Throughout his failed presidency Obama usually addresses an issue by giving a speech and declaring
"problem solved." Like the anti-terrorism "success" he proclaimed in both Yemen and Somalia last September reality has a strange way of catching up with Obama's empty rhetoric.
So, when Obama announced with some fanfare that a deal with Iran on nuclear weapons was in the works I had my doubts.
I saw a great video clip on the news comparing what Obama said about the deal in the Rose Garden last Thursday and comparing it to what the Iranians said about the deal. Obama's understanding of the framework for agreement (it isn't even a real deal) boils down to this:
◾ Iran will not be able to pursue a bomb containing plutonium.Just as soon as Obama made this statement the Iranians said it wasn't so and claimed Obama was misleading the American people on what the framework actually contains.Since we have a President who repeatedly told the American people "if you like your health care plan you can keep it" there is grounds for skepticism.
◾ Current plutonium facility (heavy water) to be taken down.
◾ Current plutonium moved to (probably Russia)
◾ Installed centrifuges will be removed by 2/3
◾ No enrichment at Fordo – but fordo will remain.
◾ 10 years of extensive monitoring.
◾ Maintenance of 1 year capability to bomb.
◾ Removal of U.N. and U.S. Sanctions
Listen to how the Iranian Foreign Minister described the framework:
Of course since the Iranians still insist their nuclear development (in a deep underground secret facility) is entirely peaceful, we can also doubt their honesty about the framework as well as their sincerity in reaching an honest deal.
• Iran keeps Frodo underground facility and will build centrifuges within it – but will not activate them.
• Iran will continue nuclear enrichment in other facilities.
• Iran will be allowed to develop more heavy water facilities.
• ALL UN and U.S. Sanctions will be lifted.
• UN sanctions lifted immediately.
• U.S. as soon as legally possible.
• Iran promises to wait 10 years until it builds a nuclear bomb.
Amir Taheri at the New York Post did a detailed analysis of the various statements and found some profound differences in what the various sides are saying about the framework. His conclusion is that the understandings of the U.S. and Iranians is largely contradictory which does not bode well for any kind of successful deal.
Besides, does anyone really believe that the Iranians will give up their longstanding practice of cheating on international inspections?
Once again Obama is engaged in the delusion of believing that his empty words carry reality with them. And like so many Obama failures before this one carries profound negative life and death consequences!
UPDATE: Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz speak out!
Writing in the Wall Street Journal Shultz and Kissinger express concerns that Obama has been played by the Iranians because they understood Obama's need to get a deal trumped other security concerns. The damage to U.S. and allied interests is clear and lasting. As regards any hope of effectively monitoring the agreement Shultz and Kissinger know too well the lessons of the past that Obama never learned:
In a large country with multiple facilities and ample experience in nuclear concealment, violations will be inherently difficult to detect. Devising theoretical models of inspection is one thing. Enforcing compliance, week after week, despite competing international crises and domestic distractions, is another. Any report of a violation is likely to prompt debate over its significance—or even calls for new talks with Tehran to explore the issue. The experience of Iran’s work on a heavy-water reactor during the “interim agreement” period—when suspect activity was identified but played down in the interest of a positive negotiating atmosphere—is not encouraging.
Compounding the difficulty is the unlikelihood that breakout will be a clear-cut event. More likely it will occur, if it does, via the gradual accumulation of ambiguous evasions.
When inevitable disagreements arise over the scope and intrusiveness of inspections, on what criteria are we prepared to insist and up to what point? If evidence is imperfect, who bears the burden of proof? What process will be followed to resolve the matter swiftly?