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The pending Iran deal

The pending Iran deal

Who do you trust?

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.]


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I can’t talk about it. This is just madness.

    All of what obama is doing, and we have not yet seen the worst, is madness, as well as anti-American and pro islam. That includes obama’s domestic actions, which are successfully designed further to weaken America and therefore further encourage and give strength to those advocating a world-wide caliphate.
    While I am sure it would violate a “tradition,” some articulate American statesman or woman should publicly proclaim that the secret deal being discussed, as far as is known, is contrary to American and free-world interests, will not be ratified in the senate, does not represent American policy, and should not be relied upon by any other country. Then the analogy to Chamberlin and Munich should be repeated frequently.
    While that sounds good to me, it seems wildly optimistic in light of the recent domestic capitulations of Republican leadership.

legacyrepublican | February 26, 2015 at 9:08 am

Branco, one of the very few occasions you blew it. You ought to have had Obama on the monitor waving a piece of paper to the crowd saying “Peace in our time!”

    1 Thessalonians 5:3

    “While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”

    That’s us, BTW…

…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,”

Yeah, I’ve always thought that avoiding complete annihilation is a “narrow political end”.

Sammy Finkelman | February 26, 2015 at 10:56 am

It’s not enough to be able to detect any effort to pursue nuclear weapons – you’ve got to be committed to disrupt it.

And it’s not enough to be able to detect it if the agreement is kept – you’ve got to have a plan as to what to do if the deal is NOT kept, including even not keeping the verification part.

We made a couple of agreements with North Korea.

Sammy Finkelman | February 26, 2015 at 11:02 am

“Why the Fake Story About the Mossad Contradicting Netanyahu?”

(If there was a contradiction, it would have been Netanyahu’s prediction in his 2012 speech and what happened, but that would not have been such a good hook))

There can never be peace with Islam or peace within Islam.

Mohammedanism’s conflicts, internal and external, span its entire history.

Here’s a scenario that I think is not too unrealistic. Obama gets his bad deal enabling Iran to build its bomb. Israel decides it’s time to take care of business via the Israeli Air Force. The U.S. Notices that Israel is about to strike but denies air space to Iran via Iraq. Israel, reasoning that its survival is more important than preserving Obama’s ego, decides to strike anyway even if it puts the country on a collision course with the US military. Now, if you are a member of the US military and you happen to be Jewish or evangelical what do you do?

    Barry in reply to bt1. | February 26, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Israel is not going to take on the US Air Force. It would be suicide, the mission would fail, and Americans would turn on the Israelis. Israel is not that stupid. There is another doable route to Iran, and it lies over their #1 enemy.

No one can be as stupid as Obama and Kerry appear to be. So they simply must be malignant.

Correction re anyone being as stupid as Obama and Kerry appear to be: Boehner and McConnell.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to | February 27, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    No one can be as stupid as Obama and Kerry appear to be

    I think Obama and company are the victims of special arguments, or disinformation that they are not making public.