The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


October 10, 2013

Iran diplomacy overtures: U.S. may trust but must verify

— Iran is our friend.

No, really, that’s what they’re saying.

Yeah, that Iran, the same one that held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days in 1979 and 1980; the same Iran whose supreme leader, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, once said, “Americans are the great Satan, the wounded snake”; the same Iran whose president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once said “Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury,” then said, “We’ve never been anti-Semitic,” and accused the United States of orchestrating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in order to save Israel.

That Iran.

Now Iran has a new president. Ahmadinejad is out, Hassan Rouhani is in, the new president taking the oath of office in early August.

In September, Rouhani sat down with NBC’s Ann Curry and said his country was not planning to build a nuclear bomb, and he would be willing to sit down with President Obama to open dialogue with the West.

The meeting hasn’t happened, but Obama and Rouhani did speak on the phone for 15 minutes recently, discussing Iran’s nuclear program. It marked the first contact between U.S. and Iranian leaders since the Iranian revolution in 1979.

Rouhani even tweeted about the call, which apparently was quite convivial, with Iran’s president urging Obama to “have a nice day,” and with our president saying thank you in Farsi.

As if that weren’t enough, Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met one on one for a half hour not long ago.

During an appearance before the United Nations’ General Assembly, Rouhani assured everyone that Iran poses “absolutely no threat to the world,” then later said of the United States, “The atmosphere is quite different from the past. Our goal is the shared interest between the two nations. Our goal is resolving problems, our goal is step-by-step creating trust between the governments and peoples.”

Next thing you know, Obama and Rouhani will be besties, having Facetime chats and exchanging birthday cards.

The only problem is, while Obama is in charge in this country, Rouhani is not in the driver’s seat in his.

That role falls to Ali Hosseini Khamenei, who is Iran’s supreme leader. He’s the one calling the shots in Iran, not Rouhani. And he wasn’t entirely pleased with Rouhani making nice with Obama.

“We are skeptical of Americans and have no trust in them at all,” said Khamenei. “The American government is untrustworthy, arrogant, illogical and a promise-breaker.’

Given Congress’ recent inaction in the face of the government shutdown, I’ll concede the “illogical” bit, but the rest of Khamenei’s words are troubling.

So, too is the fact the attitude of the Iranian people seems to mirror that of Khamenei. In the wake of the Rouhani-Obama phone call, Iranians leaving weekly prayers in Tehran chanted “Death to America,” and burned U.S. and Israeli flags.

That’s not nice. And here I thought we were going to be friends.

I, for one, have never chanted death to anybody. That’s not our style here. I confess I have wished painful boils and balky bowels on a few people, but never death. Death to Brussels sprouts, sure. Death to the common cold, of course. But to an entire nation, no.

Just what does that mean, “Death to America?” Do they want to kill each and every American citizen, including the roughly 2.6 million Muslims in this country, or do they simply want to kill the idea of America, its soul, its essence?

America is much more than a nation, it is a way of thinking, a way of life. Perhaps the folks in Iran hate the concept of freedom and individual liberties. Or maybe they’re just hacked about Miley Cyrus and the whole twerking phenomenon.

At any rate, they’d be well-served to knock off the “Death to America,” stuff if they want to be friends with us. We’ve been down this road before. If you want to negotiate and make peace, fine. But if you want to play rough, we can do that pretty well, too.

We should welcome the diplomatic overtures from Rouhani as a sign that frosty relations between the two countries may well be thawing. But we should recall the words of Khamenei, as well.

By the way, gentlemen, nice capes. Is that sheepskin? Oh, and what big teeth you have.

Mullin is senior writer of the News & Eagle. Email him at

Text Only
  • Never leave a child or a pet alone in a car

    With temperatures soaring to near or above 100, parents need to know they can’t leave their children alone in a locked vehicle. In 10 minutes, a vehicle’s temperature can climb 19 degrees. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, and it only takes a few minutes before a child can become dangerously overheated, according to Safe Kids USA.

    July 23, 2014

  • Will Rogers web.jpg Will Rogers Daily Telegrams 7-24-2014

    I am beginning to believe that Mellon is the poorest Treasurer we ever had. I would like to be Treasurer. Here would be my policy, and you see if it wouldn’t be the best thing for America:
    Save nothing, have nothing in there. Then Congress and the entire nation could have nothing in view only what they made themselves.
    A Candidate.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg State of the state: Things are not as good as they could be

    Draper wants to split Cali up into six separate states — Silicon Valley, around the San Francisco Bay Area; Central California, including cities like Bakersfield; West California, including Los Angeles and its suburbs; South California, including San Diego; North California, centered on Sacramento and Jefferson, in the far northern part of the state.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Voters have decisions to make in August races

    Democrats will have two runoffs to decide. One will be choosing their party’s nominee for state superintendent. Freda Deskin will face John Cox. The winner will face Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister in the November general election.
    The other race is for the party nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Jim Rogers will face Connie Johnson. The winner will face Republican nominee U.S. Rep. James Lankford in November.

    July 22, 2014

  • Going postal

    Waukomis residents have the opportunity to have their voices heard in regard to the future of their post office.

    July 22, 2014 1 Story

  • New dorm

    Breaking ground on a new dormitory at Northern Oklahoma College Enid is another step in the evolution of the campus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Stars in our eyes

    We caught the vision when, in May of 1961, John F. Kennedy told Congress, and the world, that the space race was no longer to be so one-sided.
    “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up logo.jpg Thumbs up for northwest Okla. communities, where net taxable sales figures are up

    Net taxable sales were up $1,917,774 in Enid, when compared to sales reported in July 2013. The increase amounted to a 2.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the city.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patsy Sorrels.tiff The key to God’s storehouse is in the giving

    Point being, there are a lot of hungry people out there who need to be fed the Bread of Life, and He needs to be served with a smile and a discerning heart.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • David Christy col. use clip.jpg Water, water everywhere?

    As Americans, we have taken water for granted far, far too long. We assume it will always be there, when we turn on the tap.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads