Until last week I thought that at the time President Obama was selling the American establishment a bill of goods on his cute “Iran nuclear deal”, in Tehran President Hassan Rouhani was telling the truth, at least to his boss Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. After all, Rouhani has a doctorate in Islamic Theology from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland and, as a good Muslim, wouldn’t tell anything but the truth.
Obama was telling the Americans that his “historic deal” had blocked all avenues for Iran to develop a nuclear arsenal forever without firing a shot. He even cited a fatwa by the Islamic Republic’s “Supreme Guide”, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, forbidding all nuclear weapons. The fact that no one apart Obama himself claimed to have seen the fatwa was neither here nor there. After all, a US president wouldn’t tell a fib on so important a matter.
So you can imagine my disappointment when I found out that Obama hadn’t been alone in deceiving his side of the bizarre show and that Rouhani, too, had been economic with the truth to the point of leading Khamenei up the garden path.
By all accounts, Khamenei was angry enough to expose Rouhani as a turbaned version of Pinocchio in public. Having summoned 220 top civilian and military officials to review the consequences of the virtual collapse of the so-called “nuclear deal”, Khamenei demanded that Rouhani provide report on how things stand now.
In 2015, Rouhani had described the “nuclear deal” as “the greatest diplomatic victory in the history of Islam.” Last week, in his report to Khamenei, he was as boastful but even less truthful.