A historic capitulation that will explode long after Obama out of office.
The Iran nuke Framework deal is bad for anyone other than Iran.
Iran achieved its two key negotiating objectives: Keep its nuclear infrastructure in place and get sanctions relief.
As The Washington Post editorial board points out, these parameters are contrary to the bottom line Obama spelled out at the start of the negotiations:
THE “KEY parameters” for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program released Thursday fall well short of the goals originally set by the Obama administration. None of Iran’s nuclear facilities — including the Fordow center buried under a mountain — will be closed. Not one of the country’s 19,000 centrifuges will be dismantled. Tehran’s existing stockpile of enriched uranium will be “reduced” but not necessarily shipped out of the country. In effect, Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain intact, though some of it will be mothballed for 10 years. When the accord lapses, the Islamic republic will instantly become a threshold nuclear state.
That’s a long way from the standard set by President Obama in 2012 when he declared that “the deal we’ll accept” with Iran “is that they end their nuclear program” and “abide by the U.N. resolutions that have been in place.” Those resolutions call for Iran to suspend the enrichment of uranium. Instead, under the agreement announced Thursday, enrichment will continue with 5,000 centrifuges for a decade, and all restraints on it will end in 15 years.
How did Iran do it?
By setting its own negotiating red line and refusing to budge.
I’ve seen that negotiating tactic hundreds of time — it’s effective only when the opposing party is not willing to walk away from the negotiation.
Obama so desperately wanted a deal that he was not willing to walk away. The Iranians didn’t need to walk away, they just needed to dig in behind their red line and wait.
So Obama capitulated on the key insistance of Iran keeping it’s nuclear program intact, and then negotiated over the rest. Obama admitted as much in his speech after the Framework was announced:
So desperate was Obama for a deal, he agreed to keep the Fordo nuclear site open and operating in violation of prior demands, as the NY Times reports:
It was just one of hundreds of arguments between American and Iranian officials as they tried to hash out what may prove to be one of the hardest-to-negotiate arms control agreements in history. But it spoke volumes about how two countries that so deeply distrust each other managed to strike a tentative deal.
After President Obama revealed the existence of a secret, deep-underground enrichment operation near the sacred city of Qum in late 2009, the White House demanded that it be dismantled and closed. In defiance, the Iranians stuffed the facility, called Fordo, with 3,000 centrifuges — a huge issue for American and Israeli military planners because it is impervious to all but the largest bunker-buster bombs.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, also decreed that no nuclear facilities would be closed. So when negotiations turned to Fordo’s fate, the Iranians insisted that the centrifuges had to stay and the Americans said they all had to come out.
The compromise — one of the most painful, an American official acknowledged on Thursday night — was that 1,000 centrifuges would remain. But they are to have no fissile material, the makings of a nuclear weapon.
Instead, they will spin another element, for medical isotopes. Still, the official acknowledged the optics were bad: “Having even one centrifuge in Fordo is hard.”
This sentence from The Times article sums it all up:
The Iranians knew the [March 31] deadline meant a lot to Mr. Kerry — who needed to show progress to Congress — but it meant nothing to them.
Incompetent on purpose (aka part of the plan)? Yeah, I could be convinced of that.DONATE
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