The Obama Administration’s Middle East policy decisions have been remarkable. That is, remarkable in the sense that they’ve all been abject failures. Through a combination of confusion, indecision, incompetence, arrogance, and personal animosity, the man who promised to be a unifying force in that region, may likely be the central figure in its ultimate demise. Relationships with key allies have deteriorated, and the destabilization of the region has accelerated. From the Arab Spring to the elections in Israel, Obama and his minions have left a trail of red lines, petulance, and ineptitude. Almost every country in the Middle East is currently involved in a military conflict, and we have been the consummate enablers. It’s been one bad decision after another. That’s what happens when you appoint Secretaries of State having little foreign policy experience and weak negotiating skills.
The latest in the series of foreign relations blunders is the Obama administration’s failure to understand their adversaries with regard to the Iranian nuclear program. Despite warnings from seasoned foreign policy experts, including former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, the Obama administration has continued its pursuit of a “historic agreement” to curtail Iran’s nuclear development. It is indeed “historic”, but for all of the wrong reasons.
First, instead of a signed formal interim document, each party came away from the negotiations with a “fact sheet” on the framework of the agreement. The Iranian fact sheet is dramatically different than the U.S. fact sheet, as is the French fact sheet. Regardless of whose fact sheet is accurate, it is obvious that the Iranians only intend to follow their own. Once the details of the respective fact sheets were disclosed, Ayatollah Khamenei immediately accused the U.S. of lying and having “devilish” intentions. I cannot disagree, at least in part. After reviewing all of the fact sheets, I am of the opinion that the Obama administration has not been honest with the American people as to the terms and consequences of this agreement. I am not surprised. This is not the first time this administration has offered us chicken poop disguised as chicken salad.
But, this time the stakes are higher. The future of Israel, and any attempt at stability in the Middle East, hangs in the balance. Iran has an unwavering commitment to destroy Israel. This agreement guarantees Iran will have a nuclear weapon in the not-so-distant future, and would make the U.S. complicit if that weapon was ever used. We must do everything within our power to protect Israel. Furthermore, once Iran has the ability to make a bomb, it will likely start a chain reaction of nuclear equalization among countries who are enemies of Iran, their justification being self-defense. Nuclear proliferation in the region is a guarantee.
Nobody is on the same page in these negotiations. That fact alone should tell you that our administration is in over its head. Iran is getting, or at least thinks it’s getting, everything that it wanted. They’re getting the goldmine, and we’re getting the shaft. However, it did give us another comical peek at our favorite spokesbimbo Marie Harf, who failed to heed the “big words” and “big thoughts” espoused by Kissinger and Schultz. We expected failure, but nothing of this magnitude.
Make no mistake … this is a very bad deal.
There are a number of concerns I have with this agreement:
- Iran will be allowed to continue research and development of more advanced centrifuges. The U.S. fact sheet states that Iran will use only first generation IR-1 centrifuges, and the number of working centrifuges would be reduced to 6,104. However, both the Iranian and French fact sheets state that Iran will be able to develop more advanced centrifuges, which will enrich uranium at a much faster rate (up to 20 times faster). The Natanz site alone would have more than 5000 centrifuge machines producing enriched material at a 3.67 percent level, literally halfway (time wise) to weapons-level enrichment. None of Iran’s existing 19,000 centrifuges would be eliminated or deactivated according to the Iranian fact sheet.
- The Iranian fact sheet states that current stockpiles of enriched uranium would be retained, contrary to the U.S. fact sheet, which indicates a reduction from 10,000 kg to only 300 kg of 3.67 percent uranium. In other words, Iran will have this entire stockpile ready for further enrichment upon expiration of the agreement. The U.S. fact sheet also indicates enrichment restrictions for 15 years. The Iranian fact sheet indicates only a 10-year restriction.
- The agreement does not address Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program. The ICBM is the delivery system for a nuclear weapon. It serves no other purpose. American officials recently translated a secret Iranian military handbook which endorsed a nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the United States in 20 separate locations. According to the Congressional EMP Commission, a single nuclear warhead detonated at high altitude over the U.S. could disable the national electric grid for months or even years. A nationwide blackout for one year would wipe out an estimated 90 percent of the population due to starvation, lack of adequate medical and other critical infrastructures, and the resulting chaos. If this sounds a little “out there”, ask NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) why they just signed a $700 million contract with Raytheon Corporation to re-locate NORAD’s operations facilities to an EMP-proof underground bunker at the Cheyenne Mountain base in Colorado.
- It does not prevent cooperation between Iran and other anti-American countries, such as North Korea, who could expedite Iran’s nuclear capabilities through joint research and development programs, or help conceal enriched uranium stockpiles. North Korea has a history of involvement in clandestine nuclear projects in the region, and they are close friends with Iran.
- Inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities are not allowed on an anytime, anywhere basis. The U.S. fact sheet indicates virtually unlimited access to Iranian nuclear facilities, although no required timeframe is stated. The Iranians have stated that some facilities are off limits and any consent for “surprise” inspection ability is only temporary. Limited inspection capabilities could allow for concealment. They have a history.
- The agreement places no restrictions or penalties on Iran with regard to its sponsorship of terrorism or its aggression towards other countries, including Israel.
- All final decisions made in Iran on issues of this magnitude come from Ayatollah Khamenei. He was not a part of these negotiations, and as such I don’t expect Iran to honor any terms the Ayatollah does not agree with. He has already accused the U.S. of lying with regard to the framework of this agreement. It will be his way or the highway.
- The U.S. fact sheet states that current sanctions will be done in stages based on Iranian adherence to its various commitments. The U.S. fact sheet also states there will be a “snap back” of sanctions if terms of the agreement are violated. The Iranian fact sheet states that all sanctions will be lifted immediately after the final agreement is signed. The idea of a “snap back” clause on sanctions is absurd. It took years to implement the current sanctions, and re-instating the sanctions once they’ve been lifted would be next to impossible. By the time any violations are suspected, and verified by the White House and the U.N. Security Council, and the mechanisms put in place to reinstate the sanctions, Iran will have had enough time to make a bomb.
- It will ultimately allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, which has been Iran’s goal all along. This agreement makes that inevitable. Although they will be “required” to remain a year away from a bomb, it is likely that advancements in their technology and an ever-expanding stockpile of enriched uranium will give them the ability to weaponize their uranium almost immediately after breakout. . . or violation of the agreement, whichever comes first.
Iran has not earned anyone’s trust. They have concealed nuclear activities in the past. If it had not been exposed by Iranian dissidents, the world would have never known about the huge Fordow nuclear facility and several other installations. There are likely additional facilities and material stockpiles that we are unaware of. Only a fool would accept their disclosures and promises at face value.
John Kerry and Barack Obama have been thoroughly schooled by the Iranians. This is a deal crafted by amateurs and it’s extremely dangerous. No deal is far better than a bad deal. And this, my friends, is a very bad deal.