Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | November 23, 2013

Kerry tries desperately to force deal of century on Iran

 

Chasing Iran around the planet.

Chasing Iran around the planet.

Objectively, the deal being offered to Iran in the talks in Geneva is a very good one, for Iran.  Iran already, preemptively, has either announced delays in disputed activities like starting up new centrifuge arrays and continuing construction at the Arak plutonium reactor, or has actually suspended them.  As regards those points of negotiation, Iran wouldn’t even have to change her reported plans over the next six months to comply with the six-month interim deal on offer.

The only real concession Iran would make is to agree to “down-blend” some of her existing stock of 20%-enriched uranium, rather than retaining all of it in its current, rapidly weaponizable state.  And “agreeing to” do that isn’t the same thing as actually doing it.  Iran could “agree to” do that and a lot of other things, and then slow-roll the inspection process while still getting sanctions loosened: still getting frozen Iranian assets unlocked abroad, and getting trade sanctions lifted.

Iran has done that before: made an agreement, reaped the up-front benefits from it, failed to comply with it, slow-rolled inspections, and been closer to a bomb by the time the West and the UN decided to do something about it.

Charles Krauthammer, joining France and others, calls the deal under negotiation a “sucker’s deal” (for the rest of the world).  So why hasn’t Iran taken it?  Why are John Kerry and his foreign-ministry counterparts having to flock to Geneva to twist the Iranians’ reluctant arms?

Because the West’s whole premise for the negotiations is flawed.  Keep the following simple points in mind, and you can keep it all straight in your head.

1.  Iran doesn’t need a deal.  Iran needs time.  For Iran, time is better than a deal.

2.  A deal that’s too bad for the West will be too bad for Israel to live with.

3.  Israel is the only player in all this who might interfere with Iran’s time.  Accepting a deal that Israel can’t live with would be Iran’s worst move at this point.

4.  All things being equal, therefore, Iran will keep stringing negotiations out as long as she can.  That keeps everyone else frozen in place, and gives her time.

Iran’s eyes are fixed on Israel, and how the Israelis might act against the Iranian nuclear program.  That’s who the mullahs are worried about.  If, at some point, they do accept a deal, it will be because they’ve calculated that it’s necessary to do so, to blunt Israel’s purpose and play for more time.  But the signs seem to indicate that right now, Iran doesn’t see a deal as the best guarantor of time.

The 2003 deal with the EU-3 (see Legal Insurrection link above) did give Iran time.   It made sense to take that deal in late 2003, when the U.S. had invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq, and George W. Bush had Iran sandwiched between two massive occupation forces.

But that was a one-time situation.  Stalling and delaying negotiations, and holding inconclusive talks, has always given Iran even more time than she got from the 2003 deal.  Moreover, Barack Obama is in the White House today, and Benjamin Netanyahu is the prime minister in Jerusalem.  For the moment, Tehran’s most effective strategy to gain time is to string the P5+1 along in negotiations that don’t produce a deal.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online. She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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Responses

  1. Great choice of photo to highlight Kerry’s channeling of his inner buffoonish-appeaser.

    Perhaps the over-sized scarf will replace the umbrella for future generations?

    • That was a fortuitous find, wasn’t it?🙂

      • “Luck favors the prepared mind”😉

  2. The interim deal is done. Now, on to the permanent accord.

    A good day for common sense. A bad day for hardliners.

    • Um… no…

      Bad deal because it’s a lie. It’s a vapid self-delusion on the Regime’s part, and the Iranians have absolutely no intention of honoring it.

      Our military is rapidly being eviscerated. We have no sustained strike capability, and no ground threat available because we ran away from it. Iran knows that this is just palaver from a weakling Regime desperate for some sort of declared “victory”.

      Iran will go about doing what it will do, but with improved cashflow.

      This is a nonsense, and agreeing to a nonsense means largely nothing.

      Iran will get its bombs, and then they will use them. It’s only a matter of time.

