By Aaron Goldstein
I saw the 60 Minutes interview with Iranian President Rouhani the other night and found much, but not all of the interview by Steve Kroft annoying. My annoyance began with the first paragraph of his report:
Few issues have inspired more vitriol this summer than the historic agreement between Iran and six world powers: the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. The deal drastically curtails Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
How exactly is Iran’s nuclear program curtailed considering that Iran can still enrich uranium, can inspect itself on top of getting billions in sanctions relief?
Kroft began one of his questions with this bit of editorializing. “The United States seems to have its hardliners and Iran seems to have its hardliners,” said Kroft before asking Rouhani if he saw similarities between the two. Iran’s hardliners imprison, torture, and execute their political opponents and seek the destruction of a neighboring state. How hardline can Republicans be when the Corker amendment assured the deal’s passage? There is simply no comparison. Kroft’s tone of moral equivalence is utterly insufferable. Here’s more proof:
President Rouhani’s boss, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has final say on the agreement and has sent it to the Iranian Parliament and the Supreme National Security Council on national security for a vigorous debate.
How the hell does Kroft know if there is going to be a “vigorous debate” in the Iranian Parliament and the Supreme National Security Council? These are nothing more than rubber stamp institutions. And yet Kroft gives these institutions more legitimacy than our own Senate. In the very first sentence of his report, he characterizes the debate over the Iran nuclear agreement in this country as one of “vitriol” before calling its critics hardliners. Kroft gives Iran undeserved deference.
Consider this statement from Rouhani:
The majority of our people, in opinion polls, have a positive view of the agreement. And usually institutions like the parliament and the Supreme National Security Council, are usually not far-removed from public opinion and move in that direction.
Let us not forget that this is the same country that murdered its own people in broad daylight for questioning the results of its presidential “election” six years ago. It’s not like people are actually free to express their opinion. They can only vote for candidates approved off by the Ayatollah Khamenei and the Mullahs. I wish the 60 Minutes would stop treating Iran like a genuine democracy.
The only positive thing to come from the interview was Kroft’s acknowledgement that there are Americans being held in captivity in Iran and he specifically cited Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian. Rouhani all but admitted that Rezaian and the other Americans are being held because we are holding Iranians who circumvented the sanctions which, of course, Iran considers illegitimate. If Iran considers our sanctions illegitimate, then why would we deem legitimacy upon a nation that is holding our citizens in captivity because they are American? Yet it is the centerpiece of President Obama’s foreign policy and our media is aiding and abetting it instead of being critical of it. (my emphasis)
By Aaron Goldstein for The American Spectator
By permission The American Spectator