Foreign and Defense Policy, Middle East and North Africa

So Obama’s basing diplomacy on a nuclear fatwa?

Image Credit: El Mundo, Economia y Negocios (Flickr) CC

Image Credit: El Mundo, Economia y Negocios (Flickr) CC

President Obama announced today that he’s had a telephone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and believes a nuclear deal is possible. “Iran’s supreme leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons [and] President Rouhani has indicated that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons,” Obama said.

Perhaps it’s time for a bit less trust and a bit more verify. While Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s nuclear fatwa has been the stuff of diplomatic gossip for years, no one citing it has ever actually seen it. Khamenei lists all of his fatwas on his webpage, but the nuclear fatwa isn’t among them.

Over at Commentary, I addressed this problem a few months back. Every single journalist who cites the fatwa should demand to see it. Such fatwas aren’t secret. Unless, of course, they are simply bait to draw in the commander-in-chief and leader useful idiot of the free world.

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