Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Granting Another Embarrassing Deadline Extension to Iran

A strong negotiator would have used the deadline as a way to press Iran harder.  Instead, Iran pressed the West. 
- Lazar Berman

Former head of IDF Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin said Tuesday that the emerging nuclear agreement with Iran would be a "bad deal" if it is finalized around the terms that have been made public. He told Israel Radio that three "core technical issues" are still not agreed upon - research and development, the military aspects of Iran's nuclear program, and the shipping out of fissile material to a third country.
"Without the export of the 7-8 tons of low-enriched uranium, the Americans do not have the goal they set" of keeping Iran a year away from enough fuel for a nuclear weapon, said Yadlin. He added that there were "many alternatives between a bad deal and military action," such as new, harsher sanctions and covert action.
(Times of Israel)

For years, we've been preached to by visiting American diplomats and think-tankers and journalists about the virtues of democracy. We've been told that if we speak out to defend our rights, we will be supported by America. And now we've been betrayed.
For many liberal Arab citizens like me, it looks like the U.S. is siding with the Shiites against the Sunnis. It is helping Assad, Hizbullah, and other allies of Iran stay in power. The U.S. has picked the Resistance axis over helping potential democracies to grow. In Lebanon, where I live, Hizbullah - an organization sponsored and directed by America's new Iranian partner - has repeatedly used force to block every effort toward democracy or reform.
Why is Iran, which has one of the worst human rights records in the region, and which has and still is using violence all over the region, a potential ally to the U.S.? 
The writer is managing editor of NOW-Lebanon and a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council. 

[T]he claim of the Obama administration that any eventual agreement will block all pathways toward an Iranian nuclear weapon is surely an overstatement. At best, a deal will create impediments for the life of the agreement but offer little afterward.

The agreement does not reflect the objective we had hoped to achieve for much of President Obama's first term. At that point, when I was in the administration, our aim was to transform the character of the Iranian nuclear program so that the peaceful intent of its capabilities would be demonstrated unmistakably to the international community. That meant that Iran could not have a large nuclear infrastructure.

At some point, the Obama administration changed its objective. [W]hen we speak about a one-year breakout time, we are accepting that Iran will have the means and infrastructure to produce nuclear weapons.

Moreover, for those who say that one year is not enough time because even discovery of a violation does not ensure a response, the administration will need to explain why this agreement will not function like other arms control agreements, where questions related to noncompliance have historically bogged down in endless discussions.
Amb. Dennis Ross is a long-time U.S. Mideast negotiator.


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