- When word came that Kerry was returning to Geneva, there was little doubt a deal had been reached with Iran.
- Naturally, both Iran’s and Obama’s friends in Washington were equally quick to praise the “historic agreement”.
- I hear they’re talking about selling out Assad in favor of a new Syrian government.
- a halt of work at Arak, the heavy water reactor that provides Iran a second route to a bomb
- A suspension of installation of new centrifuges
- Intrusive new inspections
- A cap on the stockpile of enriched uranium
- all enrichment
- cooperation in revealing details of Iran’s military work at Parchin
- Construction (though not installation) of new centrifuges
- Reversal of nuclear progress
- Phased deals such as this buy more time for the would-be nuclear state to advance its program while giving key concessions on the sanctions front.
- Sequenced agreements of this kind don’t work (viz: North Korea).
- The administration was too desperate for a deal.
- There will be no phase two.
In reality, Iran has given nothing of substance other than a “pause” in its program. The administration has left the hard work to the IAEA, including Parchin and verification. Any hint of suspicion that Iran will continue work at an as yet undisclosed secret site was missing. In return, while the concessions to Iran on sanctions are in and of themselves not dramatic, the reversal in momentum for sanctions and the loss of the psychology of impenetrable sanctions is of immeasurable value to Tehran. Dealmakers will be back, letters of credit will once again be available, and it will be the beginning of the end of international cooperation on sanctions. Worse yet, the administration will be loath to call Iran for failing to measure up to the letter of the agreement for fear of collapse, with all the concomitant loss of reputation to the President. The administration, having once been an advocate for an end to Iran’s nuclear program, will become an advocate for Iran. Don’t believe it? Look at last week’s outrageous comments by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei about Israel. Where was Kerry? Look at the administration’s opposition to new sanctions on the Hill.
In short, it is wrong to say Iran has given nothing; Iran has given something, but nothing that halts its progress towards a nuclear weapons capability. It has simply pushed back a break-out date which was immaterial to Iran, which has little intention of immediate break-out in any case. In return, it has earned something far more valuable than the concessions it granted: an advocate for the current regime in the White House.
One last thing: AP is reporting secret talks have been going on between the White House and Iran for months now. We’ve heard this repeatedly. What are they talking about? In addition to the nuclear issue, I hear they’re talking about selling out Assad in favor of a new Syrian government that looks exactly like the current government, minus Assad. Hezbollah? Nothing. Terrorism? Nothing. Watch out.