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Then the following day, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency, Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad al Thani denied that a secret meeting between Iranian and American officials had taken place in his country. He was reacting to reports by Al Arabiya news agency that a secret meeting indeed had occurred in Qatar.

Mr. Obama must not put his political career ahead of the global economy and world peace. No political gains will justify emboldening a regime that not only rapes, tortures and kills its own citizens, but is also at the helm of worldwide terrorism.

After four years of the Obama administration, Iran is much closer to obtaining the bomb and has achieved the know-how to become nuclear-armed.

With international sanctions putting the Iranian economy into a free fall and riots breaking out, a better strategy would be to tighten the screws with even harsher sanctions and to side with the Iranian people when they rise up against their government. A majority of Iranians detest the brutal mullah-driven regime and yearn for freedom. We must not let them down. World peace depends on it.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010).