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Dangerous friendly policy

The Obama administration’s willingness to negotiate with Iran sends a message of acceptance

I have to confess that the new and dangerous State department plan of cooperating with Iran to resolve the ISIS crisis in Iraq caught me completely by surprise. On second thought, however, I realize that this new development fits within the Obama administration’s policy of rewarding enemies. From the phone call last September to later negotiations and the interim nuclear accord, this administration is committed to legitimizing America’s enemy and portraying Iran as an appropriate ally.

This policy comes at a grave price. The United States’ willingness to negotiate with a long established terrorist enemy like Iran sends a message of acceptance. It tells the world that the Ayatollah regime is no longer a forbidden, taboo member of the axis of evil, but a legitimate partner with whom negotiation is sanctioned by the U.S. It comes as little surprise that there is now a wave of international trade delegations interested in Iran. And does anyone think the money newly invested in Teheran will go to feed poor children?

Although the implications on Tehran’s economy are worth considering, this newly established friendship has even more immediate strategic consequences. The results of the interim accord will have long term consequences. With its chains now unshackled, Iran will gear up its efforts to establish itself as the superpower of the Middle East. Iran will intensify its meddling in Syria. Iran will increase its support of terrorists groups; Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. And, now, with the support and cooperation of the United States, Iran will strengthen its strategic interests in Iraq.

The cost of this new friendship will be imposed not only on the U.S but on our allies as well. Testifying before the Senate, Ambassador Ross pointed out that “The Saudis, in particular, may fear that the deal on nuclear programs will not only signal a new American openness to Iran, but, even more, give the Iranians license to be more aggressive in the region.” Clearly, rather than stand with allies such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others, not to mention Israel, the Obama administration plans to actively assist Iran in gaining the upper hand in the region

America’s treatment of Iran does not represent a unique event. The Obama Administration’s friendly treatment of terrorist enemies forms a pattern. The negotiation and terrorist swap for Sgt. Bergdhal legitimized Afghan Taliban. The rejection of previous State Department promises to Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the Administration’s subsequent recognition of the newly established Palestinian Unity Government, legitimized Hamas.

Additionally, American’s recognition of both Iran and Hamas, the latter of which is a designated terrorist organization, does not come with a demand for policy change. Tragically, Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, is already suffering from the kidnapping of three young citizens by emboldened Hamas followers. This is almost certainly a direct result of the U.S recognition of the Palestinian Unity Government. Now that Hamas is an internationally recognized member of the Palestinian government, its members may move freely in the Judean and Samarian regions. When it comes to transferring the kidnapped victims, mobility is of prime importance.

The Obama Administration must do a better job of weighing the consequences of rejecting long standing friendships and relationships.

Before the U.S tries to convert enemies into friends, why don’t we make sure we keep the ones we already have?

About the Author
Doug Lamborn, a Member of Congress from Colorado, is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and co-chairs the bipartisan Congressional Israel Allies Caucus
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