Iran president cheers nuclear talks, says deal is getting closer

posted at 10:01 am on February 4, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Hassan Rouhani has plenty of reasons to feel cheerful, as the US attempts to deal its way out of a four-decade standoff with Iran. Secretary of State John Kerry has loosened up billions of dollars to rescue the Iranian economy in exchange for nothing but talk, for one thing. Now, though, it appears that Kerry will cut a deal that not only allows Iran to keep all of its centrifuges, but also grants them de facto hegemony over the Middle East and Afghanistan to boot — and does so behind the backs of our European Union allies.

Smart power:

With time for negotiations running short, the U.S and Iran are discussing a compromise that would let Iran keep much of its uranium-enriching technology but reduce its potential to make nuclear weapons, two diplomats tell The Associated Press.

Such a compromise could break the decade-long deadlock on attempts to limit Iranian activities that could be used to make such arms: Tehran refuses to meet U.S.-led demands for deep cuts in the number of centrifuges it uses to enrich uranium, a process that can create material for anything from chemotherapy to the core of an atomic bomb.

So what’s the solution that Kerry’s offering? A pledge from Iran to, er, not spin the centrifuges really fast. No, that’s actually what this compromise is:

The possible compromise under consideration, according to the AP, would see most of the 10,000 centrifuges in operation left in place but reconfigured so that they would be less productive. One way of doing that would be to spin the centrifuges more slowly. Other measures would be agreed upon to reassure the west that Iran could not make a warhead quickly, such as reducing its stockpile of uranium hexafluoride gas – the form in which uranium can be enriched by centrifuge.

Both the Guardian and the AP note that any change in either centrifuge speed or stocking of uranium hexafluoride gas would be immediately reported by the IAEA to the rest of the world. That, however, ignores the fact that Iran kept its nuclear-weapons program hidden successfully from the IAEA for most of a decade. Pardon us for not exactly considering that a fail-safe.

It also assumes that such a violation would return us to the status quo ante. It wouldn’t, on two levels. First, such a violation would occur when Iran builds its bomb, so by the time word got out, the bomb would almost certainly exists. Second, the current coalition would be very unlikely to reform to oppose Iran’s nuclear-weapons ambitions. It’s fraying at the edges already, or was until oil prices collapsed, and pressures in Ukraine have all but severed Russia from any interest in assisting the West. Cutting a bad deal now would end the effective opposition to Iranian nukes, and Iran knows it.

And what does Iran get for this fig leaf of a concession? Regional domination (via Jeff Dunetz):

According to EU officials, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, have discussed increasing the number of centrifuges which Iran would be permitted to keep. In exchange, the Iranians would undertake an obligation to bring their influence to bear in order to ensure quiet in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.

European diplomats are quoted by Israeli officials as saying that the US in recent weeks has made significant concessions in its talks with Iran, so much so that it is willing to permit Tehran to operate 6,500 centrifuges while lifting sanctions that have hurt its economy this past decade.

The Europeans have told the Israelis that these concessions were offered in exchange for Iranian promises to maintain regional stability. According to Army Radio, the EU is opposed to the proposed linkage between the nuclear issue and other geopolitical matters. In fact, the Europeans suspect that Washington is operating behind Brussels’ back and that Kerry has not bothered to keep them in the loop in his talks with Zarif.

In other words, the US is about to rubber-stamp Tehran’s domination in Syria, less than two years after Barack Obama wanted to bomb their ally Bashar al-Assad for fighting against the Sunni uprising there. While we’re trying to woo Sunni tribes away from ISIS in Iraq — and working with a coalition of Sunni Arab states to fight them, instead of going there ourselves — Kerry wants to hand off Iraq to Iranian domination. And suddenly we’re ceding our authority in Afghanistan to the mullahs in Tehran, to boot.

Jeff pulls out the Chamberlain umbrella to explain the inexplicable:

A nuclear Iran is not only a threat to Israel but thanks to a missile deal with Russia, a threat to  Europe and the US mainland.  Beyond the threat from Iran directly, as one of the largest supporter of terrorism in the world Iran may very well share a nuclear weapon with Hezbollah, ISIS,  its on -again buddy Hamas, or one of the other terrorist groups it supports.

President Obama is willing to sacrifice our safety and the safety of much of the world to give him a legacy of being a peacemaker, but it is more likely that like Neville Chamberlain before him, this President’s legacy will be as an appeaser who created many more deaths than he tried to save.

This deal is a surrender, not just in Iran but throughout the entire region. The only thing missing is the little piece of paper and the declaration of peace in our time.


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Comments

Obama as Vader would sound as ridiculous as the guy who wore the suit that they overdubbed with James Earl Jones’s voice.

