This week, the eyes of Americans are focused on Mr. Obama’s forthcoming amnesty for the almost 30 million illegal aliens living in the United States, and on events in Ferguson, Missouri. Many expect large-scale civil disturbances after the grand jury decides, according to most media reports, not to indict Officer Wilson. However, history is likely to record that the gravest threat to world peace at this time arises from the negotiations among the United States, European Union, and the Islamic regime of Iran over Iran’s nuclear program. The deadline for a “comprehensive” accord is set for this coming Monday, November 24, 2014.
The principal negotiators are Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, U.S. Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry and European Union envoy Catherine Ashton. The United States and Europe seek to defuse a long confrontation with Iran that ultimately threatens nuclear war between Iran and Israel. Iran’s top aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, has said that Iran would not abandon its nuclear “rights,” but still was committed to the negotiations. This means that the Iranian mullahs, being shrewd negotiators, will develop nuclear weapons while the United States and Europe continue to negotiate. Of course, Iran denies any secret nuclear weapons program, and says that it only wants peaceful nuclear energy, notwithstanding its immense reserves of petroleum and natural gas. Iran refused to curb nuclear enrichment capacity, and as a result, has been hit by crippling sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union, and United Nations Security Council. The present negotiations seek to put verifiable limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment work that provide a path to nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of economic sanctions against Iran. According to media reports, Western and Iranian diplomats involved in the negotiations stress that the major unresolved issues are the size of Iran’s enrichment program, the length of any long-term agreement, and the pace at which international sanctions would be phased out. The Obama Administration seeks verification and monitoring measures to ensure Iran is living up to its end of the bargain. Good luck with that as there is much to negotiate in the coming few days.
Related to the Iranian nuclear negotiations, I have often written on these pages about the plight of Pastor Saeed Abedini, the American pastor who is wrongly imprisoned in Iran. After more than two years in captivity in Iran’s notorious prisons, his family reports that he is suffering great pain from internal injuries from frequent prison beatings by both guards and other prisoners. And while the feckless Obama Administration is sitting across the table from Iran with the November 24th deadline that is likely to release billions of dollars and Euros to Iran, the plight of Pastor Abedini is ignored. Can we naively trust the mullahs of Iran who are committed to the destruction of Israel as their regime wrongfully imprisons and torments an American pastor (and many other Christians)? I don’t think so either.
When soldier Bowe Bergdahl, held by the Haqqani network in Afghanistan, was exchanged earlier this year for five Taliban members held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Mr. Obama promised that he would leave no American behind. We must now hold Mr. Obama to his promise. Please pray for Pastor Abedini, his wife, and their two beautiful children. I encourage each of my readers to please call or write Mr. Obama regarding this matter. The telephone number to the main White House switchboard is 1.202.456.1414, or you can email him here. As you may have heard, Mr. Obama has repeatedly said that he is committed to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history. So I think he would enjoy hearing from regular folks about the plight of Pastor Abedini. And as we move towards the Thanksgiving Day holiday, let us be mindful that we are admonished in Hebrews 13:3 to “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”