Charles Krauthammer: Just who is helping Iran’s hard-liners? Obama

President Barack Obama speaks about the nuclear deal with Iran on Wednesday at American University in Washington, D.C.
President Barack Obama speaks about the nuclear deal with Iran on Wednesday at American University in Washington, D.C. The Associated Press

The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that the American public rejects the president’s Iran deal by more than 2-to-1. This is astonishing. The public generally gives the president deference on major treaties. Just a few weeks ago, a majority supported the deal.

What happened? People learned what’s in it.

And don’t be fooled by polls that present, as fact, the administration’s position in the very question. The Washington Post/ABC poll assures the respondent that, for example, “international inspectors would monitor Iran’s facilities, and if Iran is caught breaking the agreement, economic sanctions would be imposed again. Do you support or oppose this agreement?”

Well, if you put it that way, sure. But it is precisely because these claims are so tendentious and misleading that public – and congressional – opinion is turning.

Inspections? Everyone now knows that “anytime, anywhere” – indispensable for a clandestine program in a country twice the size of Texas with a long history of hiding and cheating – has been changed to “You’ve got 24 days and then we’re coming in for a surprise visit.”

Snapback sanctions? Everyone knows that once the international sanctions are lifted, they are never coming back.

And then came news of the secret side agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency. These concern past nuclear activity and inspections of the Parchin military facility where Iran is suspected of having tested nuclear detonation devices.

We don’t know what’s in these side deals. And we will never know, says the administration. It’s “standard practice,” you see, for such IAEA agreements to remain secret.

Well, this treaty is not standard practice. It’s the most important treaty of our time. Yet, Congress is asked to ratify this “historic diplomatic breakthrough” while being denied access to the heart of the inspection regime.

This tragicomedy is now in the hands of Congress or, more accurately, of congressional Democrats. It is only because so many Democrats are defecting that President Barack Obama gave his speech on Wednesday in the first place. And why he tried so mightily to turn the argument into a partisan issue – those warmongering Republicans attacking a president offering peace in our time. Obama stooped low, accusing the Republican caucus of making “common cause” with the Iranian “hard-liners” who shout “Death to America.”

Forget the gutter ad hominem. This is delusional. Does Obama really believe the Death-to-America hard-liners are some kind of KKK fringe? They are the government, for God’s sake.

Common cause with the Iranian hard-liners? Who more than Obama? For years, they conduct a rogue nuclear weapons program in defiance of multiple U.N. Security Council declarations of its illegality backed by sanctions and embargoes. Obama rewards them with a treaty that legitimizes their entire nuclear program, lifts the embargo on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles, and revives an economy.

With this agreement, this repressive, intolerant, aggressive, supremely anti-American regime – the chief exporter of terror in the world – is stronger and more entrenched than it has ever been.

Common cause, indeed.

Charles Krauthammer’s email address is letters