      We side with Western Civilization by supporting Israel. Frankly, a betrayal of Israel, is a betrayal of God. The world pays for turning its back on the Hebrew understanding of Him.

      Regards,

      TMF

      • It’s certainly a lie but I disagree as to the regime’s “self-delusion”.

        “the region will be far less stable and far more threatened if Iran were to have a nuclear weapon. It will spur a nuclear arms race. It has risks for greater terrorism. It will be destabilizing. ” Kerry said the threat extends beyond the possibility that Iran could actually use the weapon on its enemies, specifically Israel. Iran simply having a nuclear weapon would “spur a nuclear arms race” in the region and could be used to support terrorists groups like Hezbollah, he said.” Interview with SecState John Kerry – March 5, 2013

        Obama has publicly stated a similar understanding in the past. They KNOW the truth and are acting with intention.

        “Iran will get its bombs, and then they will use them. It’s only a matter of time.”

        It’s doubtful that Iran will launch either a direct nuclear missile attack against either Israel or the US. Iran providing nukes to Hamas or Hezbollah is far more likely though at least initially, somewhat problematic as well. Iran is perhaps most likely to use its nukes as ‘protection’, to avoid retaliation, when it greatly upgrades its sponsorship of terrorist activity.

        If jihadist groups start using the ground to air missiles the Obama administration has provided terrorist groups access to, to bring down commercial jetliners in the US, what will Obama do? Would he risk a nuclear war over it or retreat and surrender more ground?

        With a ‘protective’ nuclear umbrella, Iran can threaten Europe who will certainly appease and, might also seize the Strait of Hormuz through which 1/3 of the world’s oil passes, instantly skyrocketing the world price of oil, which would be a mortal blow to the west’s economies.

        There is much tragedy ahead and all of it is due to the machinations of the hard left and the naive gullibility of liberals. When the sheep prevent the sheepdog and shepherd from defending them, they’re in for a world of hurt from the wolves they refuse to face and pretend don’t exist.

        • “When the sheep prevent the sheepdog and shepherd from defending them, they’re in for a world of hurt from the wolves they refuse to face and pretend don’t exist”.

          Yes, but in this case the shepherds and sheepdogs are “hardliners”, warmongers and probably “Likudniks” The wolves, on the other hand, are misunderstood but reasonable realists.

          • Yes, “wrong forever on the throne, right forever in the dock”.

            At this point, anyone who suggests that it is ‘realistic’ to take a ‘reasonable’ approach to Iranian nuclear ambitions is either purposely deceitful or willfully blind and their motivation cannot be anything less than moral cowardice.

        • Just to be clear. The Regime is the Oboingo Fandango… and the delusion is the moronic imbecilic belief that a piece of paper prevents anything, in particular with a radical Muslim for whom any agreement with an infidel is largely toilet paper; useful for a purpose, and wholly disposable.

          r/TMF

          • Yes as to the regime. Just to be clear, the “Oboingo Fandango” regime is neither delusional nor does it hold to the moronic, imbecilic belief that a piece of paper prevents anything. That is political cover for the rubes. They KNOW full well what they do and it is entirely intentional and strategic in nature. The ‘strategy’ is not foreign in nature but domestic.

            It cannot be otherwise because both Obama and Kerry are on record as indicating a full understanding of the consequences of Iran gaining nuclear weapons capability.

            “the region will be far less stable and far more threatened if Iran were to have a nuclear weapon. It will spur a nuclear arms race. It has risks for greater terrorism. It will be destabilizing.”

            “Kerry said the threat extends beyond the possibility that Iran could actually use the weapon on its enemies, specifically Israel. Iran simply having a nuclear weapon would “spur a nuclear arms race” in the region and could be used to support terrorists groups like Hezbollah, he said.” Interview with SecState John Kerry – March 5, 2013

            • GB…

              On this one, I truly really believe that they are imbeciles. Democrats are largely imbecilic when dealing with foreign policy because their concept of national sovereignty is largely antithetical to what it is. Meaning, they think that they are doing great things by crippling our military, sucking up to our enemies, and registering “Beau Geste” efforts for propaganda purposes.

