Friday, January 24, 2014

Arlene Kushner: Obama's Much Vaunted Geneva Agreement Postpones Iran's Nuclear Capacity By One Month

From Arlene Kushner:
January 24, 2014

A "Train Wreck"

I’m been so focused on Israeli issues that I haven’t written about Iran and its nuclear aspirations for a while.  But now it seems very necessary. 
It has been crystal clear to me that Obama – I won’t say was “had” by Iran – but rather that he was willingly permitting himself to be had.  That he went along with a deal that on the face of it was not good and didn’t bargain tough.
But there’s more.  An interim deal of some sort was struck with Iran and now a final deal is supposed to be negotiated.  The first problem here is that the Obama administration refuses to publicly release the details of how that interim agreement – the Joint Plan of Action - is to be implemented.  What is evolving is a picture in which the president has misrepresented to his own public what that Plan of Action includes.  The implications here are huge.
See here a White House “fact sheet” released when terms were arrived at in November (although the interim agreement did not go into effect then):
“President Obama has been clear that achieving a peaceful resolution that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is in America’s national security interest.  Today, the P5+1 [the permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany] and Iran reached a set of initial understandings that halts the progress of Iran's nuclear program and rolls it back in key respects.” (Emphasis added)
Read: Fact Sheet: First Step Understandings Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Program

Then see a CNN interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who says the White House “both underplays [Western] concessions and overplays the Iranian commitment.”
This interview was followed by an interview by Fareed Zakaria of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, which is the clincher:

Listen to the entire four minutes and hear what Zakaria has to say.  I borrowed the term “train wreck” – a description of the deal with Iran - from him. 
Then let’s see what Cliff May, president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, has to say about the situation, in “World Powers Surrendered to Iran” (Emphasis added):
“Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last week tweeted a declaration of diplomatic victory: "In #Geneva agreement world powers surrendered to Iran's national will." In response, White House press secretary Jay Carney said not to worry: ‘It doesn't matter what they say. It matters what they do.’

“OK, so what are they doing? Abbas Araqchi, Iran's chief negotiator, has provided the answer. ‘No facility will be closed; enrichment will continue, and qualitative nuclear research will be expanded,’ he said. ‘All research into a new generation of centrifuges will continue.’ Iran also is sending warships into the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in history -- a not-so-subtle message, perhaps?

“The Geneva agreement does slow Iran's timeline for the development of nuclear weapons -- by a month. Yes, that's right: If Iran's rulers faithfully comply with every commitment they have so far made, at the end of this six-month period, they will be about three months -- instead of two months -- away from breakout capacity.

In exchange, the U.S. and other "world powers" have given the revolutionary regime, long the world's leading sponsor of terrorism, additional time -- perhaps as much as a year -- to continue developing nuclear warheads, triggers and ballistic missiles. Plus there is sanctions relief sufficient to remove the threat of an impending Iranian economic crisis. Iran's economy already is recovering.”
Read: 'World powers surrendered to Iran'

Rouhani has every reason to be happy.
Photo not from original article

Oft times I have wondered what it takes to arouse the sleeping American electorate.  When will they understand that they are being betrayed by the man in the White House? 
The information I have provided here should be shared very broadly.
The World Economic Forum is currently meeting in Davos, Switzerland.  Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and Rouhani are in attendance. Netanyahu – who is a lone voice in warning the world about Iran – spoke from that setting about Rouhani’s on-going charm offensive:
“Rouhani can say something, but it doesn’t make it real.  It sounds nice but it is false.  [Rouhani’s conciliatory words] have no connection to what is going on on the ground.”
Since Netanyahu has his eyes wide open with regard to Iran, and is determined that Iran, in the end, should not go nuclear, I will close here with this piece from Ilan Berman, Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council, in “Israel Keeps It’s Options Open on Iran.”
“Is an Israeli military attack against Iran truly off the table? Conventional wisdom certainly seems to think that it is. In the aftermath of the signing of an interim nuclear deal in Geneva this past November, the foreign policy cognoscenti in Washington, and elsewhere, have been vocal about the fact that they believe the bell has effectively tolled on the possibility of Israeli military action.

“The view from Israel, however, is far less settled. Take a new report in Israel Defense, a well-regarded strategic intelligence newsletter, which suggests that planning for a military option against Iran hasn't been tabled, just postponed pending the outcome of the current negotiating track between Iran and the P5+1 powers (the U.S., France, Russia, China, Great Britain and Germany). As the analysis points out, for Israel the operative element of the diplomatic thaw now underway between the Islamic Republic and the West is whether it truly results in an end to Tehran's pursuit of the atomic bomb.

"’For Jerusalem… the existing political circumstances allow no viable political option for an attack, but the situation can change within months,’ the Israel Defense report concludes. ‘If Israel manages to gather intelligence evidence that Iran continues to “work” on the atomic bomb, the Cabinet may convene dramatic meetings and order [an] attack in the near summer or fall months.’

“The message is crystal clear. As far as the Israeli government is concerned, the hard choices facing the international community about precisely what lengths it will need to go to in order to prevent the emergence of a nuclear-armed Iran haven't been resolved. They have only been deferred—and perhaps not for all that long.” (Emphasis added)
As Shabbat comes early, I will close here and return to all other issues after Shabbat.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.  

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