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Friday, January 16, 2015

Could Obama do better on Iran?

Lee Smith argues that the Obama administration could negotiate a better nuclear deal with Iran... if Obama wanted to.
An argument commonly made by critics of the White House is that Iranian negotiators have run circles around the Americans. It is easy to think so, but the reality is that Iran, despite its worthy history as a great civilization, to say nothing of its chess masters and master carpet weavers, has not cornered the market on cunning. For every wheeler-dealer at the Iranian bazaar, America produces a dozen corporate lawyers. The Obama administration isn’t getting outhustled. If it wanted to negotiate a tougher deal, it surely could. It just doesn’t want to.
The Iranians understand that they’re pushing against an open door—across a threshold that happens to lead to the rest of the Middle East, where Tehran’s men are busy empire-building. Tehran, as the clerical regime likes to boast, now controls four Arab capitals—Baghdad, Beirut, Sanaa, and Damascus. Iran’s holdings in Syria may at present be the most threatening. Last week came reports that Iran was building missile sites in Syria.
The issue isn’t just the nuclear deal. Sure, you can’t have a meaningful agreement to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program if it’s moving material to another country. But you also can’t have a meaningful agreement if the administration doesn’t push for one. As we’ve seen repeatedly over the last year, the White House refuses to call the Iranians to account. That means we have a big problem. If Iran is determined to have the bomb, and this administration is very clearly less determined to stop them from acquiring and dispersing the equipment and material it takes to build a bomb, then Iran’s growing Middle East empire will be a nuclear one.
Maybe there are enough votes in the new Republican Senate to pass more meaningful sanctions legislation. They had better act fast, because the fact is we’re soon going to reach the point when sanctions will be largely irrelevant. Sanctions will be an empty threat against an Iranian empire under a nuclear umbrella.
I don't believe the Obama administration is constitutionally capable of negotiating hard against a Muslim government. It's not in their kishkes.

Shabbat Shalom everyone!

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