Friday, June 26, 2015

Obama's Iran Debacle

Ex-Advisers Warn Obama on Iran Deal
- David E. Sanger

Five former members of President Obama's inner circle of Iran advisers have written an open letter expressing concern that a pending accord to stem Iran's nuclear program "may fall short of meeting the administration's own standard of a 'good' agreement" and laying out a series of minimum requirements that Iran must agree to in coming days for them to support a final deal.

Signatories include Dennis Ross, who oversaw Iran policy at the White House during the first Obama term; former CIA director David Petraeus; Robert Einhorn, a State Department proliferation expert who helped devise and enforce the sanctions against Iran; Gary Samore, Obama's former chief adviser on nuclear policy; and Gen. James E. Cartwright, a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 
(New York Times)

Pro-Israel Lobby Prepares to Battle over Iran Deal - Eli Lake

As U.S. and Iranian negotiators approach the June 30 deadline to reach a nuclear deal, AIPAC, America's largest pro-Israel lobby, is campaigning to kill such an accord in Congress.


The Iranian-American nuclear project - Caroline Glick

[T]here is no "crisis" in Israel-US relations. The Obama administration is betraying Israel. The centerpiece of Obama's foreign policy is his desire to transform Iran's illicit nuclear program, which endangers Israel's existence, into a legal Iranian-American nuclear program that endangers Israel's existence.

Consequently, the last thing Israel should worry about is upsetting Obama. To convince fence-sitting Democratic senators to vote against Obama's Iran deal, Israel should expose all the ruinous details of the nuclear agreement. Israel should let the American people know how the deal endangers not just Israel, but their soldiers, and indeed, the US homeland itself.

By doing so, Israel stands a chance of separating the issue of Democratic support for Obama from Democratic opposition to the nuclear deal. Obama wants this deal to be about himself. Israel needs to explain how it is about America.

At the end of the day, what we now know about US collaboration with Iran brings home — yet again — the sad fact that the only chance Israel has ever had of preventing Iran from getting the bomb is to destroy the mullahs' nuclear installations itself.

If Israel can still conduct such an operation, it makes sense for it to be carried out before Iran's nuclear program officially becomes the Iranian-American nuclear project.

[Jerusalem Post via Jewish World Review]

There is No Plan B on Iran - Jonathan Tobin

If Iran had the slightest worry that the president believed force was an option they would never dare to throw down the gauntlet in the talks in this manner. But two years of Obama’s weak negotiating tactics have forced them to conclude that they can defy the U.S. with impunity.

Nor are they afraid of Israel resorting to force because they are positive that the U.S. won’t allow it, a point that is reinforced by the fact that, as Crowley notes, the administration has not shared the MOP system with Israel despite its boasts about bolstering the security relationship with the Jewish state.

At this point, it doesn’t matter that the United States has the capacity to take out the bunker at Fordow and every other Iranian nuclear facility. Crowley writes that the existence of MOP may have helped bring Iran to the table and that it could influence their behavior in the future since it will remain as a deterrent to cheating on the pact. The first assertion is arguable but the latter is not. Without a president who is prepared to negotiate from a position of strength the ability of the MOP to take it out Iran’s nukes is irrelevant both to the current talks and to what follows.

An advanced bunker buster system like MOP should have empowered President Obama to demand an agreement that would have eliminated for all time any possibility of an Iranian weapon. But it didn’t.

The deal now in place offers Iran two paths to a bomb: one by cheating on its easily evaded terms and the other by patiently waiting for it to expire.

It remains to be seen whether President Obama’s successor will be able to walk away from this mess, assuming that Congress isn’t able to prevent it from being put into effect.

[Commentary via Jewish World Review]

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