It seems like only yesterday -- and in diplomatic terms it was -- that the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress were assuring us the nuclear deal with Iran was something to celebrate, as one might laud the winning of a Nobel Peace Prize.
More sober thinkers, fearing Tehran would never comply with the agreement, envisioned Iran gaining access to $100 billion in frozen assets and using it to underwrite terrorism. When Iran's radical leaders believe they get their marching orders directly from Allah, there is no way they would violate those instructions, which include the eradication of Israel and the defeat of the "Great Satan," which would be America.
Last week, as part of a military exercise, Iran's Revolutionary Guard launched several medium- and short-range missiles capable of reaching Israel.
The Washington Post reported, "The longer ends of that range appear to exceed limits that the U.N. Security Council has imposed in connection to resolutions banning Iran from developing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads." Predictably, Iran denies any of its missiles are designed to carry nuclear weapons. Islamic extremists are permitted by the Koran to lie to infidels in pursuit of their earthly goals.
In another exercise in denial, an Obama administration spokesman claimed to be unaware of any missile launch. He should turn on his TV because the networks have carried video that purports to show them. The spokesman would only say, "It's important that Iran live up to its obligations under the (nuclear) deal." That's not about to strike fear into the Mullahs.
Two of the ballistic missiles reportedly carried messages in Hebrew that said, "Israel must be wiped out." It's nice that Iran is not hiding its intentions, though U.S. diplomats and too many politicians refuse to take these gestures seriously.
President Obama assured us that if Iran violated the agreement, sanctions could be re-imposed, but that won't be effective, especially after unfrozen cash has already been transferred to Tehran. Now even Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has seen the light after favoring the Iran deal. Clinton issued this statement following the missile launch: "Iran should face sanctions for these activities and the international community must demonstrate that Iran's threats toward Israel will not be tolerated."
Contrast that statement with one she made at the time the deal was announced. Last July, Clinton called it "an important step in putting the lid on Iran's nuclear program," adding that she was "part of building the coalition that brought us to the point of this agreement."
It's going to be difficult for her to squirm out of responsibility should Iran reach its goal of creating nukes. Or will she argue that the success or failure of the U.S.-Iran deal depends on the meaning of the word "agreement."?
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Cal Thomas, America's most-syndicated columnist, is the author of 10 books.