The latest twist in the ongoing “Iranian nuclear deal” farce is the Associated Press report of a proposal to build top-of-the-line nuclear reactors for Iran if they will just agree to a nuclear weapons deal that does not humiliate President Obama. Iran, sensing weakness, isn’t biting on even this absurd proposal.
Everyone has slogged back into luxury hotels in Vienna (presumably with freshly scrubbed computer systems!) for another round of squabbles, making that “historic” announcement in Switzerland of an agreement to reach an agreement seem less historic by the day.
While reams of annotated paperwork are pushed back and forth between smirking Iranian “negotiators” and weary Western representatives, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is giving interviews to Iranian state TV, where he declares no U.N. nuclear inspectors are getting anywhere near his military sites, and he expects all sanctions against Iran to be dropped before they deign to sign whatever agreement they will promptly set about subverting. They won’t even do Team Obama the courtesy of pretending to take the negotiations seriously and then cheating after the ink is dry.
Naturally, the White House dismissed the Supreme Leader’s fiery vows to stiff-arm weapons inspectors as hot air they can safely ignore. It is a bit harder to ignore the Iranian “Guardian Council” passing “legislation banning access to military sites and scientists,” but no doubt, the White House is up to the challenge.
Iran has always maintained that it just wants nuclear power for peaceful civilian purposes, which makes its refusal to accept gift-wrapped light-water nuclear reactors very confusing to the naifs in the Obama administration who claim to believe them. The offer was a bit much for Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who said that “these continued concessions only emboldened Iran’s leaders to press for more.”
“The way these negotiations are moving, it is increasingly difficult to see the administration striking a meaningful, lasting agreement that would be acceptable to Congress,” Royce added.
Maybe so, but it is also very difficult to see Obama admitting his critics were right and walking away from the bargaining table, and Iran knows it. The White House is talking about waiving the June 30 deadline for Iran to make a deal, which will be interpreted by Iran as an invitation to further intransigence; they’ll take every extra day Obama gives them. Their position has grown more hard-line as the deadline approaches.
The AP reports Supreme Leader Khamenei dismissing Western anti-nuclear demands as “excessive coercion” and trashing the ten-year guarantee against Iranian nukes Obama has been passing around.
“We don’t accept 10-year restriction. We have told the negotiating team how many specific years of restrictions are acceptable. Research and development must continue during the years of restrictions,” said Khamenei. Immediate unconditional sanctions relief, no access to Iranian nuclear sites, and not even the pretense of a slowdown in their weapons program? Heck of a deal you’ve negotiated there, President Obama.