Most of my friends have already heard this story, but if you are one of them, don’t skip it. There’s an important parallel.
When I served in the IDF reserve, my job was guard duty at Air Force installations. This is (or was) one of the lowest tasks in the army, being reserved for people who hadn’t done regular service, or who had various ‘problems’. And we were a motley bunch. In particular there was one guy who always wore sneakers instead of boots. He explained to his commanders that he had a ptor, a medical release.
One day in 1987 when we guarding Tel Aviv’s Sde Dov airport, we were informed that a helicopter carrying the Chief of the General Staff was arriving and we were to go out and meet it. With feelings of great importance (and relief from the crushing boredom of guard duty), we surrounded the landing area. The helicopter touched down, and out stepped the highest-ranking officer in the IDF, Dan Shomron, along with other generals, bodyguards, etc.
The first thing he noticed was the sneakers. Before he stepped into his car, he nudged a major, who spoke to my associate.
Major: You. What’s on your feet?
Cpl. X: Sneakers.
X: I have a ptor.
M: Show it to me.
Of course he couldn’t, since it existed only in his mind. There were unpleasant consequences for him.
Which brings us to the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani. (h/t: Elder of Ziyon). Rouhani — and his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — have claimed several times that Iran cannot develop nuclear weapons because the Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa [judgment of Islamic law] against it.
In fact, they even succeeded in persuading President Obama, who mentioned it in his speech at the UN last week. But like my unfortunate friend’s ptor, the fatwa seems to be imaginary. Read what MEMRI says about it:
In fact, such a fatwa was never issued by Supreme Leader Khamenei and does not exist; neither the Iranian regime nor anybody else can present it.
The deception regarding “Khamenei’s fatwa” has been promoted by the Iranian regime and its spokesmen for several years. Each time it was mentioned, the “fatwa” was given a different year of issue – for example, 2005, 2007, or 2012 – but the text of the “fatwa” was never presented.
MEMRI has conducted in-depth research with regard to this “fatwa” and has published reports demonstrating that it is a fiction. See MEMRI reports:
Renewed Iran-West Nuclear Talks – Part II: Tehran Attempts to Deceive U.S. President Obama, Sec’y of State Clinton With Nonexistent Anti-Nuclear Weapons Fatwa By Supreme Leader Khamenei
The Iranian regime apparently believes that its frequent repetition of the “fatwa” lie will make it accepted as truth. To date, the Europeans refuse to accept it. According to unofficial sources, the legal advisors of the EU3 made an official request to the Iranian regime in 2005 to provide a copy of the “fatwa,” but in vain.
The imaginary fatwa is just one of many lies told by the Iranians about their nuclear program. Another is that it is for peaceful purposes, when the overwhelming evidence indicates that it is intended to produce weapons.
Iran has been making great sacrifices for more than a decade to become a nuclear power, something which it correctly believes will change the balance of power in the Middle East, replacing US influence with that of Iran. Now it is on the verge of completing its project — is it likely to give up now just to end the leaky sanctions that it has borne up to this point? Would the US have scrapped the Manhattan Project in January of 1945?
The Iranian lies are transparent, but they are not designed to be convincing. They are designed to provide cover for the Obama Administration, which has already decided that it is more important to achieve a ‘diplomatic solution’ to the Iranian crisis than it is to actually prevent them from assembling nuclear weapons (or coming close enough to do so on very short notice).
Unlike the IDF major I mentioned above, President Obama is not prepared to call an obvious bluff.