Follow by Email

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New York Times Editorial, "Ayatollah Khamenei’s Fateful Choice": Obama's Chickens Come Home to Roost

Do you remember how the White House and the State Department used to tell us regarding a nuclear arrangement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, "No deal is better than a bad deal" and "All options are on the table"? Well, we don't hear that anymore. Instead, in the face of Supreme Leader Khamenei's intransigence and given Obama's desperate need for a presidential legacy, the operative language guiding Wendy Sherman, a social worker turned nuclear negotiator who was responsible in large part for the disastrous nuclear arrangement with North Korea, has become, "Any deal is better than no deal, because, quite frankly, all options are off the table."

Well, given Obama's endless string of concessions at the P5+1 talks with Tehran in Geneva, optimism concerning the finalization of a deal with Iran around the June 30 deadline had been rampant. At least, until the Iranian parliament placed additional demands upon the country's negotiators to the accompaniment of cries of "Death to America" on Sunday, and until Khamenei also placed Iranian military sites off limits to inspections on Tuesday, i.e. you can conduct your searches where we are not developing an atomic bomb, but you can't look where we are undertaking such activity.

The New York Times, also known as the unofficial mouthpiece of the Obama administration, has reacted with alarm to Khamenei's latest set of demands. In an editorial entitled "Ayatollah Khamenei’s Fateful Choice," the Times declares:

"As the negotiations approach the deadline, some in the United States are also intensifying their criticism against the deal. One goal of the agreement is to ensure that the time it will take Iran to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb is increased from three months now to at least 12 months. Some critics argue the deal does not do that, in part because Iran will retain a small enrichment program and thousands of centrifuges, though many leading technical experts say it does."

Here, the Times is responding to Professor Alan J. Kuperman's guest op-ed entitled "The Iran Deal’s Fatal Flaw," which stated that the agreement being negotiated by Sherman and friends would only lengthen Iran's breakout time from "a little under two months" to three months. 

The Times editorial continues:

"Other critics accuse the Obama administration of dropping a demand that Iran disclose full details of its past efforts to pursue a nuclear weapon. But the April framework specifies that Iran address those concerns, and Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters on June 16 that Iran would have to answer outstanding questions about the weapons program before receiving significant sanctions relief under any deal.

Compromises are part of any negotiation. Any agreement can really be judged only when the text is signed and details are made public. The April framework accord was a solid basis on which to build a credible final deal. Ayatollah Khamenei must decide whether he and his government can live with the economic and political consequences if he sabotages this deal."

Apparently, the Times got wind of the fact that Obama's non-negotiable "demand that Iran disclose full details of its past efforts to pursue a nuclear weapon" has been dropped by Sherman in order to reach a compromise. More to the point, social worker Sherman is learning that the April framework accord was not a solid basis on which to build a credible final deal. Rather, it was an agreement to agree, which even Obama, who once studied contract law, can tell you is not binding.

And now, much to the chagrin of the West Wing, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy has thrown a new monkey wrench into efforts to sign off on a deal with Iran. As stated by David Sanger in a New York Times article entitled "Ex-Advisers Warn Obama That Iran Nuclear Deal ‘May Fall Short’ of Standards," the June 24 "Public Statement on U.S. Policy Toward the Iran Nuclear Negotiations Endorsed by a Bipartisan Group of American Diplomats, Legislators, Policymakers, and Experts" calls into question the underlying substance of Obama's would-be agreement with the mullahs. Sanger writes:

"Five former members of President Obama’s inner circle of Iran advisers have written an open letter expressing concern that a pending accord to stem Iran’s nuclear program “may fall short of meeting the administration’s own standard of a ‘good’ agreement” and laying out a series of minimum requirements that Iran must agree to in coming days for them to support a final deal.

Several of the senior officials said the letter was prompted by concern that Mr. Obama’s negotiators were headed toward concessions that would weaken international inspection of Iran’s facilities, back away from forcing Tehran to reveal its suspected past work on weapons, and allow Iranian research and development that would put it on a course to resuming intensive production of nuclear fuel as soon as the accord expires.

The public nature of the announcement by some of Mr. Obama’s best-known former advisers, all of whom had central roles in the diplomatic, intelligence and military efforts to counter Iran’s program, adds to the challenge facing Secretary of State John Kerry as the negotiations head toward a deadline of next Tuesday."

Not a "good" agreement? In fact, that depends upon whether some narcissist's legacy is more important than a future nuclear holocaust, which could reach American shores, owing to a deal which also does not seek to prevent Iran from developing ICBMs.

1 comment:

  1. More people will read David Sanger than the NYT op-ed page.

    #44's legacy already includes "the President who lost Canada" due to rifts over the Keystone Pipeline and the Arctic Nations group, so I guess he does not view any deal with Iran as enabling the imperialist Persian empire to continue their colonial conquests. That postmodern framing of this deal is the only way to get his attention.

    It would be helpful if Iran's police murdered a black man this weekend because then #44 could send in the AG to teach Iran's police how to stop being racists as a new condition for any nuclear deal.

    After all, it does not count when the IRG's IEDs kill American soldiers, which is the point of a current tv ad asking Americans to protest this nuclear deal to their members of Congress.

    sarcasm intended.