This afternoon, Elliott Abrams, Deputy National Security Adviser under President Bush, appeared on Fox News to discuss U.S. policy towards Iran. Abrams pled guilty to misleading Congress about the Iran-Contra scandal under Reagan and handled Iran policy under Bush.
When asked if any recent President has had “a successful strategy with Iran,” Abrams implicitly admitted his own decades-long failure. “No, I don’t think we’ve really had any successful strategies with Iran,” Abrams responded. “And you know, meanwhile they’ve been building up their nuclear program and missile program.” But Obama recently established the first high-level diplomatic engagement with Iran in 30 years, which produced results quicker than expected.
But Abrams, “the neocon’s neocon,” still clings to his long-running desire to bomb Iran. And to justify his view that military action against Iran is the prudent course, Abram told Fox News that the Iranian people would accept it:
FOX: 59 percent of respondents to our Fox News poll say that force should be used. How would Tehran react to that?
ABRAMS: It’s a very big question, Alisyn. My own view is that most Iranians now — after June, after the stealing of the election — would not rally around the flag. People used to say that — that if there’s an attack on Iran, you know the population is going to get patriotic. But that’s what Americans would do. I don’t know that it’s what Iranians are going to do, considering the way that regime is hated in Iran.
Certainly, the Iranian regime does have a great deal of opposition on the ground. But that doesn’t mean they would accept bombs falling on their country. For an Iranian populace that has previously expressed concern that the U.S. is trying to humiliate them, Abrams comments aren’t very reassuring.
A new poll of the Iranian people demonstrates a great potential for the diplomatic engagement that Obama is pursuing. World Public Opinion find that “two-thirds of Iranians would favor their government precluding the development of nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions against Iran.” 60 percent of the Iranian public favors “full, unconditional negotiations” between their government and the United States.