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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why a bad deal is worse than no deal

Hat Tip for the graphic to Yair Rosenberg.

Robert Joseph and William Tobey review a long list of concessions that the United States and the P 5+1 have made to Iran in the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. They sum up that list as follows:
The greatest concession in the negotiations has been the abandonment of the original U.S. goal of preventing Iran from having a nuclear-weapons capability. This was a consistent and firm position of the Bush administration. It was also the position of the Obama administration until November 2013, when it was given up to secure Iran’s consent to the Joint Plan of Action. Soon after that, Secretary of State Kerry described the new U.S. goal as taking Iran’s “breakout time” from two months to six to twelve months — as if we would know when the clock began, and as if we could do something effective to stop the breakout within that timeframe. The reality is that we have traded permanent concessions for temporary restrictions that will leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state able to build a nuclear weapon whenever it decides to do so. When the deal ends, Iran can openly go to the brink of nuclear weapons with the blessing of the international community.
Joseph and Tobey then go on to explain why a bad deal is worse than no deal (something that even President Obama admitted a while back before he started to spin the story). 
The Obama administration will almost certainly try to portray its nuclear deal with Iran as better than no deal, and will accuse those who oppose the agreement as choosing war over peace. Nothing could be further from the truth. A bad deal is far worse than no deal. A bad deal leaves Iran with a nuclear-weapons capability, which would be far more destabilizing than a return to tough sanctions. A bad deal undermines the IAEA’s attempts to get to the bottom of Iran’s covert weapons work. A bad deal undermines the Nonproliferation Treaty, leading to additional dangers around the world. A bad deal is a step toward conflict and more nuclear proliferation in a region of vital U.S. interest. Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear-weapons capability is the surest way to prevent war and preserve peace. To that end, the negotiators should return to the table insisting upon limits that will permanently block Iran’s paths to nuclear weapons and resolve the IAEA’s concerns about Tehran’s nuclear-weapons work as a condition of an agreement. The real choice is not between the administration’s deal and war, but between preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and capitulation.
Prime Minister Netanyahu believes that the West has thrown in the towel and given up on stopping Iran.
In his remarks, Netanyahu said that the greatest challenge Israel faces is “the threat of Iran arming itself with nuclear weapons with a declared goal of annihilating us.”
“From the agreement that is forming, it appears that they (world powers) have given up on that commitment (to thwart Iran) and are accepting that Iran will gradually, within a few years, develop capabilities to produce material for many nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said. “They might accept this but I am not willing to accept this.”
That's undoubtedly part of what the Prime Minister will tell Congress on Tuesday. And if you sense a veiled threat of military action from Netanyahu, you're probably right. 

But Israel is not the only country that's worried enough about Iran to contemplate military action. So is Saudi Arabia. Or they're at least contemplating letting Israel fly over their territory to attack Iran.
Riyadh’s only condition is that Israel make some kind of progress in peace talks with the Palestinians, Channel 2 reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed senior European source.
“The Saudi authorities are completely coordinated with Israel on all matters related to Iran,” the European official in Brussels said.
The report claimed the Saudi authorities had made their position clear in various unspecified diplomatic discussions on the matter.
“The Saudis have declared their readiness for the Israeli Air Force to overfly Saudi air space en route to attack Iran if an attack is necessary,” the TV report said. All that they ask is “some kind of progress” on the Palestinian issue.
Being able to use Saudi airspace would allow Israeli planes a shortcut to reach Iran without having to fly around the Persian Gulf, taking up precious time and fuel.
According to the dispatch, Israel and Saudi Arabia also share intelligence on Iran’s nuclear program at a very intimate level and the Saudis are no less worried by details coming out of the Geneva talks than Israeli leaders, who have loudly spoken out against the talks.
That doesn't sound like the Saudis are asking for a whole lot - and if push comes to shove and the 'Palestinians' won't agree to anything (as is usually the case), I would bet that the condition will be dropped. 

Wouldn't it be ironic if anti-nuke Leftist Barack Hussein Obama perpetrated a war over Iran's nuclear capability? (I'm specifically not referring to it as a nuclear war, because I believe that Israel will try to stop Iran - with or without US support - before Iran has a nuclear weapons capability). 

What could go wrong?

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At 9:18 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

With Yemen falling under Iran's control, Obama and the west have allowed Iran to control the entirety of the Straits of Hormuz. Any day now you can expect Iran to choke off the Persian Gulf - where almost all of the Mideast oil comes from - driving prices through the ceiling. A nuclear armed Iran will simply use that as a backstop. And if anyone thinks Obama or the EU are going to confront Iran with naval force, they're delusional. Of course by then Obama/MSNBC will blame the failure of Keystone XL on....the GOP assuming anyone in America still has electricity to turn on their TV's.


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