Meet the new Iran deal, worse than the old deal
Though there is much political theater in the negotiations on the U.S. getting back to Obama's "deal" with Iran, it is a foregone conclusion that America will fall back in line. Yes, we are told that the outcome is uncertain. Yes, the Iranians loudly play up their indignation at Trump's withdrawal from the deal and his imposition of further sanctions on Iran. Yes, they heighten the drama by refusing to be in the same room with the Americans and insisting that Europeans act as go-betweens. Yes, we witness a debate on who should make the first conciliatory step — Iran wanting the US to remove its sanctions first and Biden's negotiators insisting that the uranium enriched by Iran while it violated its side of the deal be shipped out of the country first, and extra centrifuges that Iran installed dismantled. Yes, diplomats make much fuss and create extra suspense by warning us that the task in front of them is complex and the effort required titanic. But political posturing and bazaar-style haggling tactics aside, given that Biden wants the U.S. back in the Obama "deal," it will happen.
Each side gets something out of it. The "deal" grants the ayatollahs the legitimacy for their nuclear project: by 2030, the limits of the deal will expire, and they will be able to legally enrich all they want. They have the ability to sell oil in the interim, giving them money to finance their armament program and arm terrorist allies like Hamas, Hezb'allah, and the Shia groups in Iraq. In exchange, Biden (like Obama before him) will get a huge breather — nuclear-armed Iran won't be his problem.
So this is settled. The "deal" will get us all the way to 2030. But what happens then?
We were just given a foretaste of that. As a pressure tactic, in January 2021, Iran adopted a law that "required Iran to start enriching to 20% and stipulated that at least 120 kg (265 pounds) of uranium refined to that level be made each year, which amounts to 10 kg a month. Iran's production rate is already 'up to 40%' faster than that, Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi indicated. 'In less than four months we have produced 55 kg of 20% enriched uranium ... in around eight months we can reach 120 kg,' Kamalvandi told state TV."
That's quite an impressive dry run for 2030. Mind you, this was not even a sprint for the bomb — under the Obama "deal," Iran will have to wait for that for another ten years — but this quick ramping up of the pace of enrichment is a stark warning to all believers in "diplomacy" — like Representative Alan Lowenthal, who tweeted (and was re-tweeted by the Iran apologist Joe Cirincione of the Quincy Institute), "I strongly applaud renewed engagement with Iran. Only diplomacy can build a path to peace."
Really? We do have some experience with "diplomacy." The 1933–39 diplomacy with Hitler didn't exactly work out Rep. Lowenthal's way, if I remember history correctly. The gentleman from California should admit that 85 million dead in WW2 is no great diplomatic triumph. Nor, if I recall, did diplomacy with North Korea do much good. In the 1990s, Ms. Wendy Sherman charmed North Koreans into abandoning their drive for nuclear weapons — yet somehow, for all her skillful diplomacy, that country now possesses a frightful missile-mounted nuclear arsenal capable of reaching the U.S. In both instances, diplomacy indeed triumphed — for the Nazis and North Koreans, that is.
The U.S.'s re-entry into Obama's Iran "deal" promises to be yet another suchlike diplomatic triumph — the triumph of Iranian diplomacy.
Yes, diplomacy works. The question is — for whom?
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