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Sunday, November 24, 2013

New York Times Editorial, "Getting to Yes With Iran": Senator Chuck Schumer Is Not a Serious Man?

In yet another shameless adulatory editorial entitled "Getting to Yes With Iran" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/25/opinion/getting-to-yes-with-iran.html?hp&rref=opinion/international&_r=0), The New York Times showers praise on Barack Obama for his 2013 adaptation of Neville Chamberlain's 1938 "peace for our time." This delusion editorial begins by telling us:

"President Obama and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran deserve credit for resisting fierce domestic opposition and a 30-year history of animosity between the two countries to get to this point."

Rouhani deserves credit? In fact, there is only one person who decides anything in Iran: Supreme Leader Khamenei. Moreover, Obama was cooking up this deal with Khamenei during secret negotiations held in Oman during the past year (see (http://www.timesofisrael.com/white-house-held-secret-talks-with-iran-for-past-year/) long before Rouhani took office in August 2013.

In short, Supreme Leader Khamenei wanted this deal.

The Times editorial continues:

"Even though the temporary agreement does not achieve permanent and total dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear program, no one can seriously argue that it doesn’t make the world safer."

No one can seriously argue that this temporary agreement doesn’t make the world safer? Oh, really? Yesterday, David Sanger of The New York Times observed(http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/world/middleeast/progress-if-modest-in-holding-back-irans-nuclear-program.html?_r=0) (my emphasis in red):

"The deal does not roll back the vast majority of the advances Iran has made in the past five years, which have drastically shortened what nuclear experts call its 'dash time' to a bomb — the minimum time it would take to build a weapon if Iran’s supreme leader or military decided to pursue that path.

Lengthening that period, so that the United States and its allies would have time to react, is the ultimate goal of President Obama’s negotiating team. It is also a major source of friction between the White House and two allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, which have made no secret of their belief that they are being sold down the river.

. . . .

Iran’s agreement to convert or dilute the fuel stocks that are closest to weapons grade, Mr. Obama said, means that the deal would 'cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb.' But it would cut them off only temporarily, long enough to pursue negotiations without fear that Iran would use the time to inch closer to a weapons capability.

But the rollback he won for this first stage, according to American intelligence estimates, would slow Iran’s dash time by only a month to a few months."

Or stated otherwise, Iran gave up virtually nothing in exchange for sanctions relief. That month or two of "dash time" that Obama obtained sure as heck makes the world a safer place . . . not.

The editorial goes on to say:

"As with any deal between adversaries, caution is warranted. Iran kept the nuclear program secret for nearly two decades before it was uncovered in 2002 and has resisted full disclosure of its activities. But the interim deal has protections that should make cheating harder, including unprecedented daily inspections of enrichment facilities at Natanz and Fordo by United Nations experts."

Yup, those "unprecedented daily inspections" at Natanz and Fordo are really going to prevent Iran from continuing to build its first bomb. If you ask any serious person in the intelligence community, he/she will acknowledge the overwhelming likelihood that Iran has additional nuclear development facilities that are unknown to the US. Khamenei is not stupid.

Moreover, one need only consider whether the even more stringent agreement that President Clinton negotiated with North Korea in 2004 prevented the North Koreans from building nuclear weapons.

As noted by the editorial, the agreement fails to resolve the key issue of whether Iran has the right to enrich uranium:

"The two sides effectively put aside the question of whether Iran has a 'right' to enrich, but that will be central to any final deal."

Not surprisingly, as observed in a Washington Post article entitled "After Iran nuclear deal, tough challenges ahead" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/after-iran-nuclear-deal-tough-challenges-ahead/2013/11/24/9853518e-552c-11e3-835d-e7173847c7cc_story.html?hpid=z1) by Joby Warrick, the issue of Iran's right to enrich uranium is already in dispute following the announcement of the agreement:

"In Tehran, officials welcomed the deal as the beginning of a new era for the Islamic republic, with President Hassan Rouhani asserting that language in the agreement affirmed Iran’s right to enrich uranium, which he and other top Iranian officials had demanded as an element of any agreement.

'Let anyone make his own reading, but this right is clearly stated in the text of the agreement that Iran can continue its enrichment, and I announce to our people that our enrichment activities will continue as before,' Rouhani said in a statement broadcast live on television in Iran on Sunday morning.

Kerry and other U.S. officials who had sought to find language that would satisfy Iran without implying legal recognition of a right to enrich uranium disputed that interpretation.

'There is no inherent right to enrich,' Kerry said on ABC’s 'This Week,' in an apparent reference to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is silent on whether a country’s right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes also allows for the enrichment of uranium. 'Everywhere in this particular agreement it states that they could only do that by mutual agreement, and nothing is agreed on until everything is agreed on.'"

Or stated otherwise, what we have here is an agreement to agree, which is worthless and unenforceable.

The editorial states:

"Iran would still be deprived of $30 billion in oil revenue over the next six months. American officials say that if Iran cheats on the interim terms or fails to reach a final agreement, the eased sanctions will be reversed and new and tougher ones imposed."

When Iran cheats - which it will - the eased sanctions will be reversed? Yeah, right. Try coaxing the genie back into the bottle. I'm certain that Obama's "allies," China and Russia, will be pleased to assist the US president . . . not.

But back now to the editorial's claim that "no one can seriously argue that [the agreement] doesn’t make the world safer." None other than Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/schumer-senate-likely-to-push-additional-iran-sanctions-in-december) has assailed this mirage:

"I am disappointed by the terms of the agreement between Iran and the P5+1 nations because it does not seem proportional.

. . . .

Iran simply freezes its nuclear capabilities while we reduce the sanctions. This disproportionality of this agreement makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will join together and pass additional sanctions when we return in December.
 
. . . .

It was strong sanctions, not the goodness of the hearts of the Iranian leaders, that brought Iran to the table, and any reduction relieves the psychological pressure of future sanctions and gives them hope that they will be able to gain nuclear weapon capability while further sanctions are reduced. A fairer agreement would have coupled a reduction in sanctions with a proportionate reduction in Iranian nuclear capability."

Yes, the agreement with Iran is to American foreign affairs what the Affordable Care Act is to American health care - a catastrophe in the making.

2 comments:

  1. "Yes, the agreement with Iran is to American foreign affairs what the Affordable Care Act is to American health care - a catastrophe in the making"
    Yes, but apparently reality doesn't matter, only the spin.
    Now, the real question: "How is this possible in the US?"
    No impunity? Do Americans truly believe that Obama is divine? Or are voices of reasons and courage silenced?
    Now, in the times of the Internets? Or because of the times? People are just satisfied with tweeting and posting some comments? No drunken angry conversations in a bar? No action? Such as the logical "Impeach the bastard" movement?

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  2. Frankly, I am still digesting, trying to understand what exactly happened in the last months.
    We know that Iranians were chanting "Death to Americans."
    Did they do this during the secret meeting too with Obama, Kerry and team ... joining in? just nodding approvingly?

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