THE BLOG

Obama, Iran and the Late William Buckley

02/15/2015 04:31 pm ET | Updated Apr 17, 2015

There are growing indications that the Obama administration will sign a nuclear agreement with Iran that will allow Tehran to become a nuclear-threshold state. It seems the only issue being contested at present is the extent of the cosmetic and temporary concessions the Iranians will grant so that Iran does not fully emerge as a nuclear weapons state until after the expiration of the Obama presidency. The disarming body language and genuine warmth that characterizes the public interaction between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran's Minster of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif seems to point in that direction, belying the fact that these two nations have not had diplomatic relations for 35 years because the government of one of those states ordered its armed thugs to attack and seize the embassy of the other nation, in the most flagrant violation of international law, holding its diplomats hostage for 444 days.

Of course, Barack Obama has promised on more than one occasion that he would never permit Iran to become a nuclear armed state. Then again, this is the same President Obama who warned Syria's president not to use poison gas on his own people, or there would be consequences for crossing that red line. And let us not forget the President's assurances that the war in Iraq was over and it was safe to withdraw all U.S. forces, or that the emerging Islamic State was nothing more than a "jayvee team" or that Yemen was a great success story for America's anti-terrorism strategy -- the same Yemen where Washington was recently forced to close its embassy after a coup in that country staged by anti-American rebels loyal to Iran.

The consequences involved in permitting Iran to become a nuclear weapons state are, obviously, far more consequential. Barack Obama is not the first president confronting a rogue regime about to acquire nuclear weapons capability. In the early 1990s, evidence mounted that North Korea was embarking on a nuclear weapons program. As with President Obama, then President Clinton pledged to the American people that the North Korean regime would never be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons. Then former President Jimmy Carter came to the rescue. He flew to North Korea, met with the reigning dictator and laid the groundwork for what became the 1994 Agreed Framework treaty, which supposedly froze North Korea's attempt to develop atomic weapons through plutonium production in exchange for U.S. economic aid. However, the treaty collapsed after Clinton left office when U.S. intelligence learned that North Korea had cheated on the agreement by secretly developing a uranium enrichment program as an alternative path towards developing nuclear bombs. In 2006, North Korea conducted its first test detonation of a nuclear bomb.

It appears that the Obama administration is following in the path originally set by President Clinton. In addition to tolerating a vast nuclear enrichment facility, much of it underground, that can only have been established for the eventual mass production of nuclear bombs to mate with Tehran's increasingly powerful and longer-range ballistic missiles, the current administration has been passive in the face of Iran's growing hegemony in the Middle East, as witnessed by Tehran's virtual occupation of Lebanon through its proxy militia, its massive intervention in the Syrian civil war on the side of Basher Assad, and increasing military involvement and control in Iraq and the recent pro-Iranian coup in Yemen. This passivity is inexplicable, considering the potential and dire strategic and economic consequences for the United States.

What about the character of the regime that President Obama and his national security team seem about to trust with the most destructive weapons on earth? Amid the long list of Iranian terrorist attacks against the U.S. and its interests aboard unleashed by Tehran since 1979, there is one which, more than any other, defines the essence of the regime of the Ayatollahs and its contempt for the United States.

In 1984, the CIA station chief in Beirut, William Buckley, was kidnapped by the Iranian controlled Hezbollah militia. The fate of William Buckley was disclosed by Washington Post columnist Jack Anderson in an article published the following year. According to Anderson, who based his account on confidential sources within the U.S. intelligence community, Buckley was smuggled into Iran, and subjected to numerous bouts of brutal interrogation under barbaric torture in the basement of the Iranian foreign ministry, the same building being presided over today by John Kerry's Iranian counterpart, Zarif. The barbarous torture eventually induced a heart attack, leading to the death of Buckley. As Jack Anderson stated in his article, Iran was responsible for the horrific murder under torture of an American patriot.

President Obama seems determined to move forward on a nuclear agreement with the regime that tortured and murdered William Buckley. He should reflect on how this dedicated CIA agent must have felt, abandoned by his government and alone with his Iranian torturers, enduring a hellish nightmare in the basement of the Iranian foreign ministry. Is the nation William Buckley died for now about to be abandoned, for the sake of a presidential legacy?