The crowning achievement of Barack Obama’s negotiation without precondition strategy on Iran was Iran’s alleged agreement to ship its uranium abroad for reprocessing. This supposed agreement — which was never as significant as it seemed — was touted as proof that Obama’s approach was correct.
Popular left-wing blogger and supposed Iran-guru Juan Cole wrote that Obama had “pwned” George Bush:
Barack Obama pwned Bush-Cheney in one day, and got more concessions from Iran in 7 1/2 hours than the former administration got in 8 years of saber-rattling.
I was skeptical, and felt that Obama was getting rolled by the Iranians.
Now the NY Times reveals that the Iranians have rejected any such agreement:
Iran told the United Nations nuclear watchdog on Thursday that it would not accept, in its current form, a plan its negotiators agreed to last week to send the country’s stockpile of uranium out of the country, according to diplomats in Europe and American officials briefed on Iran’s response, potentially unwinding President Obama’s effort to buy time to resolve the nuclear standoff….
“The key issue is that Iran does not agree to export its lightly enriched uranium,” [a senior European offical] said. “That’s not a minor detail. That’s the whole point of the deal.”
The Telegraph newspaper also reports that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is crowing that Iran has won the nuclear showdown:
As Iran’s nuclear negotiator handed in the country’s response to a proposed deal to process its enriched uranium stocks abroad, Mr Ahmadinejad hailed a change in Western policy from “confrontation to co-operation”.
“We welcome fuel exchange, nuclear co-operation, building of power plants and reactors and we are ready to co-operate,” he said in a speech shown live on state television. But he said he would not retreat “one iota” in his demand that the country continue with its nuclear programme, understood by most observers to mean its policy of enriching uranium.
While the book is not closed, it looks like Obama got pwned by the Iranians, at least on the issue of whether negotiations without preconditions would lead Iran to give up the elements of its nuclear weapons program.
Plan A didn’t work. Now on to Plan B, if Obama has one.
Obama Rolled By Iranians
What Do Juan Cole and “Death to America” Have In Common?