Remember when President Barack Obama said that the United States will “always have Israel’s back” when it comes to Israel’s security—especially in regards to Iran’s nuclear program?

Or when Secretary of State John Kerry said that with Iran “no deal was better than a bad deal?”

They were lying.

The administration’s aim is to make a deal with Iran even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns that the emerging deal “is a threat to the entire world, and, first and foremost, this is a threat to us.”

Kerry’s negotiation team continues to operate from a premise that “any deal is better than no deal.”

The Los Angeles Times is now reporting that the administration has sweetened its deal to allow Iran 4000 operational centrifuges.

The Obama administration has sweetened its offer to Iran in ongoing nuclear negotiations, saying it might accept Tehran operating 4,000 centrifuges, up from the previous 1,300, according to a semiofficial Iranian news agency.

The Mehr news agency also said Monday that Iran and the six world powers seeking to negotiate a nuclear deal remained divided over how much uranium-enrichment capacity the Middle East nation should be allowed to maintain, and how to lift punitive sanctions from its economy.

Ray Tayekh, a critic of the current negotiations, observed that “the U.S. sweetener may encourage Iran to drag out negotiations to see what better offer it might receive after a few more months of talks.”

If LA Times report is true, there are a number of factors that still aren’t clear. Iran currently has 19,000 installed centrifuges (though not all of them are operating.) Does this higher number mean that the remaining centrifuges would be dismantled or simply unplugged? (If the latter is true even The Washington Post, which twice endorsed Obama for president, warned that this “would cede Iran the option of racing to build a nuclear arsenal at a time of its choosing, while removing the sanctions that are pressing the regime.”)

News reports about the nuclear negotiations only seem to go in direction: the United States in retreat.

The LA Times report follows a report in The New York Times that the Obama administration is seeking to bypass Congress regarding any deal it makes with Iran.

White House officials say Congress should not be surprised by this plan. They point to testimony earlier this year when top negotiators argued that the best way to assure that Iran complies with its obligations is a step-by-step suspension of sanctions — with the implicit understanding that the president could turn them back on as fast as he turned them off. …

But it is clear that along with the fate of Iran’s biggest nuclear sites — Natanz and Fordow, where uranium fuel is enriched, and a heavy-water reactor at Arak that many fear will be able to produce weapons-grade plutonium — the negotiations have focused intently on how sanctions would be suspended. To the Americans, the sanctions are their greatest leverage. For many ordinary Iranians, they are what this negotiation is all about: a chance to boost the economy, reconnect with the world and end Iran’s status as a pariah state.

These paragraphs show exactly what’s wrong with the administration’s approach to the nuclear negotiations. The administration is focused on how to reduce sanctions on Iran while Iran is focused on how to keep its enrichment infrastructure in place. This might be reasonable if Iran was reasonable and trustworthy but as an American intelligence official observes at the end of the NY Times article, “over the past 10 years, we’ve uncovered three covert programs in Iran, and there’s no reason to think there’s not a fourth out there.”

In her post on the NY Times article yesterday Amy Miller concluded, “This isn’t politics; it’s life and death. But you can be certain that whatever decision Obama makes, it will be motivated by his desire to please all the wrong people.”

How true. How unfortunate. How dangerous.


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