Jeff Jacoby

The annual "Death to America" rallies across Iran last month were the largest ever. The outpouring of hate against the United States wasn't cancelled, or even toned down, by the new Iranian president, the purportedly "moderate, reasonable" Hassan Rouhani. Far from it. "Iran's propaganda machine had been working for weeks ahead of the ceremonies to mobilize maximum public participation," reported the BBC Persian service on November 4. The resulting demonstrations were "unprecedented in their scale and scope."

This is the regime that Barack Obama has been so ardent to engage, and that John Kerry was secretly wooing as far back as 2011.

Less than three weeks after Tehran was whipping anti-US hostility to a record high, Kerry concluded an interim nuclear deal in Geneva that was so favorable to the Islamic Republic that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, delightedly claimed victory. As well he might, since the Great Satan and its negotiating partners had, for all intents and purposes, conceded Iran's longstanding diplomatic objective: international recognition of its right to enrich uranium. Kerry denied it, but thetext of the deal stipulates — not once, but twice — that a final arrangement with Iran will "involve a mutually defined enrichment program."

Not to worry, Kerry assured the deal's critics: He and his fellow negotiators are "resolute" about not letting Iran acquire nuclear weapons. What's more, he added, "Foreign Minister Zarif emphasized that they don't intend to do this, and the Supreme Leader has indicated there is a fatwa which forbids them to do this."

Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby is an Op-Ed writer for the Boston Globe, a radio political commentator, and a contributing columnist for