Monday, December 21, 2015

The Art Work of the Deal

We've finally taking action against Iran. We delivered a shipment of art that they purchased in 1978. The horror.

Seventies art has to be just atrocious. And we have inflicted it on Iran:

Iran has taken delivery of 14 pieces of American art purchased nearly 40 years ago but blocked for export due to a rupture in bilateral relations following Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

How cruel.

No word if we also released the shipments of bell bottom pants and platform shoes under embargo.

We said we "would not rule out additional steps" to respond to Iran's banned missile test, recall. So the Iranians can't say they weren't warned.

I would like to quibble with the last part of that art article:

The delivery comes during a slight improvement in relations between Iran and the United States after the signing of a landmark nuclear deal in July.

That deal was never signed by Iran.

So the pretending goes on as our government (and the press that loves it) pretends it has a nuclear deal with Iran that will actually stop Iran from going nuclear; and Iran pretends they have art.

I miss all that post-Cold War "end of history" talk when people just assumed the world was going our way.

UPDATE: Holy cow, this is the Washington Post editorial board (tip to Instapundit):

IRAN IS following through on the nuclear deal it struck with a U.S.-led coalition in an utterly predictable way: It is racing to fulfill those parts of the accord that will allow it to collect $100 billion in frozen funds and end sanctions on its oil exports and banking system, while expanding its belligerent and illegal activities in other areas — and daring the West to respond.

Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s response to these provocations has also been familiar. It is doing its best to downplay them — and thereby encouraging Tehran to press for still-greater advantage.

Well, we have shipped them 1970s art. So there's that.

UPDATE: Ah, performance art:

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said at a ceremony in northern Iran on Monday that Tehran is not scaling back its program or even keeping production at pre-deal levels.

"We have not halted designing, producing and testing our missiles, (on the contrary) we have even increased our production," Dehqan said, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

It's so exciting to live in an age when our forward-thinking foreign policy transforms jihadi Iran into a responsible regional power!

You remember our president's confidence in the transformative nature of a nuclear "deal," of course:

They have a path to break through that isolation and they should seize it. Because if they do, there's incredible talent and resources and sophistication inside of — inside of Iran, and it would be a very successful regional power that was also abiding by international norms and international rules, and that would be good for everybody. That would be good for the United States, that would be good for the region, and most of all, it would be good for the Iranian people.

Maybe it's just my lack of nuance, but I don't think Iran has chosen that offered path.