A beaming Iranian foreign minister emerged from the meeting rooms in Switzerland to announce that all of the theocracy’s major demands had been met. According to the new provisions released on the nuclear deal, Iran will get to both keep active its centrifuges and receive sanctions relief.
The State Department has released a “fact sheet” highlighting the various points of the deal. Sanctions against will be lifted immediately, and probably forever. Iran gets to keep a huge number of its nuclear centrifuges spinning, including a thousand of them at the previously hidden and illegal fortified bunker of Fordo, which is supposed to become a “peaceful” nuclear, physics, technology, and research center. There are sunset provisions on everything Iran has tentatively agreed to, although in his Rose Garden press conference announcing the deal, Obama claimed they would somehow be “permanently” blocked from various forms of weapons development.
Despite the perpetual complaints from U.N. inspectors that Iran has cheated them, Obama assured us that “if Iran cheats, the world will know.” Since Iran most predictably balks when serious inspection demands are made, this agreement “framework” could yet collapse, a possibility the President briefly mentioned in his remarks. In fact, he made a point of saying “the work is not yet done” on the deal, so we’re back to the announcement-of-a-declaration-of-a-framework-to-have-more-meetings stuff characteristic of these negotiations.
Most of the President’s remarks consisted of declarations about how “historic” the deal was, straw-man false choices about how the only alternative to his deal is an immediate regional war, excuses about how his supposedly awesome bargain with Iran was the best anyone could have managed under impossible circumstances, and loads of rhetoric about how dedicated to Middle Eastern stability he is. There were loads of promises about how inspections would be so rigorous that Iran could not possibly break the deal, even though they have successfully bamboozled, or outright defied, every previous attempt to monitor their nuclear program. The Iranians knew all along that what Obama most desired was an opportunity to give speeches like this. The messy details can be dealt with later.
The President made rhetorical gestures toward the security of American allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia under the terms of this agreement. The former nation is now headed by the most vindicated man in the world – Benjamin Netanyau predicted the outcome of Obama’s wheeling and dealing with Iran almost to the word. The latter will now scramble to purchase nuclear weapons of its own, as will everyone else who doesn’t want to find out when Iran’s nuclear umbrella will really snap open, or be caught unarmed beneath it.
One curious detail that stood out from the President’s remarks was his assertion that, without this deal, Iran might have been only 2 to 3 months away from having a nuclear weapon. That is the kind of timetable Obama and his spokespeople have been deriding for years as uninformed scaremongering, but now it turns out that was a reasonable estimate after all?
Obama tried comparing his nuclear deal to Reagan’s arms negotiations with the Soviet Union, which spotlights the most dangerous thing about Obama’s Iran policy: he really thinks the mullahs represent the sort of sane, relatively responsible (if rather aggressive) government, interested in stability and material prosperity, that liberals love to recall their dear departed Soviets as. Note also that liberals most certainly did not think Reagan’s dealings with the Soviets were a model of American statecraft to be emulated at the time.
This is all theater, while the reality of Iranian nuclear weapons moves forward… brought to you by the man who swore in his 2012 re-election campaign that he’d never let it happen, under any circumstances.
Update, 3:30 PM: Just a few minutes after President Obama’s Rose Garden speech listing one sunset expiration date after another for Iran’s nominal concessions, Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters there were no sunset provisions in the deal. It sounds like either the Administration is confused about what they just agreed to, or Kerry and his shop have decided the “sunset” concept is politically troublesome, so they’re trying to redefine what the term means.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei is pretty darn happy about the outcome of these talks…
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s Arabic Twitter account announces deal by saying the Ayatollah has meet and beat his enemies pic.twitter.com/JW5zvqexMg
— Bill (@DefendWallSt) April 2, 2015
Update, 4:15 PM: The Israelis sound considerably less pleased than the ayatollah…
#BREAKING Iran nuclear deal ‘historic mistake’, says Israel govt official
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) April 2, 2015
Update, 6:30 PM: The Iranians are now accusing the Obama Administration of lying about the terms of the deal, to make it sound tougher to American voters. “There is no need to spin using ‘fact sheets’ so early on,” chided Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif.
The Iranians are really rubbing Obama’s face in it. Even Neville Chamberlain was given some time to parade around with his “peace in our time” paper and collect the applause of deluded elites. Iran didn’t even give Obama three hours.