              But either way, we both agree that this is a dangerous mess that no one except our enemies are going to see any benefit to.

              I guess we’ll have to agree to agree… and differ a bit as to motive.

              r/TMF

              • Whether this agreement is evidence that the Administration are imbeciles depends entirely on their ultimate goal. At this point I am not prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt on what they hope to accomplish.

                Yes, it is just paper, but if your goal is wallpapering over a structural defect, it may work — for a time, and for people who don’t look any deeper.

    • Yes, it’s a good thing that we ignored Netanyahu, that scary “hardliner”. Bibi is almost as bad as Churchill, another classic hardliner. Fortunately our wise leader tossed the Churchill bust out of the Oval Office as one of his first official acts.

      Now we’ve made a deal with that nice Mr. Khamenei, who is surely not a hardliner. He’s a very reasonable man with whom we can do business.

      I was especially impressed with the reasonableness of Mr. Khamenei’s recent speech bracketed with the Basij choir and their renowned, “Death to America” “Death to Israel” number.

    • That statement reveals an appalling level of either ignorance or willful denial and in either case, a profound lack of common sense.

  3. I sent this to an email correspondent, and copy it here:

    Yes, I saw the announcement a few hours after I sent this (which was about 45 minutes after Iran started leaking, once again, that there wasn’t likely to be a deal). The deal is about what we expected, which means, as I said in the piece, that Iran has given up nothing.

    I believe the reason Iran already effected a slow-down in introducing new centrifuges and in construction at Arak is that when she takes the next step – when she resumes that activity – it will be THE signal that she’s moving forward to “breakout.” The timing is such that Iran was going to do those things anyway. It costs her nothing to do it and pretend it’s a “deal” with the West.

    What she may gain by calling it a “deal” is a putative restraint on Israel, at least for a short time. Meanwhile, she will presumably continue with some activities in secret. The only thing that matters to Iran out of the whole deal is the requirement to render her 20% uranium non-weaponizable. But IAEA can have accountability only on the 20% uranium that its inspectors know about. Iran has so many ways now of hiding 20%-enriched uranium, we really can’t be sure how much there actually is, or where. We know from Rouhani’s history that he is all in favor of prosecuting the nuclear program in secret.

    Moreover, key US analysts have been working on the theory that Iran still doesn’t have enough 20% uranium for a bomb. There are other analysts who think she does have enough. On 5 November, IAEA could account for a total of 196 kg of 20% uranium at the Natanz PFEP. Some analysts (e.g., in Europe, but also in the US) think that 180 kg is more than enough. The “received wisdom” estimate is around 240 kg. (This all depends on the type and sophistication of the detonation mechanism.) The point of highlighting this is that there’s some “play” in those numbers for Iran to exploit, as regards how much of her 20% uranium she will actually have to down-blend, to show “good faith.” She could take the high estimate of 240 kg as the threshold, and proclaim she doesn’t have to down-blend ANY of her 20% uranium stock. So even here, we should expect Iran to duck and shuffle, rather than behaving straightforwardly.

    A final note. The dynamic as the session neared closure yesterday was exactly what it was the last two times. Iran started sending signals that there wouldn’t be a deal. The fact that there was a deal tells me the Western negotiators were desperate to get Iran to sign on the dotted line. I assume we made all the significant concessions. I’m also led to wonder what Iran thinks she can do in the next six months, which is the duration of the deal. I doubt it involves overtly starting up her new crop of new-generation centrifuges, or installing more, or overtly making preparations to light off the reactor at Arak. I may be wrong about that, but I think Iran wants to do something else first, and that’s get the S-300 in place. Deploying the S-300 will change the game for an Israeli attack.

    • JE – Thank you for this further analysis.

      FWIW, I included a link to this post in a comment on the current Belmont Club as a clear explanation of why this “interim agreement” is an umbrella under which Iran can complete its development and fielding of nuclear weapons.

