Perhaps Congress should have invited King Abdullah of Jordan or Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to speak about an impending deal that would look like this: Iran gets to keep its entire nuclear infrastructure and, in 15 years, gets to build a bomb. I am certain the two leaders would have the same reaction as the Israelis or as any sentient member of Congress, namely that this would be a complete capitulation to the mullah’s demands, a repudiation of Democratic and Republican administration’s position, and the first step in a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
But that’s not what the Obama administration has been promising, you say? Well, that may be exactly what the administration has in mind. The Associated Press reports: “The United States and Iran are shaping the contours of a deal that would initially freeze Tehran’s nuclear program but would allow it to slowly ramp up activities that could be used to make nuclear arms over the last years of the agreement’s duration.”
So Iran gets everything and we put the good seal of approval on it. This is even more absurd when one considers how ephemeral the inspections “safeguard” would be, since Iran has never come clear on the extent or whereabouts of its illicit nuclear program. Michael Makovsky, CEO of the pro-Israel JINSA, says bluntly, “If this report is true, and it is consistent with the trajectory of the talks, it would mark an reckless capitulation and disaster.”
It would be inconceivable were we not talking about the Obama administration. “What is most troubling about this emerging deal, apart from the way in which the Obama administration appears ready to cave on every Iranian nuclear demand, is that the deal will only be of a short duration after which even the limited constraints on Iran’s nuclear weapons program will disappear,” says sanctions guru Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). He observes, “It is remarkable to think that in a decade or so Iran’s nuclear program will be treated no differently than Japan’s or Germany’s. The passage of time alone will be sufficient to convert Iran from nuclear pariah to nuclear partner.”
Such a deal, so obviously one-sided and inimical to our national security interests and to those of our allies, would stoke vehement, overwhelming bipartisan opposition and refusal to lift sanctions. “Within a decade or so, Iran will be poised to develop an industrial-size nuclear program with massive enrichment capacity, rapid breakout capability, and an easier clandestine sneakout option,” says Dubowitz. “Iran’s supreme leader soon will get what he always wanted: nuclear weapons, regional dominance and a growing economy. As they say, game, set and match.” It therefore would give Israel no choice but to act militarily, since the alternative would be unimaginable.
Surely the administration must know all this. “When the negotiations began, the White House said the goal was to persuade the Islamic Republic of Iran – the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism — to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. It now appears that the White House goal is to allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapons capability – but after President Obama leaves office, ” says Cliff May of FDD. “That is not a result Congress should endorse.” (Frankly, why even bother with a paper agreement if the message is, “We give up! Do whatever you want!“?) Makovsky likewise observes, “The Administration has conceded so much—in variance with traditional U.S. policy and UN Security Council resolutions–that any deal it cuts by this point would be unacceptable. Congress needs to make clear its opposition.”
But perhaps Obama simply wants Congress to take the heat for nixing a deal. If blame shifting is what this is all about, then Congress should enthusiastically embrace its role as protector of the West’s security and act as a barrier to the worst deal in American diplomatic history. If Obama made such a deal — one that could never go into effect for the reasons noted above — he would go down in the annals of American foreign policy history as the worst commander in chief. And a deal this bad might doom his ex-secretary of State’s chances to become President. This is beginning to sound like an evil genius plot by Karl Rove.