From the headline of this AP article, “Historic US-Iran nuclear deal could be taking shape,” the casual reader would be hard-pressed to tell whether the deal was good, bad, or indifferent for the US. The article goes on to offer the usual quotes alternating between those who laud the potential agreement and those who criticize it, and closes on a note of optimism about the talks and sympathy for Iran:
Daryl Kimball of the Washington-based Arms Control Association said that with the IAEA’s additional monitoring, the deal taking shape leaves “more than enough time to detect and disrupt any effort to pursue nuclear weapons in the future.”
In exchange, Iran wants relief from sanctions crippling its economy and the U.S. is talking about phasing in such measures.
Contrast that with this piece by David Horovitz in The Times of Israel. He observes that, although the Obama administration has been engaged in denying Israeli rumors of what might be in the agreement and accusing Israel of “misrepresenting the specifics for narrow political ends,” the pending agreement that the AP article describes not only contains many of the things Israel had been complaining about, but is even worse than was previously thought. According to Israel’s “most respected Middle East affairs analyst,” Ehud Ya’ari, the deal would be likely to have some catastrophic consequences:
In his TV commentary on Monday night, Ya’ari highlighted that the deal could further embolden Iran as it expands its influence throughout this region…
Ya’ari also noted that the International Atomic Energy Agency has made clear that it lacks the tools to effectively monitor the kind of nuclear program that Iran will be allowed to maintain under the emerging deal — incapable, that is, of ensuring that Iran does not fool the West as it has done in the past.
The devil of such deals is generally in the detail. But the devil, here, is in the principle as well — the principle that the P5+1 is about to legitimize Iran as a nuclear threshold state. From there, it will be capable of rapidly breaking out to the bomb…
…[I]f the deal now taking shape is indeed finalized, the chances of the regime being ousted from within, or effectively confronted from without, will drastically recede. This deal, indeed, will help cement the ayatollahs in power…
The only consolation seems to be that absent Congressional approval, the agreement should not be binding on a future president. However, if that’s a consolation, it’s a scant one. Even if America’s next president ultimately were to go back on the Iranian deal, the entire process would have shown the world once again that America can no longer be trusted to have a consistent foreign policy even in such an important and basic matter. In addition, by then Iran could have already progressed further in its nuclear program .
Anyone who has paid attention to two other of Obama’s most potentially transformative policies (Obamacare and amnesty) can hardly help but notice that his modus operandi has been to act in “historic” and sweeping ways, without bipartisan support, and often against public opinion, in order to get a policy in place and hope it will become impossible to undo. Another pattern is to delay the worst consequences for a little while in order to lull people into a false sense of security. The Iran deal may be following some similar patterns.
In US News and World Report, Harold Evans is, if anything, even more pessimistic about the pending deal than Israel’s Ya’ari was:
Look at the record of betrayals of trust that have enabled Iran to operate 19,000 centrifuges and another 1,008 IR2M machines that can produce bomb-grade, fissionable material five times faster than the other centrifuges. Back in 2005, the West was saying to Iran “zero centrifuges.” Let me repeat: zero. Next we were talking of a compromise at 5,000 centrifuges. The negotiations from 2005 and 2013 can be summed up in one word: retreat. A series of capitulations have left Iran with “the right” to enrich uranium, so now it has thousands of kilograms of enriched uranium. That’s enough to produce a bomb, contrary to the Obama administration’s commitment to Congress that it would not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons…
Now the United States seems prepared to make a deal that not only would suspend and ultimately lift the sanctions, but would do so while leaving Iran as a threshold nuclear power…And worse: Iran is on track to put a nuclear warhead on intercontinental missiles with a range reaching beyond Europe. This puts the whole civilized world at risk of nuclear blackmail but more, it threatens Israel’s very existence.
The American people understand. In a poll conducted late last year, 81 percent said Iran cannot be trusted. So too do many members of Congress from both parties.
Evans reports that many Democrats in Congress “are furious with Obama for ignoring their concerns and for pursuing his obsession to reach a deal with the Iranians at almost any cost,” and that Dennis Ross (a Middle East negotiator for both the Clinton and Obama administrations) “was scathing in his condemnation of the president’s weaknesses and his ongoing concessions to the Iranians.”
Let that sink in; it tells you how extraordinarily bad this must be if Democrats are criticizing it that harshly. But how willing are Democrats in Congress to do anything about it? It will be interesting to see how many of them support Obama by boycotting Netanyahu’s Congressional talk. And if sanctions on Iran ever come to a vote, just how many Democrats will be willing to join with the GOP? Would there be enough to override his veto? Possible, but highly unlikely.
Obama has made this agreement with Iran the international centerpiece of his glittering second term, just as amnesty has been the domestic centerpiece. The latter is about consolidating power for Obama and the Democrats. The former is about selling out Israel, the US, and the world to what could rightly be called an evil empire.
[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]DONATE
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