Is Barack Obama planning an October Surprise in Iran? Recent reports suggest so. In fact, some of those reports say he’s wanted a deal with Iran since before he took office. But those same reports say he has no deal. At least, not the kind of deal to convince voters to give him another four years.
October Surprise efforts
WND first reported on October 4 that Barack Obama started secret talks with Iranian officials. He sent three people, with a woman (probably Valerie Jarrett) leading, to a secret meeting in Doha (Ad-Dawhah), capital of Qatar (Kah-TAHR). The message: if Mitt Romney becomes President next year, Iran will not only get no deal, but Obama won’t be around to protect Iran from Israel. So they’d better deal now while the dealing is good. Then Jarrett (if it was she) handed the Iranian delegation a letter from Obama. Among other things, it said this (and Fars News Agency recently confirmed it):
I didn’t want to impose sanctions on your central bank but I had no options but to approve it since a Congress majority had approved the decision.
Obama seems to have the same problem, again and again: how to explain to dictators why he can’t act like one. Remember his telling Dmitri Medvedev that
After my election, I’ll have a lot more flexibility.
The deal was supposed to be: Iran would stop enriching uranium temporarily, and America would lift many sanctions on Iran, or have others lift them.
Since October 4, not a peep about any secret deals came out of Iran. What came out instead was the same overheated rhetoric about wiping Israel off the map.
October Surprise falling through?
Flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran (1980)
Then over this weekend, The New York Times confirmed the story. But two different versions of that article came out. (See this side-by-side for proof.) The Daily Caller said why. The White House denied they had any secret deal with Iran, and said only that Iran had agreed to talk about making a deal.
What happened? The Times has egg on its face, that’s what happened. The Times wanted an October Surprise even worse than the putative President did. They glowingly said:
It has the potential to help Mr. Obama make the case that he is nearing a diplomatic breakthrough in the decade-long effort by the world’s major powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
In other words: October Surprise! Hooray for Obama! Yet hours later, the White House said they had no deal.
This caught even WND flat-footed. They got ahead of The New York Times‘ first version. They also gave this link to an October 7 story in The Times of Israel, quoting a story in Der Spiegel. That story quoted an Iranian official saying:
If our right to enrichment is recognized, we are ready for a trade-off.
The trade-off: less enrichment in return for more uranium to enrich.
Why did the White House quash the story? Why does even Fox News Channel say nothing about it? Maybe we have an October Surprise, all right, only not one that Obama wanted.
One more thing about the New York Times‘ edits, though: they took out this key fact.
Even with possible negotiations in the offing, there is no evidence Iran has slowed its fuel production. It continues to make nuclear fuel and has refused to allow international inspectors into key sites. Any negotiation with Iran, American officials say, would have to include highly intrusive inspection regimes.
Did The New York Times know even then that the October Surprise would fizzle out? And that the Iranians were talking in bad faith all the time?
Drew Zahn at WND got back to his sources and filed another report. Those sources insist that the deal, such as it is, is still on. He and others also cited this piece by Michael Ledeen at Pajamas Media. Ledeen rounded on the Times for calling the deal
a last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a US military strike on Iran.
Come on, says Ledeen. Obama authorize a military attack on Iran? Only in a parallel universe. Ledeen also points out that every President since Reagan has tried talking in private with Iran. Sometimes something comes of such talks. Most of the time, nothing does. This might be another example.
Zahn also said the Mitt Romney campaign has everything that WND has on any secret (or not-so-secret) talks. So this story might come up in tonight’s debate in Boca Raton, FL.