The Worst Agreement in U.S. Diplomatic History
July 2, 2015
July 2, 2015
The devil is
not in the details. It’s in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated
by President Obama’s fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve
detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to
cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and
In pursuit of
his desire to make the Islamic Republic into an accepted, normalized
“successful regional power,” Obama decided to take over the nuclear
negotiations. At the time, Tehran
was reeling — the rial plunging, inflation skyrocketing, the
economy contracting — under a regime of international sanctions painstakingly
constructed over a decade.
of welcoming Congress’ attempt to tighten sanctions to increase the pressure
on the mullahs, Obama began the negotiations by loosening
sanctions, injecting billions into the Iranian economy (which began
growing again in 2014) and conceding in advance an Iranian right to
downhill ever since. Desperate for a legacy deal, Obama has played the
supplicant, abandoning every red line his administration had declared essential
to any acceptable deal.
Inspections. They were to be anywhere, anytime,
unimpeded. Now? Total cave. Unfettered access has become “managed
access.” Nuclear inspectors will have to negotiate and receive
Iranian approval for inspections. Which allows them denial and/or crucial delay
for concealing any clandestine activities.
To give a
flavor of the degree of our capitulation, the administration played Iran’s
lawyer on this one, explaining
that, after all, “the United States of America wouldn’t allow
anybody to get into every military site, so that’s not appropriate.” Apart
from the absurdity of morally equating America with the world’s foremost state
sponsor of terrorism, if we were going to parrot the Iranian position, why wait
19 months to do so — after repeatedly insisting on free access as essential to
any inspection regime?
on past nuclear activity. The
interim agreement that governed the past 19 months of negotiation
required Iran to do exactly that. Tehran has offered nothing. The administration
had insisted that this accounting was essential because how can you verify
future illegal advances in Iran’s nuclear program if you have no baseline?
continually demanding access to their scientists, plans and weaponization
facilities, Secretary of State John Kerry two weeks ago airily
dismissed the need, saying he is focused on the future, “not
fixated” on the past. And that we have “absolute knowledge” of the Iranian
program anyway — a whopper that his staffers had to spend days walking back.
Not to worry,
we are told. The accounting will be done after the final deal is signed. Which
is ridiculous. If the Iranians haven’t budged on disclosing previous work
under the current sanctions regime, by what logic will they comply after
sanctions are lifted?
relief. These were to
be gradual and staged as the International Atomic Energy Agency certified
Iranian compliance over time. Now we’re going to be releasing
up to $150 billion as an upfront signing bonus. That’s 25
times the annual budget of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Enough to
fuel a generation of intensified Iranian aggression from Yemen to Lebanon to
months ago, Obama
expressed nonchalance about immediate sanctions relief. It’s not
the issue, he said. The real issue is “snap-back” sanctions to be reimposed
if Iran is found in violation.
Iran won’t be found in violation. The inspection regime is laughable and the
bureaucratic procedures endless. Moreover, does anyone imagine that Russia and
China will reimpose sanctions? Or that the myriad European businesses preparing
to join the Iranian gold rush the day the deal is signed will simply turn around
and go home?
administration insisted that the nuclear talks would
not affect separate sanctions imposed because of Iranian aggression
and terrorism. That was then. The administration is now leaking that everything
will be lifted.
together, the catalog of capitulations is breathtaking: spot inspections,
disclosure of previous nuclear activity, gradual sanctions relief, retention of
A surrender document of the kind offered by defeated nations suing for peace.
Consider: The strongest military and economic power on earth, backed by the five
other major powers, armed with what had been a crushing sanctions regime, is
about to sign the worst international agreement in U.S. diplomatic history.
How did it
come to this? With every concession, Obama and Kerry made clear they were
desperate for a deal.
And they will
get it. Obama will get his “legacy.” Kerry will get his Nobel. And Iran will
get the bomb.