Lost in this diplomatic debacle is the fate of four Americans held hostage by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
One of those men is Saeed Abedini – an Idaho pastor – thrown in prison because of his Christian faith. For nearly three years he has been tortured at the hands of his Muslim captors.
Yeah, I just don’t understand this administration. They cut a deal with Cuba that gave Cuba what it wanted but included nothing for the US. Then they turn around and cut a deal with Iran which benefits Iran but does nothing for our interests.
Deals are supposed to be mutually beneficial, not only beneficial for one party.
Cuba hasn’t been a serious threat to the US in close to 60 years. They benefited us greatly by not complaining about Guantanamo Bay, a location claimed free from US Court jurisdiction for 16 years until recently when the Supreme Court said it does in fact have jurisdiction even there.
As to Iran, we need out of the Iraq debacle and Iran is the closest nation there. Iran has good relations with most of our strategic partners - India, China, Brazil, etc. It doesn’t make much sense not to get full compliance on nuclear and open up the market.
Lest you think otherwise, I’m glad we are normalizing relations with Cuba. But that doesn’t change my opinion that deals should be mutually beneficial.
On the flip side, I oppose the deal with Iran. I think Iran poses a threat to the entire middle east and particularly to Israel. I don’t think this deal with stop them from acquiring nuclear weapons, I think it helps them. They didn’t comply when the sanctions were in place, what makes anyone think they’ll change once we lift sanctions? Any nation that doesn’t respect Israel’s right to exist and thinks the US is the Great Satan probably isn’t trustworthy, IMO.
Yet we have relations with Venezuela, who’s now-dead president called our previous one a donkey and a devil. Who cares what the opinion of some crazy fundamentalist theocrat is, the idea is open relations will drive them out. The Iranian young people hate the theocracy as much as we do.
I once lived in VZ and consider your comparison of them to Iran somewhat unfair.
Certainly, their current leader, and the deceased previous one, were no friends of the USA. Repairing relations with them will take generations and sadly, has yet to begin.
But in 1979, when Iranian mobs were trashing our embassy and blindfolding our diplomats, Venezuelans were taking shopping trips to Florida and enrolling their kids at our universities.
And VZ is about 90% Catholic, so unlike Iran, they share most of our cultural values.
How can any ane nation sit down and negotiate any type of deal, espeically a nuclear deal that gives Iran billions of dollars when that country Iran just last Saturday was demonstrating with Iranian leaders against the USA, chanting “Death to America”!!! and burning American and Israeli flags. Iran does not hide the fact that it funds several terroist groups such as Hamas that has a charter that states that denies the right of Israel to be a nation and that all Jews should be annihilated and killed. Are you really going to believe the Iranians who have been lying for years about their nuclear program, and do so in accordance to the principles of Islam which condones trickery and lies as a strategm of war. Violence is commanded:
Quran, Sura 9:5
"Fight and slay the pagans (infidels) wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war."
Seems our president is only interested in freeing the bad guys. God Bless, Memaw
Our cultural values? The US is not Catholic, sometimes vehemently anti-Catholic. Venezuela does not share many values with the US. Iranian values are extremely family friendly, crime is low, and their position on morality is compatible with Catholicism. My Indian citizen cousin has worked in Iran as an engineer - sure there are problems as there is everywhere, but generally nice people and - other than the Iranian version of Islam (which is anti-Taliban, anti-Saudi, and anti-Sunni) - pretty similar to any other place.
Assyrian and Armenian Churches in Iran are allowed free worship. There are Latin Churches, as well as Eastern. Even synagogues operating freely.
The Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the United States at 22% of the population.
And regardless of the anti-Catholic sentiment from some, we share a great deal of similar values with protestant Christians which represent about 50% of the US. What unites us is far greater than what divides us, I’d think.
So in that respect, yes, I would expect that the everyday values of the average Venezuelan probably is quite similar to the everyday values of the average American. For that matter, I think most Americans would find that they have a great deal in common if they’d stop with the labels of republican/democrat or Catholic/protestant and just talk.
In that case, relations with Iran should be pursued aggressively, since our friendly Venezuela allies have been strategic partners and allies of Iran for a few decades now.
Compared to Iran, there is **far **more commonality between USA and VZ.
Yes, our relations with VZ are currently in the toilet, but with Iran have been nonexistent and have been for almost two generations, and should probably stay there while they remain an Islamic theocracy, atom bombs or not.
Having an elected leader make insulting remarks about our President (which our own TV personalities do all the time) is not comparable to having street mobs yell “Death to America.”
Of course, we are talking about Obama…One of the most anti-Christian prez in US history. eg defender of abortion extraordinaire, gay marriage supporter, healthcare mandate, impotent response to ISIS, heretical church member for 20+ years on and on and on…Why in the world would he risk Iran deal over one person??? Especially a Christian? If the guy was muslim he might of had a chance…
Anyone willing to retract at least a little bit of criticism?
Iranian Protestant pastor to be released from prison
Catholic World News - July 17, 2015
Farshid Fathi, an Iranian convert to Christianity who organized a house church, will be released from prison in December, two years before his scheduled release.
I can think of at least two other Americans being held in Iran. Perhaps if they, too, are released I will then be less critical of this missed opportunity, if it turns out that the Obama administration was quietly negotiating for their release.
Pastor Saeed Abedini
I would be surprised if Levinson is released easily - he was probably spying, after all and was caught.
Perhaps the Pastor is more easily negotiated.
Add to that Levinson and Abedini) the Marine Amir Hekmati and a reporter Jason Rezzaian.
This was a bad deal for a number of reasons but an immediate one is it’ll give them more money to aid in supporting the Syrian civil war and other proxies in the region, among them Hezbollah, the Shia militias in Irag, and the Houthis.
Venezuela’s status is probably most similar to Cuba or Cuba at the height of the cold war or perhaps, stretching it a bit, Sandinista Nicaragua.