Obama taking a tough stand on Iran deal - with Congress
See also: Israel: Iran deal a 'historic mistake'
See also: Iran nuke deal: Wait for details
President Obama knows how to play hard ball with his enemies. But you have to understand that his definition of an enemy revolves around his personal political interests, not those of the nation. The negotiations with Iran just concluded in Geneva have given room for the Islamist regime dedicated to destroying Israel and uniting the world under a global caliphate to claim that Iran's "right" to enrich uranium has been recognized by the world. Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico, in a largely enthusiastic article on the deal referred to "the agreement's deliberate vagueness about whether Iran can enrich uranium for non-weapons purposes."
When a diplomatic agreement allows room for claims to be made, that is decision to offer the claimant an opportunity to toot its horn, and Iran has already done so. State-controlled Press TV headlined:
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani hails the recognition of Tehran's right to enrich uranium by the world powers as one of the achievements of the deal between the Islamic Republic and the Sextet.
Addressing the Iranian nation on Sunday, Rouhani said the enrichment right of the Islamic Republic has been "explicitly" stated in the deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. [bold in original]
Kerry and his cohorts at Geneva have this handed a propaganda triumph to the mullahs. It matters not at all in their domestic power configuration that the State Department is now lamely claiming, "The United States does not recognize a right to enrich, nor do we intend to." The mullahs' hold on power, despite their widespread domestic unpopularity, has just been strengthened. The relaxation of sanctions will improve life for ordinary Iranians, and the regime gets to claim that it has scored a double triumph.
Obama already signaled the Iranian people that it was not about to help them drive the mullahs out of power when it failed to back the Green Revolution. Hardball, in this case support for regime change, was not the game Obama was playing with the mullahs.
However, when it comes to domestic politics, Obama does play hardball. Devore of Politico again:
Secretary of State John Kerry said in Geneva that if Congress rejected the final deal or went off in its own direction, the president could then use his veto.
The deal will not be submitted to the Senate for ratification. Apparently, the administration regards it not as a treaty. Buit Congress could enact tougher sanctions. As Ed Lasky notes, there were no diplomatic niceties there; Kerry could have said, "We don't deal in hypotheticals," or other such diplo-speak. With Congress, which might well take exception to the deal and enact tougher sanctions, the iron fist comes out of the velvet glove and is waved in front of the nose of the enemy. Ed asks, "Does anyone think that Reid's promise to follow up with sanction legislation after Thanksgiving was all but hollow?"
So now President Obama has a distraction from Obamacare, one that will enable him to claim a triumph, and dispel some of the reality that has tarnished his image as a political master. The countries closest to the Iranian threat, Israel and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are not comforted, but the American media, anxious to make amends for their honesty over Obamacare, will surely portray Obama as a hero, not a Neville Chamberlain.