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The Iran deal — how bad

PETER O’CONNOR
Staff Columnist
oconnor@lbknews.com

“Who would have imagined we would be giving up the conventional arms and ballistic missile embargoes on Iran?  In nuclear negotiations?”

(Worse than we imagined, Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post Writers Group, as appeared in Sarasota Herald-Tribune,  July 18, 2015)

“When asked at his Wednesday news conference why there is nothing in the deal about the four American hostages being held in Iran, President Obama explained that this is a separate issue, not part of nuclear talks.”

Oh?  This sounds like more lawyer talk.  Let’s blame this line on Kerry -B.C. Law. It gets worse.

One might ask are conventional weapons not a separate issue. I recall that conventional, by definition, means non-nuclear.  Why are we giving up the embargoes?

Krauthammer explains, “Because Iran, joined by Russia – our ‘reset partner’ sprung the demand at the last minute, calculating that Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were so desperate for a deal that they would cave.  They did.

Obama claimed in his Wednesday news conference that it really doesn’t matter because matter because we can always intercept Iranian arms shipments to say, Hezbollah.”

But wait, Obama has insisted throughout that we are pursuing this Iranian diplomacy to avoid the use of force, yet now blithely discards a previous diplomatic achievement – the arms embargo – by suggesting, no matter, we can shoot our way to interdiction.

Moreover, the most serious issue is not Iranian exports but Iranian imports – of sophisticated Russian and Chinese weapons.  These are untouchable.  We are not going to attack Russian and Chinese transports.”

Dr. Krauthammer continues, “The net effect of this capitulation will be not only to endanger our Middle East allies now under threat from Iran and its proxies, but to endanger our own naval forces in the Persian Gulf.  Imagine how Iran’s acquisition of the most advanced anti-ship missiles would threaten our control over the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, waterways we have kept open for international commerce for a half-century.”

Take a good look at a map or chart.  Naval Officer Kerry should understand these issues; President Obama might not.

This piece from Charles Krauthammer, which I consider one of his strongest, continues, “ The other major shock in the final deal is what happened to our insistence on ‘anytime, anywhere’ inspections.  Under the final agreement, Iran has the right to deny international inspectors access to any undeclared nuclear site.  The denial is then adjudicated by a committee – on which Iran sits. Even if the inspectors’ request prevails, the approval process can take 24 days.  And what do you think will be left unscrubbed, after 24 days?”

“The whole process is farcial” according to Krauthammer.

The action now shifts to Congress. Congress will get to vote, up or down, on a resolution on the agreement in September.  The President took the agreement to the Security Council of the United Nations in July.  It voted approval unanimously – surprise there.  This approval cancels all previous U.N. resolutions outlawing and sanctioning Iran’s nuclear activities. So whatever the Congress ultimately does it won’t matter as the Security Council has dismantled the legal underpinning of the entire international sanctions regime against Iran.  Slick end around, eh?

Back to Dr. Krauthammer, “Should Congress then give up?  No.   Congress needs to act to rob  this deal of, at least, its domestic legitimacy.  Rejection will make little difference on the ground.  But it will make it easier for a successor president to legitimately reconsider an executive agreement that garnered such pathetically little backing in either house of Congress.”  Republicans might be reaching on this one.

Obama once said as “a very successful regional power” stopping Iran from going nuclear will then be more difficult and risky.

“Which is Obama’s triumph.  He has locked in his folly.  He has laid down his legacy.”  The debate is underway here at home.  This issue certainly will play out in the long presidential primary and general elections to come.  Everyone has or will have an opinion.

Another view:  “When Barack Obama welcomed the nuclear deal with Iran, declaring that it would cut off ‘every pathway’ the Islamic republic could take to gaining a nuclear weapon, he remarked: ‘You don’t make deals like this with your friends.’”

(Making the world a bit safer, The Economist, July 18th 2015, page 21)

“Arms-control agreements, such as those reached with the Soviet Union during the cold war, do not necessarily end mutual suspicion or hostility.  Precisely because the signatories do not trust  each other, they depend on verification that is rigorous enough to make cheating unattractive.  Negotiating such deals is difficult and technically complex.  The test of their worth is whether they make the world any safer.  In  Iran’s case, that judgment rests on three questions.  Does  it make Iran less likely to try to produce  a nuclear weapon in the lifetime of the accord?  Is it robust enough to make cheating foolhardy both in terms of the likelihood and the consequences of being caught?  Is there a reasonable chance that it will produce a lasting solution to the Iranian nuclear problem?  The short answers are yes, probably and possibly.”

Our British cousins, in a rather lengthy piece take a different view than we.  They clearly are more hopeful of success, like their European friends.

I include a short bit of this newspaper from across the pond  to expose the varied world opinions, even among the best of friends.

We, of course, are interested in what is best for us!

 

 

 

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