Heckuva busy day today, but I can’t let this one go by unremarked. It looks like the US and its negotiating partners have reached an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program. Based on Bridget Johnson’s reporting at PJMedia, it looks as bad as I suspected it would be. Here are some key points:
The P5+1 agreed to the “key parameters” of a nuclear deal with Iran after marathon talks in Switzerland, including “ceasing application” of all sanctions — a must-have demand of Iran at the negotiating table.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, appearing at a press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, said parties agreed to a “comprehensive lifting of all sanctions” in the deal that is “laying the agreed basis for the final text for the Joint Plan of Action.”
So we give up our strongest card before Iran gives up anything.
The deal will be for 10 years and allow Iran to keep about 6,000 centrifuges.
So they can keep enriching.
Mogherini said the agreement leaves “no other enrichment facility than Natanz” and allows International Atomic Energy Agency inspections that are “mutually agreed” upon.
Oh, I can’t wait to see the negotiations over that schedule. Should be the best since they argued over the shape of the table at the Paris Peace Talks.
Fordow will become “a nuclear physics and technology center,” she said. “There will not be any fissile material at Fordow.”
Fordow is a fortified underground site, and inspections have to be on an agreed upon schedule. I wonder if the Iranians were giggling when they agreed to that.
Construction of the Arak heavy water reactor will continue; Mogherini said it “will not produce weapons-grade plutonium.”
They agreed on a “set of measures to monitor provisions” of the deal, including “announced access” to permit IAEA inspections.
Announced access? Is that part of the schedule they have to mutually agree on? Oh, yeah. We can rely on that.
The European Union and the United States “will cease the application of all sanctions,” Mogherini said, upon verification by IAEA of implementation.
Oh, yeah. We’ll stick to that. I predict more negotiations with a “compromise” to follow.
“None of those measures include closing our facilities; the proud people of Iran will not accept that. We will continue enriching,” Zarif declared. “…We will focus our enrichment in Natanz” and “focus on other activities” at Fordow while keeping centrifuges there.
“When we implement our measures, there will be no sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
And for that we agree to lift all sanctions. No word on if Kerry left without his pants, too.
Notice what wasn’t mentioned? Any prior declaration of the extent of Iran’s program. This “deal” covers only what we know about — who knows if the mullahs have nuclear research facilities elsewhere in Iran that they aren’t mentioning? And if we suspect a location? Oh, sure, they’ll let us inspect it.
This deal guarantees Iran will get a nuclear weapon. It also certainly means a nuclear arms race in the Middle East (You think the Saudis, the Gulf States, and the Egyptians are going to sit still over this? Think again.) and hugely increases the risk of war. It is an absolute sellout of our allies, especially Israel, the one lone liberal democracy in the region. One can only hope the opposition in Congress has the brass to wreck this deal, which would be far better than letting it stand.
What Churchill said about Chamberlain after Munich in 1938 could apply as well to Barack Obama and John Kerry:
“You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war.”
I fear so.
PS: Remember what I wrote the other day about Iran perhaps having a backup program in North Korea? The promise to keep Fordow clear of weapons research, after Iran had insisted they be allowed to run centrifuges there, makes me wonder if I was right. Let’s see if they allow inspections at Fordow. If they do…