      • Thanks, MarcH, I saw that. I’ll have some comments up on the full text of the agreement later today or tomorrow.

        Again, however, it contains no surprises. Iran gave up nothing.

        http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/24/world/meast/iran-deal-text/

        • But gained everything it sought, as you state, it gained the needed time. And Obama knows it.

  4. Sadly, jgets, it isn’t a good day for common sense. There is no common sense in this deal. All it does is allow Iran to call a “deal” what she was already doing, without making any concessions that will slow down her progress toward a bomb.

    There is nothing in this deal, and nothing outside of it, that will incentivize Iran to actually give up her nuclear-weapons push.

    The deal may or may not deter Israel from attacking. The timing is good for Iran though, with winter setting in. Weather will be at its worst for an attack for at least the next 5 months.

    Israel would be driven by circumstance to attack if:

    1. Iran were about to conduct a warhead test (zero possibility in the next 6 months, in my view).

    2. Iran were about to take the Arak reactor critical (greater than zero possibility).

    3. Iran were about to operationally deploy S-300 batteries or equivalent Chinese-made HQ-1 batteries (greater than zero possibility).

    • The long term objective here (now obvious) is the full normalization of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, her reintegration into world body politic, and her full involvement in the resolution of regional issues. The interim agreement is the first step. It will be a long process.

      Israel will do none of the above and Iran will not precipitate any of the above. If, the terms of the accord are adhered to by all signatories.

      We are at a delicate phase. Some parties may attempt to derail the agreement. But, chances are it will hold.

      If there is to be a comprehensive accord, It’s all going to boil down to full normalization for no development/deployment of nuclear weapons. It’ll take a while to get to that. But there are enough incentives and benefits for the Iranians and the rest of the world to make it likely that this will (eventually) occur.

      I’m purposely not going into the details. It’s a complicated matter that encompasses other regional issues. We’ll have plenty of time to flesh them out over the course of time. Some examples. Certain GCC members have already broken ranks with the Saudis. Iran will be at the Geneva talks on Syria. There’s much food for thought. And the sun did come up this morning, interim accord notwithstanding

      • “The long term objective here (now obvious) is the full normalization of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, her reintegration into world body politic, and her full involvement in the resolution of regional issues”.

        The mullahs could have achieved that in 2003 and thus avoided the damage of sanctions if only they had abandoned their nuclear weapons program and toned down their terrorist ideology. The fact that they didn’t move in that direction five or ten years ago demonstrates that their objectives aren’t bland Kerry-type bromides about “reintegration into world body politic”, etc., but instead achieving regional hegemony via terrorism under a nuclear umbrella. Perhaps their objectives are even more horrible, given their very violent Radical Islamist ideology.

        Geoff Britain makes a very good point here about the moral cowardice required to not notice these things and to keep on whistling past the graveyard. It is depressing that that is the level of our current political and intellectual elites.

  5. I’ve got a lot of respect for almost all you folks above, so I’m not gonna take the opposite tack on a day that y’all probably consider a disaster.

    Suffice to say that I hope today’s agreement works out well for all parties involved. It’ll show within the next six months in any case.

    • We all have hope but “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” and when men of good will are confronted with evil, “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.

      The Obama administration is confronted by evil and they are doing less than nothing because they are abetting that evil. They are doing exactly what Chamberlain did when confronted by Hitler. The consequences will be even greater, the tragedy unimaginable.

      • Chamberlain would be an improvement. At east he built up UK forces.

  6. Hey, “Hope n’ Change” has a great record and an agreement that has benefited from the personal attention of BHO and John Kerry must be airtight. What could go wrong?

