee resettlement program is out of control because local governments are saying that it’s beyond their control because it’s funded by appropriations from the U.S. State Department. Meanwhile, the State Department is able to say that their funding of the program is limited to 6 months, which means that cities and counties have their budgets exhausted faster by what essentially is a massive unfunded mandate from the federal government.

Bob Enos has taken quite an interest in this program. He’s done tons of research into the subject. He’s attended meetings. He’s spoken out about how cities, counties and school districts have been negatively affected by this State Department program. His ‘thanks’ for that time and leg-work has been criticism.

Enos has focused like a laser on the financial impact these refugees have had on cities, counties and school districts. Recently he addressed the Willmar City Council. This videotape is of his presentation:

Here’s part of what Mr. Enos said:

We’ve been working on an issue that’s become pretty important to us which has to do with the subject of the resettlement of political refugees around the world and how that affects our counties particularly. I don’t know if you’ve had any briefings on this matter but back in November, the coordinator for the refugee resettlement program for the state of Minnesota in St. Paul requested the director of Family Services here at the County to organize a meeting that took place over a couple of days. Twenty people attended from 3 county agencies, the Willmar School District as well as city hall. The Mayor-elect was there. A couple of vice presidents from Jenny O were there. The subject of the meeting had to do with migration of refugees to Kandiyohi County. We’re used to thinking of the refugee issue in terms of those that are leaving the refugee camps in east Africa and winding up on our shores and going out to the cities and the counties.

The big issue lately that we can’t seem to get a handle on very easily, particularly from a financial planning standpoint, and that has to do with the secondary relocation of refugees from other states around the country. The most recent data that we’re seeing now from the State of Minnesota, specifically from the Department of Health, now tells us that of every city and town, the city that is attracting the most refugees is Minneapolis. The city that’s attracting the second-most refugees is Willmar, not St. Paul, not Bloomington, not St. Cloud, Mankato, Worthington. Willmar.

We suspect that, for the most part, most of this has to do with family re-unification but, best guess, there’s a number of factors contributing to this. What we’re seeing is the Somali community, in particular, is such a size and critical mass, that that critical mass is, in and of itself, the primary magnet for refugees coming here from Atlanta, California and Texas. The last time we knew, we were looking at a number roughly of 2,000 or roughly 10% of our population. We know that’s quite conservative.

I’ve been to 2 other meetings subsequent to the meeting held in November. One was held out in St. Cloud and was sponsored by Lutheran Social Services organization, which in Minnesota, is called the # 1 volunteer agency or VOLAG, which is a private contractor with the State Department and the Department of Health and Human Services from the federal government to aid in that relocation within the first 6 months that they’re here. That meeting, interestingly enough, had about 35 stakeholders, people that have some part, some incentive, some exposure to the program. There was not a single elected official there from the City of St. Cloud or the county. There were no representatives of the School District and these are the places where we’re seeing the most impact, and, of course, the schools.

The federal contracts that the VOLAGs have, though they’re hardly volunteers, requires that they quarterly have meetings with stakeholders. Those stakeholders are supposed to include members of the community. I would take that a member of the community to be an elected representative and I have not been to a meeting where I’ve seen a city councilman, a county commissioner or anyone of an elected status.

What’s particularly disturbing is that nobody from the St. Cloud City Council, the school district or the Stearns County commissioners attended the meeting hosted by the St. Cloud chapter of Lutheran Social Services. Were they unaware of the meeting? Were they simply disinterested in the meeting? Or didn’t they attend it for a different reason?

That’s just what’s happening now. Minnesota’s U.S. senators Klobuchar and Franken “are advocating that the U.S. participate, along with the UN High Commissioner of Refugees in the relocation next year of 130,000 Syrian Muslim refugees.” Enos then said that “the director of the intelligence division of the FBI testified 2 months ago before Congress that the problem with bringing in refugees from failed states like Somalia and Syria is that there’s no infrastructure for our government to vet those people coming from overseas. There’s no record. There’s no office. There’s no way of knowing what we’re getting when they show up other than the good word and the good faith of the U.N.”

