The devil is not in the details. It’s in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama’s fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence.
In pursuit of his desire to make the Islamic Republic into an accepted, normalized “successful regional power,” Obama decided to take over the nuclear negotiations. At the time, Tehran was reeling — the rial plunging, inflation skyrocketing, the economy contracting — under a regime of international sanctions painstakingly constructed over a decade.
Then, instead of welcoming Congress’s attempt to tighten sanctions to increase the pressure on the mullahs, Obama began the negotiations by loosening sanctions, injecting billions into the Iranian economy (which began growing again in 2014), and conceding in advance an Iranian right to enrich uranium.
It’s been downhill ever since. Desperate for a legacy deal, Obama has played the supplicant, abandoning every red line his administration had declared essential to any acceptable deal.
They were to be anywhere, anytime, unimpeded. Now? Total cave. Unfettered access has become “managed access.” Nuclear inspectors will have to negotiate and receive Iranian approval for inspections. Which allows them denial and/or crucial delay for concealing any clandestine activities.
To give a flavor of the degree of our capitulation, the administration played Iran’s lawyer on this one, explaining that, after all, “the United States of America wouldn’t allow anybody to get into every military site, so that’s not appropriate.” Apart from the absurdity of morally equating America with the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, if we were going to parrot the Iranian position, why wait 19 months to do so — after repeatedly insisting on free access as essential to any inspection regime?
COMING CLEAN ON PAST NUCLEAR ACTIVITY
The current interim agreement that governed the last 19 months of negotiation required Iran to do exactly that. Tehran has offered nothing. The administration had insisted that this accounting was essential because how can you verify future illegal advances in Iran’s nuclear program if you have no baseline?
After continually demanding access to their scientists, plans, and weaponization facilities, Secretary of State John Kerry two weeks ago airily dismissed the need, saying he is focused on the future, “not fixated” on the past. And that we have “absolute knowledge” of the Iranian program anyway — a whopper that his staffers had to spend days walking back.
Not to worry, we are told. The accounting will be done after the final deal is signed. Which is ridiculous. If the Iranians haven’t budged on disclosing previous work under the current sanctions regime, by what logic will they comply after sanctions are lifted?
has Krauthammer ever been right about anything ?
basically everything since he started using his brain and left the lefties.
The Obama administration is probably thinking that Iran is soon going to be far more concerned with its efforts to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of ISIS.
Krauthammer still can’t acknowledge that our removal of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi military was a serious geopolitical error, empowering and emboldening Iran. He is so inflexible in his thinking about this that he would now support a similar mistake with Iran, giving ISIS a golden opportunity to expand and consolidate.
Well, let’s not be presumptuous. There’s still another year and a half for a worse deal.
To paraphrase john, has Obama ever been right about anything?
No, YOU can’t admit that this was not the terrible error until Obama pulled all US troops out of Iraq. THEN the situation collapsed.
After we removed Saddam Hussein and neutered Iraq’s once formidable military, the nation became about as stable as a house of cards. The Bush administration created that situation, despite having been warned against it by our intelligence community, and then turned it over to the Obama administration along with a schedule for our departure that could not be unilaterally altered. Those are the plain and simple facts.
What monumental screw-up could be a followup act to that one?
Here’s a suggestion Mr. Krauthammer might consider: How about going to war against the nation that’s presently at war with ISIS? What a scenario! We could be in a ground war again in Iraq—this time with ISIS on one side and the formidable armies of Iran on the other—and once again with no clue how we’d create a stable situation in the somewhat less likely event that we “win.” We could even have another Bush at the helm. Three wars in Iraq, led by three different President Bushes!
@Greg: True, Bush was warned about the dangers of a power vacuum, so he took the steps not to create one. We won.
Obama, too, was warned, but he just ignored the warnings and went ahead and did it. We lost.
Obama created the ISIS crisis.