|Secretary of State John Kerry with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif|
The proposed nuclear agreement with Iran, most of which the Obama Administration is keeping secret, seems to be giving Iran virtually everything it has wanted for the last decade. To many observers, it appears that the United States (as well as its negotiating partners) have abandoned any hope of containing Iran's quest to acquire a nuclear weapons capability.
Nuclear weapons are an integral part of Iran's plan to have a long-range ballistic missile force carrying nuclear warheads. The mullahs mean to make the Islamic Republic the pre-eminent military, political and economic power in the region. With this agreement, they are much closer to that goal.
Iran has won - and make no mistake, they have won by a huge margin. They did this simply by refusing to comply with a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions and agreeing only to a never-ending series of talks. In the end, the nations that make up the P5+1* acquiesced not only by granting Iran the right to enrich uranium, but also by granting immediate relief from the crippling sanctions which took years to impact the Iranian economy (although it was the sharp decline in the price of oil that has really crippled it).
It gets worse. After a specified time period (the length of which has not yet been determined), all restrictions on Iran's nuclear program will be lifted. Hasn't the Obama Administration learned its lesson about specific dates in the future? I am referring to this Administration's declarations advising al-Qa'idah and the Taliban exactly when American forces would be withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan.
I am not sure who is at fault here - President Obama or the clueless John Kerry. I suspect it is a combination of both. The President wants to reach an agreement with Iran at almost any cost - he desperately needs a foreign policy success. Secretary of State Kerry does not seem to realize just how much damage he is doing to any effort to restrain the Iranians in their plans to acquire nuclear weapons.
Before the emails start about calling Kerry "clueless," remember it was Kerry who told us that we are much safer today, a direct contradiction of testimony only one day later by the Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper. I have known General Clapper for over 40 years, several of which I worked for him - I'll take his word over Secretary Kerry's. Okay, we'll settle for Kerry being "out of touch." The Secretary has also failed to mention documents seized in the bin Ladin raid that indicate a cooperative relationship between Iran and al-Qa'idah.
Why are we so anxious to reach such a lopsided agreement with a government that is clearly acting in a manner inimical to American interests in the region and worldwide? This is a government that sponsors terrorism; funds, trains and arms Hizballah and Hamas; provides special operations forces (the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qods Force) to fight alongside the Bashar al-Asad regime in Syria; funds, trains and controls Shi'a militias in Iraq; and incites anti-government uprisings in Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Now we find documents tying them to al-Qa'idah.
Perhaps, as I said three months ago, we should just call it quits and walk away from the talks. Tell the Iranians they are not going to have a nuclear weapon, and that the sanctions are going to get tougher until Iran abides by its international agreements. See that article, Iranian nuclear talks - maybe time to walk away?
This proposed agreement is not good for the United States. We don't need to cave in to the Iranians so that Barack Obama can claim, finally, a foreign policy success. It is anything but that.
* The P5+1 are the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and the United States - plus Germany.