  7. John Kerry has made and will make any statement that promotes John Kerry. His testimony 22/4/71 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that: Vietnam was merely a civil war and all Vietnamese were merely trying to throw off the yolk of colonial powers. The threat from the North was fiction etc. etc. etc.
    He was , of course , a very brave man that aggressively sought out the enemy. Oh wait, there was no enemy.
    He is the Al Sharpton of the New England Tea set.
    I wrote many months ago John Kerry fits perfectly with the vacuous, self centered, shallow, incompetent President. They are in fact Twinkies.
    Now to the Iranians.
    The young revolutionary Iranians are now old wealthy party apparatchiks that have many young, idealistic, stupid, and very ignorant young revolutionary types to do their bidding. A little gun running, drugs, terrorism, prostitution, and oh yes please have some Islam.
    The old, wealthy, and powerful have a lot to lose.
    Any American President worth his salt would merely send a competent representative to the Iranians and explain how badly their F 4 aircraft, their little submarines, their little surface boats would fare should we decide that the civilized world has had enough of their crap.
    The oil and gas terminals will cease to exist in a matter of minutes. Oh and by the way, if your folks in Lebanon and Syria, and the West Bank start to misbehave more than usual, death cards will be issued for all Fat Cats and we will follow through. We are the NSA and we know all levels of your little enterprise. You have two hours to remove your people from all nuclear sites. It is going to get very hot for the rest of the day.
    This meeting would only take about 30 minutes.
    Instead, we have mealy mouth, simplistic cowards, running around shouting, The Iranians are Coming, The Iranians are Coming.
    Oh pretty please, I need a deal for my legacy!!!!!!!!!!
    Does anyone think Obama would have been elected and re-elected if all registered voters had to pass a basic 8th grade proficiency test in English and Math. Reading cursive is difficult, I guess.

  8. Btw. Kudos are in order for DEPSECSTATE Burns and, of course, FM Lavrov, on a job well done.

    • Nope. One sees foolish and in-a-hurry Americans get swindled in the bazaars of the Middle East all the time.

      • Your heroes the French as well it seems…..

        http://www.payvand.com/news/13/nov/Zarif-hugs-Fabius-HR.jpg

        • I do admire it whenever the French dispaly a residual bit of la Gloire. At least they pushed back and had to be dragged to the altar, unlike BHO and Kerry (apparently your heros).

          • Enjoy your re-renamed French Fries hero. And BHO & Co ain’t my heroes, neither is Bibi. Although I’m absolutely certain he’s one of yours.

  9. The suspension of Iranian sanctions, in addition to facilitating a mortal threat against Israel, the United States and much of the world, is a terrible and (God forbid) fatal blow to the brave Iranian opposition. Here’s some insight into their feelings at this betrayal of American ideals: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/iranian-freedom-cancelled/.

    • You couldn’t care less about the Iranian opposition. Your only concern is how the Iranian opposition relates to the furtherance of Israeli interests.

  10. Lol. Anti-Semetism is truly the Marxism of morons.

    • Marxism is a Western political/economic theory that just happened to be incidentally expounded by a man who was nominally of Jewish decent. This is in no means a general accusation against Jews. Although it’s a bit queer that that you Marxism with morons.

    • It should read.
      Although it’s a bit queer that you equate Marxism with morons. Sorry bout the typo

      • No problem about the typos. Thanks for making my point.

        • I didn’t make your point.

          You’re point being that I am anti-Semitic. Thankfully I am immune to your accusations in my world. We are not beholden to your influence here. We can view things objectively without fear. Odd that you won’t admit Marxism as an accomplishment. But you will certainty admit paternity for other human accomplishments borne of your ethnic background’s intellect.

          You truly are very traumatized. But I owe you nothing.

          • Res ipsa loquitur

          • Hey , I want to get in on the strawman argument.
            Marxism is an accomplishment.
            Obamacare is an accomplishment.
            The Russians and Germans invading Poland is an accomplishment.
            Being ignorant is an accomplishment.
            Breaking a leg is an accomplishment.
            I offer IDF outerwear also.
            Hey, this is great!

  11. At this particular point in time, the more influence the Israeli lobby loses, the better.

    • Really looks like the MB have everything under control.


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