Obama’s deal with Iran
The main event is over. Smiles all round. US and Europe go home to talk a little bit on telly but Iran negotiators go home to a hero’s welcome. Iranians drive along streets blowing horns and giving victory signs.
Obama goes on TV and refuses to answer any questions
The US State Department issues a ‘fact sheet’ setting out the agreed framework. Iran immediately denounces it as spin.
What does that tell you?
What it tells me is that the current position – Iran’s oil revenues cut in half; Banking system cut off from international markets; Industrial base lacking spare parts and supplies; Medicines difficult to obtain; Rial depreciated by more than two-thirds against the dollar – is going to change dramatically.
In return for Iran promising not to build military grade nuclear weapons, in return for still denying Israel’s right to exist, Iran gets the bomb.
What Iran Gets:
(1) An active nuclear program with international legitimacy:
The Obama administration’s original goal was to eliminate Iran’s nuclear program; that goal has “evolved into a plan to tolerate and temporarily restrict [Iran’s nuclear] capability.” Infrastructure stays intact. They don’t have to shut down any existing nuclear sites, including the ones they illegally developed in secret.
(2) Thousands of operational centrifuges:
Iran agrees to “uninstall” 2/3 of their centrifuges. That is, they mothball them till needed. They keep 5000 active enriching low-grade uranium. The US wanted them to have 500 to 1500. So Iran gets between 3 to 10 times the number of centrifuges that was supposed to be the bottom line. Their secret Fordow mountain facility will be converted into a nuclear “research” centre to work out peaceful uses of uranium.
(3) Expiration dates on restrictions:
The “restrictions” will be lifted after a vague period of 10-15 years. Not 10 – just 10 to, say, 15. The Iranians have already reported the restriction as temporary and will be lifted after an even vaguer “period of time” So, the best the West can hope for is that – Iran gets the bomb in 10 years.
(4) Major sanctions relief:
All sanctions are lifted once the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) says that “so far”, Iran has lived up to its promises. Thank heavens the IAEA is a UN organisation. We can trust them to do the right thing, surely.
There is no phasing in of sanction lifting It is done in one go once the compliance is reported. If they break it right after there is no statement as to whether the sanctions will be re-applied. That is, there is no penalty for breaching.
(5) No action on other abuses:
Iran’s sponsorship and direct facilitation of terrorism, malignant meddling in the region, glaring and flagrant human rights abuses, are left untouched. So the West is doing a deal with a regime that it knows is still engaging in international lawlessness and terrorism on a massive scale.
There is no mention of plutonium in anything released so far. And plutonium does not need to be enriched. You just take ordinary uranium 238 and breed plutonium in a easily hidden reactor. On 9 August 1945, a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb code-named “Fat Man” was exploded over Nagasaki,(the Hiroshima bomb was uranium).
(7) Previous military applications still not settled:
The IAEA has been insisting that Iran come clean about their past research. Unless the IAEA knows what Iran have done already they cannot monitor their progress. If Iran has effectively worked everything out so far, then of course they can promise not to do any more research on military applications.
It is a bit like asking North Korea, Great Britain or France not to do any more research. The research aspect is all effectively finished.
Israel’s response has not been made yet. When the point was made to Obama that Israel wants a statement from Iran that Israel has a right to exist, he responded cagily saying, “The US would never consent to any agreement that puts Israel at risk.”
So you can take it as read that there will be no such statement from Iran.
Until Israel blows the place to bits. I would.
The Saudis won’t give a toss if they do.