This is unprecedented. It isn’t that the U.S. hasn’t accepted refugees before. It’s that the U.S. hasn’t accepted political refugees from failed nations with substantial populations of terrorists before. This isn’t something to be taken lightly. If ever there was a situation when additional caution is required, this is that situation.

What’s required is a slowdown for multiple reasons. It’s totally justifiable for taxpayers to know the financial impact this ‘federal’ program is having on their property taxes and state government programs. It’s also justified for the federal government to put in place a verification system that doesn’t bring ISIS terrorists to the United States on our dime.

Until these issues are satisfactorily resolved, skepticism will be justified.

When I wrote this post about Rand Paul’s foolishness about ISIS, I stuck mostly to highlighting why Sen. Paul’s opinion is dangerous. Today, it’s time to attack the beliefs that form the foundation for that wrongheaded thinking.

Like his lunatic father before him, Sen. Paul thinks that ISIS won’t hurt us if we just leave them alone. That’s projection based on their capital-L Libertarian beliefs. It’s also lunacy that isn’t based in facts.

ISIS’s beliefs are based on a messianic worldview. If ISIS didn’t use the U.S.’s presence in the Middle East as a rationalization for attacking us, then they’d find a different, equally dishonest, excuse to kill people who don’t agree with them 100% of the time.

The proof of this is the fact that hundreds and thousands of Muslims have been murdered because they didn’t subscribe to ISIS’s beliefs. Their crime wasn’t that they were an occupying force in the Middle East. Their ‘crime’ was that they weren’t, in ISIS’s opinion, Muslim enough. If it wasn’t that, ISIS would find a different excuse to rationalize their actions.

Rand Paul isn’t qualified to be the next commander-in-chief. He sees the world as he wants it to be. He doesn’t see the world as it actually is. That’s President Obama’s fatal flaw. That’s one of Sen. Paul’s fatal flaws, too.

A stunning document captured during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound didn’t speak highly of Hillary Clinton. Here’s what the world’s greatest terrorist thought of Hillary and US foreign policy:

UBL: The Secretary of State declared that they are worried about the armed Muslims controlling the Muslim region. The West’s position towards the Libyan revolution is a weak one. The western countries are weak and their international role is regressing.

You can practically hear UBL’s rejoicing in the Obama administration’s use of “smart power’. It’s obvious that he wasn’t afraid of Hillary’s foreign policy, either.

Pacifist birds of a feather flock together.

Actually, these pacifist birds run a foundation together. Follow this link to watch ABC’s interview of Osama bin Laden in 1998. At approximately the 3:50 mark, UBL calls the US military a “paper tiger.”

Our people realize that, more than before, the American soldier is a paper tiger.

Because the military takes its orders from its commander-in-chief, they leave hotspots like Mogadishu if that’s what the commander-in-chief orders them to do. That’s what they were told to do by then-Defense Secretary Les Aspin. UBL thought that the US military were paper tigers because Bill Clinton lacked the will to fight. Does anyone seriously think that the US military couldn’t have wiped out al-Qa’ida if they’d been given permission to wipe them out?

Bill Clinton once ordered troops into Bosnia. He explained that he was just trying to “level the battlefield.” Bill Clinton didn’t care about winning a war. That’s why he went half-heartedly into a military confrontation.

Based on UBL’s documents, he thought Hillary was as soft as her husband. He nailed it when he said that “the western countries are weak and their international role is regressing.” Certainly, President Obama has abandoned the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, eastern Europe and north Africa. Let’s remember that bin Laden was assassinated in 2011, years before ISIS was called the JV team. ISIS and al-Qa’ida knew that they could operate without consequences with Hillary as Secretary of State and President Obama as commander-in-chief.

With ISIS expanding and Iran destabilizing the Middle East, why shouldn’t they hope for a Hillary administration? If she becomes president, they’ll have the time to plan their next terrorist attack on the United States. They’ll know that they can operate freely and openly.

