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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Fred Hiatt, "A credibility gap": A Pact Might Limit Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Breakout Time to a Few Years? How About a Few Months?

In a must-read Washington Post opinion piece entitled "A credibility gap," Fred Hiatt asks, "Can President Obama sell an Iran deal at home?" Hiatt proceeds to describe Obama's "record of foreign-policy assurances," including past declarations that:

  • Iraq would be "stable, secure and self-reliant."
  • his bombing campaign in Libya was an accomplishment.
  • the US would not "turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries."
  • Assad must resign as president of Syria after using chemical weapons.
  • his anti-terror policy in Yemen had been successful.
  • his Ukraine policy was a triumph.

Given Obama's record, is it any wonder that Israel doubts Obama's resolve to prevent Iran from building its first nuclear weapon? Recall how in September 2012, Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly and declared:

"And make no mistake, a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty. That’s why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

Well, Obama is now ready to allow Iran to operate 6,500 centrifuges for spinning enriched uranium, thus purportedly limiting its  nuclear weapons "breakout" time to a year. Or in other words, "containment" has become Obama's policy of choice for restraining Iran. In this regard, Hiatt writes:

"If [Obama's] negotiators strike an agreement next month, we already know that it will be far from ideal: Rather than eradicating Iran’s nuclear-weapons potential, as once was hoped, a pact would seek to control Iran’s activities for some limited number of years."

However, there are experts who believe that Obama's concessions will provide Iran with a breakout time of no more than several months.

Will Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu mince his words when he addresses Congress in another eight days? Let's hope not.

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully, he will briefly offer the historical imperative based on Purim. I hope the chamber explodes with the power of his words.