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Monday, February 09, 2015

Only Europe stands between Obama and a nuclear Iran

On YNet, Alex Fishman argues that Prime Minister Netanyahu would be better off making his case to Europe than to the US Congress. After all, the United States has already conceded a nuclear threshold, and only Europe stands between Obama and a deal.
But Netanyahu is right about one thing: The American president, who has his own political reasons, is making a huge effort to convince the Iranians to sign – sending them messages, letters and messengers and getting into an argument with the Congress. But Barack Obama is actually causing his own failure. He wants the goods so much that he has already put all the cards on the table, while the Iranians are still holding the cards close to their chest.

Even today – two months before the scheduled date for signing an agreement – the Iranians have hardly budged while the Americans have reached the limit of concessions. Rouhani left the following instruction to his negotiations team: Iran will not give up any ability it has already acquired. It will not dismantle any centrifuges.
So the Iranians are saying to the Americans: You have already crossed the Rubicon, agreed to leave us most of the centrifuges, a certain enrichment ability, and let us continue to engage in research and development – in other words, to continue developing advanced centrifuges. So take just one more tiny step towards us and let us increase the number of advanced centrifuges over time.

And the Iranians have another condition: The moment the agreement is signed, an immediate removal of all the sanctions and a full return to the family of nations.
The Americans have agreed that Iran will continue to hold onto the major part of the centrifuges, but are demanding that the West will control the uranium enrichment products: The quantity, the enrichment rate and the transfer of surpluses to Russia.
That's ridiculous. It means that the Obama administration has basically agreed that Iran will become a nuclear threshold state, only the supervision will be tighter in the first years. In other words, the moment the Iranians decide to seize the opportunity, they will break through with a bomb very quickly. Iran is retaining the option to produce a nuclear weapon whenever it feels like it.
It's not Netanyahu's outcry that is stopping Obama from taking the last step towards the Iranians. England, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, and especially France, are unhappy with the agreement that is taking shape. As long as he fails to create a consensus with his partners, he cannot present the agreement to the American people.
What could go wrong? 

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At 11:02 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

I thought the whole point of that P5+1 thing was that the Euros were in charge of doing the deal. Did they just flake out (who on earth would put Euros in charge of regional security for The Jewish Nation, expecting a life extending result, anyway?) or have the Obama/Clinton/KhmerRouge Kerry Posse steamrolled the process (ditto)?


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