Bill Clinton was seen by UBL as a paper tiger. Hillary was seen by UBL as a shrinking violet. If we want the terrorists to run rampant until they strike us again, all we have to do is elect Hillary.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the US, did a good job of walking a tightrope in discussing the mess President Obama created in the Middle East:

This article shows how frayed the relationship is between the Saudis and the Obama administration:

Asked when he was told by Saudi Arabia that it would take military action in Yemen, Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, told a Senate hearing on Thursday he spoke with Saudi Arabia’s chief of defense “right before they took action.” He added that he couldn’t assess the likelihood of the campaign succeeding because he didn’t know the “specific goals and objectives.”

Translation: The Saudis told Centcom that it was taking military action against the Iran-supported Houthi rebels moments before launching airstrikes against Houthi rebels. The other noteworthy tidbit of information is that Centcom can’t evaluate what the likelihood of the Saudi airstrikes is because it wasn’t briefed by the Saudis.

Nations collaborating with each other might not know everything that the other nation is planning on doing but they’d have a pretty good idea what assets are being deployed and where. They’d know what their ally’s goals were, too. Clearly, that isn’t happening here.

During his interview with Chris Wallace, al-Jubeir emphatically stated that they’re willing to deploy ground troops if they determine that’s what’s needed to destroy ISIS. When I heard that, I wished that our commander-in-chief had that type of spine. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with President Obama. What’s especially sad is that President Obama’s world view is totally upside down. America’s traditional allies are President Obama’s enemies. Countries that’ve traditionally been America’s enemies are this administration’s friends.

The saddest part is that it’ll take the Republican’s next term in office just to clean up this administration’s foreign policy disasters. I’ve said this before but I’ll repeat it here. I never thought I’d see the day when another president’s foreign policy ‘accomplishments’ paled in comparison to Jimmy Carter’s lackluster list of accomplishments.

Unfortunately, I’ve lived to see that day. Then again, I didn’t think I’d live to see the day when Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan would form a de facto alliance to counterbalance the US-Iranian alliance.

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President Obama is complaining about the Senate Republicans sending a letter to Iran’s mullahs. Like the petty man he is, he threw in a dig at Republicans while criticizing them.

President Obama assailed 47 Republican senators Monday for writing an open letter to the leaders of Iran while the country is in the middle of nuclear negotiations with the United States and allied nations, arguing the communication made “common cause with the hardliners in Iran.”

The letter, released publicly Monday, advised Iran’s leaders that any pact negotiated by the Obama administration and signed by Iran, and not ratified by Congress, could be voided by future presidents or modified by future Congresses. It was drafted as a lesson in the workings of the Constitution, and framed as a rebuke to the president’s executive authority.

The mullahs aren’t negotiating with this administration. They’re toying with this administration. Any treaty negotiated with the mullahs won’t be worth the parchment it’ll be written on. It certainly won’t be worth ratifying.

And yes, it’s a treaty.

Speaking in the Oval Office, Obama said the American people would assess the merits of any finalized agreement with Iran. If a deal is reached, “I’m confident we’ll be able to implement it,” he added. “I think it’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran. It’s an unusual coalition,” the president observed.

First, we don’t need to wait until the details of the treaty are revealed to “assess the merits” of the proposed treaty. We shouldn’t negotiate with terrorist-sponsoring nations like Iran until they stop sponsoring terrorists. Period. Negotiating with them gives them legitimacy. That’s the last thing we should do.

Next, blowing up a bad deal with some of the nastiest people on earth isn’t making common cause with them. As usual, President Obama has things bassackwards. His negotiating a treaty with them while pushing Israel under the bus is making common cause with the terrorists. That’s the “unusual coalition.”

Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have signaled to Israel that working together to take out Iran’s nuclear weapons is acceptable. Meanwhile, President Obama has continued his policy of appeasement towards Iran. While Republican senators align themselves with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, President Obama continues his policy of appeasement with Iran’s mullahs.

That’s “an unusual coalition.”

Watching this video will show that el-Sissi is more pro-traditional American than President Obama:

Thankfully, these 47 Republicans are playing hardball with the hardliners in Tehran.