Iran laments Obama’s departure
Obama has been hesitant on everything except leaning toward Iran
Some will grieve US President Barack Obama’s departure from the White House, because whoever succeeds him – whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump – will not have “strategic patience,” a strange term coined by the Obama administration.
Obama has been hesitant on everything except leaning toward Iran. He was longing to sign a nuclear deal with it and end the international isolation of Tehran, which has acted outside international legitimacy.
Obama did so despite all domestic and international objections. The deal was signed with Iran in July 2015. After years of official estrangement, we began to see many photos of US Secretary of State John Kerry – who seemed enthusiastic about this Persian chapter in Obama’s epic – with his cheerful Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
It seems some Iranian politicians have begun to feel the extent of the strategic loss regarding the end of Obama’s term, especially since even Clinton will not be as enthusiastic as he is toward Iran.
Last week, Al Arabiya English reported that Ali Motahari, Iran’s deputy parliament speaker, told government supporters that Obama provided an opportunity for Iran that may not be repeated again. According to the Fars news agency, which is close to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Motahari said since Obama only has a few more months left in power, Tehran could make use of this time before another president is elected.
Some Iranian politicians have begun to feel the extent of the strategic loss regarding the end of Obama’s term, especially since even Clinton will not be as enthusiastic as he is toward IranMshari al-Thaydi
It is funny that despite Obama’s enthusiasm to bring Iran back from the cold and have it establish relations with Washington, its Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei – in the presence of “moderate” President Hassan Rowhani – still insists, at least in his rhetoric, on rejecting this openness and demonizing the United States.
The raging Russian bear, which these days is unjustly attacking Arabs, will also be upset about Obama’s departure. An Arab official who met with President Vladimir Putin quoted him as saying he could see weakness in Obama’s eyes, and woe to those from whom the Russian bear can smell weakness.
Everyone seems in a rush to finalize affairs and invest in the last days of Obama’s presidency before his successor arrives, a successor who will certainly be stricter than him.
This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on Aug.22, 2016.
Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.