John Kerry lost the Secretary of State sweepstakes to Hillary Clinton, but that hasn't lowered his diplomatic ambitions. The Journal reported Thursday that the Senate Foreign Relations Chairman is mulling a trip to Iran, and with the blessing of the Obama Administration.
If the mullahs had any sense, they'd send him a government plane. Beset by almost daily demonstrations by a democratic opposition that has been growing despite beatings and arrests since the stolen June election, Mr. Kerry would arrive from Washington to show the Iranian people that at least someone still favors the regime. He would be the most senior American to visit Tehran in 30 years and his trip would convey legitimacy that the dictatorship is especially eager to have at the current moment.
The Kerry mission would also look like a panicky effort to persuade the Ayatollah Ali Khamanei to accept the increasingly plaintive U.S. offers of engagement. Mr. Obama has set the end of this month as his latest deadline for progress on nuclear talks before he says he'll seek tougher sanctions against Iran at the U.N.
But if a year of personal Presidential letters and Administration entreaties hasn't worked, why would a Senatorial trip? The regime would probably exploit the visit for its own domestic purposes, perhaps adding to its P.R. coup by releasing to Mr. Kerry the three hapless American hikers it has promised to put on trial for having "suspicious aims" as they wandered across the border with Iraq.
The Iranians who need support now are the democrats in prison, in the streets, and increasingly in the mosques as the regime loses its legitimacy even among many clerics. Please do them no more harm, Senator.
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