The President recently gave an interview to NPR in which he explained the reasoning behind the
deal framework whatever-it-was reached with Iran over its nuclear program. Most analysts concentrated on Obama’s comments about the possible situation in the years just after the ten-year period (1) expires:
Under the framework announced last week, Iran would be kept at least one year away from a bomb for the first decade of the deal, Obama said as he sought to sell the deal to skeptics. Yet that constraint would stay in place only for 10 years, at which point some restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities would be eased.
“Essentially, we’re purchasing for 13, 14, 15 years assurances that the breakout is at least a year,” Obama said in an NPR News interview. “And then in years 13 and 14, it is possible that those breakout times would have been much shorter. But at that point we have much better ideas about what it is that their program involves.
Analysts have pointed out several legitimate reasons for concern: Iran has already said it will deploy improved centrifuges, meaning they can generate more enriched uranium even with the fewer devices allowed under the agreement. Iran will not permit inspection of military facilities, meaning all sorts of secret work could go on in those. (And what happens if Fordow and other sites are declared “military?”) They are not giving up their ballistic missile program. And though Obama and Kerry assure us that sanctions can be reapplied in the event Iran is caught cheating (not “if,” but “when,” in my opinion), the fact is that sanctions would take months of negotiations with our allies (and the Russians and Chinese) to reapply –if they can be reapplied– and then about another year to actually bite. Under Obama’s forecast, then Iran would then have plenty of time to build a bomb even after the ten-year wait, just by having everything else ready to go.
But there’s another flaw few seem to be commenting on, even though, if true, it renders the whole process not just meaningless, but a farce. From that same AP article, see if you can spot the problem:
Breakout time refers to how long it would take to build a bomb if Iran decided to pursue one full-bore — in other words, how long the rest of the world would have to stop it. U.S. intelligence officials estimate Iran’s breakout time is currently two to three months.
I made it too easy, didn’t I?
Hello? Anyone home? The arrangement reached in Lausanne is supposed to lead to a final deal in –ahem– roughly two months. Who here doesn’t think Iran will find ways to stretch that to three, four, or five or more months? It will be easy, because the Obama administration wants a deal more than a junkie wants his next fix, and Tehran knows this. And yet our intelligence services estimate they are no more than three months from a nuclear weapon, should they give the final order to build one?
Who the hell gives a damn about ten years from now when we’re talking potentially of a matter of weeks?
The Obama administration has conceded that Iran will get a bomb, and these negotiations are just a clown show to keep us distracted until it’s a fait accompli.
And there will be Hell to pay because of it.
via Jim Geraghty, who also noticed that little detail.
RELATED: Why the deal isn’t a deal, by Jonah Goldberg.
(1) If you don’t know why it’s significant that Islamic hardliners would agree to a ten-year deal, I suggest you read up on something called “hudna.”