Posted by Curt on 5 October, 2016 at 3:57 pm. 3 comments already!


Ian Tuttle:

On a night awash in lies — offensive lies and defensive lies, primitive lies (“He never said that!”) and sophisticated lies (“The Clinton Foundation . . . ”) — perhaps the boldest lie was this: Hillary Clinton “eliminated the Iranian nuclear-weapons program without firing a shot.”

So said Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, multiple times during Tuesday night’s vice-presidential debate: “An Iranian nuclear-weapons program has been stopped”; Hillary “built the sanctions regime around the world that stopped the Iranian nuclear-weapons program”; “We stopped the Iranian nuclear-weapons program.” He made this declaration, in one or another iteration, eight times.

To steal a line: There are lies, damned lies, and what Tim Kaine said last night.

The Obama administration, eager to have its Nixon-in-China moment (Havana was nice, but a little down-market), is dedicated to the myth that by combining honeyed tones with a few firm glances, it persuaded the mullahs in Tehran to abandon their dreams of obtaining a nuclear weapon and endorse a peace-loving, cosmopolitan global order. In Barack Obama’s telling, John Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif shook hands, and now daffodils are springing up through the sidewalk-cracks in Tehran.

In fact, the Iranian nuclear deal was a sham from beginning to end. The terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), let alone the way that the Obama administration has selectively interpreted (and downright ignored) them, were absurdly generous. The JCPOA allows for the continued enrichment of uranium, as well as the continued operation of more than 5,000 centrifuges — and includes permissions to build more-advanced ones. Iran is also entitled to continue operating a heavy-water reactor capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium. Furthermore, the monitoring regime that the Obama administration has touted is largely toothless, applying only to declared nuclear sites. And the quality of those “inspections” was on display last year, when Iranian officials were permitted to collect soil samples at the Parchin military base without any International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials present.

But even if the original terms of the deal had been agreeable, the administration has proved that it had no intention to abide by them. On January 16, “Implementation Day” of the JCPOA, John Kerry announced that Iran had “fully implemented its required commitments,” enabling Tehran to receive $150 billion in sanctions relief and other benefits. Nonsense. Knowing full well that Iran was not in compliance with the terms of the JCPOA, and desperate to avoid the embarrassment of Iran’s withdrawing from the deal if called on their violations, the Obama administration used the JCPOA “Joint Commission,” composed of representatives from Iran and the agreement’s six signatories (the P5+1 states), to quietly exempt Iran from certain requirements. Likewise, the U.S. acceded to Iranian demands to limit the IAEA’s reporting on Iran’s nuclear program — on the grounds that Iran had complied with the JCPOA, so it could be trusted. In other words, the U.S. did the foreign-policy equivalent of a judge’s announcing, before the trial starts, that a criminal defendant is innocent, so no witnesses need testify.

And, of course, this whole charade is temporary. It’s designed to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon within the next 15 years. What happens after that is anyone’s guess — but even if the JCPOA does what it’s supposed to, it’s not exactly difficult to predict what will happen when its terms expire. Even President Obama has admitted that, at the end of “year 13, 14, 15,” the time needed to enrich enough uranium for one nuclear weapon would shrink from 2 to 3 months  “almost down to zero.”

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