US caves to Iran on centrifuges, verification

Some might object to calling the latest round of concessions by western negotiators a "cave in." But if real negotiations involve give and take, both sides should be seen as giving something in order to reach an agreement.

I have seen no major concessions by Iran in weeks while the west has moved the goalposts on several critical issues, including when sanctions would be lifted, the removal of Hezb'allah from the terror list, allowing Iran to operate at least 6,000 centrifuges, and now, easing demands that Iran come clean on its past nuclear activity. This is critical because only if the IAEA has a benchmark from which to judge how far the Iranian program has come can they ascertain its ability to build a bomb.

Washington Free Beacon:

U.S. negotiators are said to have given up ground on demands that Iran be forced to disclose the full range of its nuclear activities at the outset of a nuclear deal, a concession experts say would gut the verification the Obama administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran.

Until recently, the Obama administration had maintained that it would guarantee oversight on Tehran’s program well into the future, and that it would take the necessary steps to ensure that oversight would be effective. The issue has now emerged as a key sticking point in the talks.

Concern from sources familiar with U.S. concessions in the talks comes amid reports that Iran could be permitted to continue running nuclear centrifuges at an underground site once suspected of housing illicit activities.

This type of concession would allow Iran to continue work related to its nuclear weapons program, even under the eye of international inspectors. If Iran removes inspectors—as it has in the past—it would be left with a nuclear infrastructure immune from a strike by Western forces.

“Once again, in the face of Iran’s intransigence, the U.S. is leading an effort to cave even more toward Iran—this time by whitewashing Tehran’s decades of lying about nuclear weapons work and current lack of cooperation with the [International Atomic Energy Agency],” said one Western source briefed on the talks but who was not permitted to speak on record.

With the White House pressing to finalize a deal, U.S. diplomats have moved further away from their demands that Iran be subjected to oversight over its nuclear infrastructure.

“Instead of ensuring that Iran answers all the outstanding questions about the past and current military dimensions of their nuclear work in order to obtain sanctions relief, the U.S. is now revising down what they need to do,” said the source.  “That is a terrible mistake—if we don’t have a baseline to judge their past work, we can’t tell if they are cheating in the future, and if they won’t answer now, before getting rewarded, why would they come clean in the future?”

Incredibly, the US has also caved on the issue of allowing inspections of military sites. Most of those will remain closed to inspectors until after the sanctions have been lifted.

As far as can be determined, all of these concessions have been offered with little or no reciprocity from the Iranians. Iran is basically dictating the terms of our surrender and the administration is meekly going along with it.

On the most critical issues that have been discussed, Iran has come out a winner in all of them. They have expertly played on the fears of western negotiators that no deal would be much worse than a bad deal. It appears that Iran's nuclear weapons program will not be slowed by much at all while the west buys in to a deal that removes all pressure on the Iranians to behave.

This is a recipe for disaster and others in the region will take note and act accordingly to this abandonment of reason in favor of political expediency.

 

 

Some might object to calling the latest round of concessions by western negotiators a "cave in." But if real negotiations involve give and take, both sides should be seen as giving something in order to reach an agreement.

I have seen no major concessions by Iran in weeks while the west has moved the goalposts on several critical issues, including when sanctions would be lifted, the removal of Hezb'allah from the terror list, allowing Iran to operate at least 6,000 centrifuges, and now, easing demands that Iran come clean on its past nuclear activity. This is critical because only if the IAEA has a benchmark from which to judge how far the Iranian program has come can they ascertain its ability to build a bomb.

Washington Free Beacon:

U.S. negotiators are said to have given up ground on demands that Iran be forced to disclose the full range of its nuclear activities at the outset of a nuclear deal, a concession experts say would gut the verification the Obama administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran.

Until recently, the Obama administration had maintained that it would guarantee oversight on Tehran’s program well into the future, and that it would take the necessary steps to ensure that oversight would be effective. The issue has now emerged as a key sticking point in the talks.

Concern from sources familiar with U.S. concessions in the talks comes amid reports that Iran could be permitted to continue running nuclear centrifuges at an underground site once suspected of housing illicit activities.

This type of concession would allow Iran to continue work related to its nuclear weapons program, even under the eye of international inspectors. If Iran removes inspectors—as it has in the past—it would be left with a nuclear infrastructure immune from a strike by Western forces.

“Once again, in the face of Iran’s intransigence, the U.S. is leading an effort to cave even more toward Iran—this time by whitewashing Tehran’s decades of lying about nuclear weapons work and current lack of cooperation with the [International Atomic Energy Agency],” said one Western source briefed on the talks but who was not permitted to speak on record.

With the White House pressing to finalize a deal, U.S. diplomats have moved further away from their demands that Iran be subjected to oversight over its nuclear infrastructure.

“Instead of ensuring that Iran answers all the outstanding questions about the past and current military dimensions of their nuclear work in order to obtain sanctions relief, the U.S. is now revising down what they need to do,” said the source.  “That is a terrible mistake—if we don’t have a baseline to judge their past work, we can’t tell if they are cheating in the future, and if they won’t answer now, before getting rewarded, why would they come clean in the future?”

Incredibly, the US has also caved on the issue of allowing inspections of military sites. Most of those will remain closed to inspectors until after the sanctions have been lifted.

As far as can be determined, all of these concessions have been offered with little or no reciprocity from the Iranians. Iran is basically dictating the terms of our surrender and the administration is meekly going along with it.

On the most critical issues that have been discussed, Iran has come out a winner in all of them. They have expertly played on the fears of western negotiators that no deal would be much worse than a bad deal. It appears that Iran's nuclear weapons program will not be slowed by much at all while the west buys in to a deal that removes all pressure on the Iranians to behave.

This is a recipe for disaster and others in the region will take note and act accordingly to this abandonment of reason in favor of political expediency.