The Associated Press reports that Mohsen Bahrami, the head of Iran’s Space Agency, expressed interest in forging space cooperation ties with NASA. The proposal would seem to be pretty brazen, considering the government of Iran’s hostility toward the United States, manifesting even to whipping up mobs to chant “Death to America!” and taking American citizens as hostage.

Iran has been testing ballistic missiles which it claims is for peaceful purposes but which most western analysts believe are for delivering weapons of mass destruction to targets in Israel, Europe, and the United States.

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Despite the nuclear arms deal, Iran is thought to be carrying on atomic bomb research and development clandestinely. Under the agreement, Iran could produce nuclear weapons after ten years. Considering the weak inspection regime that exists under the agreement, where Iran receives warning of inspections, the Islamic Republic could even produce a bomb before the pact expires, surprising the world much like North Korea did in 2006.

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Under those circumstances, the United States government would be quite insane to contemplate any space agreement with Iran. Bahrami likely knows this. So why did he make such a proposal?

The only possible explanation is that the Iranian government holds President Barack Obama in such contempt that it believes he might actually go for such a proposal. Obama, after all, still pretends that his nuclear weapons agreement has stopped Iran’s nuclear program, much the same as the 1938 Munich Agreement achieved “peace in our time.” Obama has authorized the payment of almost two billion dollars, some in the form of planeloads of small, unmarked foreign currency, in exchange for the release of American hostages.

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Why not suppose that Obama would order NASA to enter into space cooperation with Iran? Congress has not been able to stop his appeasement of the Islamic Republic so far.

Fortunately, Barack Obama leaves office in a few months. Donald Trump has already proposed to tear up the nuclear agreement and would be unlikely to approve of space cooperation absent massive regime change in Iran. Hillary Clinton, however, may or may not move toward such an arrangement as the next logical step in what she thinks would be warming relations between Iran and the United States.

 

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