Obama Team Can’t Explain why Iranian Ayatollah Gets Benefit of the Doubt but Israeli Netanyahu Doesn’t

AP Reporter Jim Kuhnhenn asked the question that conservatives have been waiting for weeks to hear. He wondered aloud why the Obama administration had such an obvious double standard when it came to the way they handled issues between Israel and Iran. When Israel say something they don’t like Obama hems and haws and angrily denounces anyone who disagrees with him. When Iran says “Death to America” and “We will wipe Israel from the face of the Earth” and “the Americans are Liars”… the Obama team acts like it’s just a collegial joke among old friends.

It’s a weird and sad double standard.



Jim Kuhnhenn: On Iran, with talks, I believe, scheduled to restart next week, I want to go back to something the president said on Saturday at a press conference which was when asked about comments that Ayatollah [Ruhollah] Khomeini made he suggested that politics was driving that, internal politics in Iran. That there hardliners and in the end that might not end up being the final position that Iran takes in these negotiations.

A month ago, when Prime Minister Netanyahu said that under his watch there would be no Palestinian state, under the heat of the campaign, and then he later walked those comments back. The president still said that he believed the prime minister’s comment at the time.

I am curious why the Ayatollah gets the benefit of the doubt on his remarks but Netanyahu does not?

obama israel iranJosh Earnest: Well this is the thing, Jim, the Ayatollah does not get the benefit of the doubt. We have indicated time and time again that these negotiations with the Iranians are not built on trust.

The foundations of these talks is ensuring that there are verification measures in place to confirm their compliance with the agreement. That there’s indication that it would be in the best interest in the international community to just take Iran’s word for it. In fact, what will be required in addition to serious commitments by Iran to rollback key aspects of their nuclear program is compliance with the most intrusive set of inspections that have ever been imposed on a country’s nuclear program.

So, this is not a matter of taking — accepting the word of the Iranian leadership. In fact, we’ve been pretty blunt about our approach to these negotiations being distrust and verify. And that is going to continue to be our approach…


After the answer that wasn’t really an answer on why Team Obama is so quick to treat Israel (our ally) harshly and so quick to dismiss much worse offenses by Iran (our enemy), Kuhnhenn followed up by reminding Earnest that Obama had cryptically threatened Israel just a few weeks ago.


Jim Kuhnhenn: [inaudible]… last month you said because of the prime minister’s comments you were reevaluating the U.S. approach to the Israelis. After a month, have you come up with what that approach should be?

Josh Earnest: Well, what we have done over the course of the last month is continue to keep the lines of communication open with our partners in Israel over a variety of issues. I don’t have any policy changes or anything like that to announce today.