U.S. caves on inspections of Iran military sites
Bill Kristol thinks this may be a deal-breaker for Congress, but it looks to me that the administration has created sufficient cover to sell to those who desperately want to avoid conflict with Iran.
Apparently an agreement has been struck that would grant the IAEA access to military sites to inspect them for nuclear work, but only after they go through a "process" with the Iranian government. One can imagine this "process." The IAEA asks politely to inspect a military site, and Iran bombastically rejects the request. End of discussion.
"We have worked out a process that we believe will ensure that the IAEA has the access it needs," the administration official told reporters.
"The entry point isn't we must be able to get into every military site, because the United States of America wouldn't allow anybody to get into every military site, so that's not appropriate," the official said.
Another US official later said the proposals were part of an April 2 deal agreed in Switzerland "the details of which are being negotiated now."
The Islamic republic has so far refused to give the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to sensitive sites.
"There are conventional purposes, and there are secrets that any country has that they are not willing to share," the first American official said.
"But if in the context of this agreement... the IAEA believes that it needs access and has a reason for that access, then we have a process to ensure that that is given," the official said.
Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol is appalled at the "moral equivalency" U.S. negotiators are drawing between Iran and the U.S.:
This sentence is key: "The entry point isn't we must be able to get into every military site, because the United States of America wouldn't allow anybody to get into every military site, so that's not appropriate," the official said.
Think about that. The American official argues that Iran—a rogue regime that sponsors terror and that has lied about its nuclear program, and that is under sanctions precisely because it has proved time and again it can't be trusted—should be held to the same standards as the U.S. Amazing. It turns out the left's old doctrine of moral equivalence between the Soviet Union and the U.S. has been replaced by a doctrine of moral equivalence between Iran and the U.S.
This sentence says it all. Opponents of a bad deal should make it famous: You can only vote for this deal if you accept this basic equivalence between the Iranian regime and the U.S.
And those who've been genuinely undecided, but have said repeatedly that an acceptable deal would have to have "go anywhere, anytime" inspections, must now acknowledge the Obama administration has unequivocally yielded on what had been presented by the administration as one of its key requirements. Could this sentence be a final tipping point in collapsing congressional support for the deal?
Although that last point is devoutly to be wished, it ain't gonna happen. What we see here is the first in a series of cave-ins that are going to be sold as "reasonable compromises." The purpose is not to negotiate the best deal possible, but to obfuscate the agreement's flaws by papering over differences, which will allow those in Congress so inclined to support the president but not appear to be voting for a flawed deal. There is no way that Iran will ever let the IAEA into one of its military sites – certainly not on "snap inspection" basis. Iran will "study" the request for months and then, after any contraband is removed, graciously allow the inspectors in.
Or, as mentioned above, they may simply deny the request outright.
This "process" is as bogus as the deal itself.