ConstantineXI on February 4, 2015 at 10:03 AM

Obama is going to get his Chamberlain “Peace Fr Our Time” moment by making the worst and most dangerous foreign policy deal in the history of our country… The islamic terrorist regime in Iran will get everything it wants and we will get the most dangerous situation to our national security and that of our allies since WW II… We are going to pay a very heavy price in blood and treasure for this most incompetent fool insane policy of opening toward the islamic terrorist regime in Iran…

mnjg on February 4, 2015 at 10:08 AM

Iranian regional hegemony? That’s terrible. Just awful.

Hey, y’know what would have prevented Iranian regional hegemony? A strongman secular dictator in a neighboring country, with a Sunni governing class.

Oh, that’s right… there was one of those. And then the US invaded, overthrew his government, set up Shia leadership in government, and tried to democratize the region.

Good call, right there…

JohnGalt23 on February 4, 2015 at 10:08 AM

Never thought I would see the day when Iran was given a blank check, even under Clinton I didn’t see it happening. Freakin’ IRAN!

This would be amazing if it weren’t so serious, on almost any other issue you would laughingly shake your head at the pure stupid comedy of it all.

Bishop on February 4, 2015 at 10:09 AM

BHO just changed his name to Traitor Khomeini Nutjobi. I can’t help but believe that he’s looking forward to the day he can read his ISIS Koran from the permanent glow emanating from NYC.

vnvet on February 4, 2015 at 10:09 AM

If the U.S actually makes this deal, let’s hop that ISIS doesn’t get into bed with Iran. All hell could break loose.

Walter L. Newton on February 4, 2015 at 10:11 AM

I think obozo likes getting his lunch money stolen and being stuffed in a locker.

Flange on February 4, 2015 at 10:11 AM

This would be amazing if it weren’t so serious, on almost any other issue you would laughingly shake your head at the pure stupid comedy of it all.

Bishop on February 4, 2015 at 10:09 AM

I make this same comment about most everything that comes out of the White House. The only exception was the George Washington brewed beer here too bit of stupidity. It just shows how utterly ignorant Obama really is.

Happy Nomad on February 4, 2015 at 10:13 AM

Our very own Neville
joy/

cmsinaz on February 4, 2015 at 10:13 AM

I think obozo likes getting his lunch money stolen and being stuffed in a locker.

Flange on February 4, 2015 at 10:11 AM

That is putting his white privilege in check.

Happy Nomad on February 4, 2015 at 10:14 AM

Leaving the islamic terrorist regime with the centrifuges running intact and asking them to promise that they would not run them as fast is like leaving a mass murderer with all his weapons and asking him to promise that he will not kill more people again… Only in the mind of this most incompetent fool called Obama this is called “Peace for Our Time”…

mnjg on February 4, 2015 at 10:14 AM

Beyond the threat from Iran directly, as one of the largest supporter of terrorism in the world Iran may very well share a nuclear weapon with Hezbollah, ISIS, its on -again buddy Hamas

Small consolation, but I think it’s safe to say that Iran will definitely not share nuclear weapons with ISIS.

forest on February 4, 2015 at 10:16 AM

What slower centifuges buys is time. Time for Obama to not be in office when Iran deploys a nuclear weapon.

Nothing more.

“Not on my watch”

BobMbx on February 4, 2015 at 10:20 AM

Leaving the islamic terrorist regime with the centrifuges running intact and asking them to promise that they would not run them as fast is like leaving a mass murderer with all his weapons and asking him to promise that he will not kill more people again… Only in the mind of this most incompetent fool called Obama this is called “Peace for Our Time”…

mnjg on February 4, 2015 at 10:14 AM

A lot like banning high capacity magazines, eh?

BobMbx on February 4, 2015 at 10:21 AM

Now, though, it appears that Kerry will cut a deal that not only allows Iran to keep all of its centrifuges, but also grants them de facto hegemony over the Middle East and Afghanistan to boot — and does so behind the backs of our European Union allies.

I believe you will learn that our “European allies” don’t give a rat’s a$$ who runs the Mideast, as long as they (a) keep the oil flowing and (b) erase Israel from the map once and for all.

The One isn’t the only Fearless Leader in “Will no one rid me of these turbulent Jews!” mode.

And having a single warlord in the ME to deal with for oil has been the progressive dream here and abroad at least since Clement Attlee was Britain’s PM. Attlee hoped it would be a guy named Nasser, and he was OK with Nasser being a de facto Communist. (No, he had no idea what the term “Ba’ath Party” actually meant.) By the time his fellow progressive type Eden found out, it was just a bit too late.

The lot will cheer when Tel Aviv gets nuked. Followed by The One making a speech about “our long nightmare” being over, and how it’s a “time to heal”.

If they had bothered to read Wretchard’s Three Conjectures, they might realize that it wouldn’t be the end of the nightmare. Just the beginning.

clear ether

eon

eon on February 4, 2015 at 10:23 AM

Will have to see how Congress reacts to the Obama/Kerry ‘deal of the century’.

If Congress imposes sanctions, will King Barack have the political balls to veto them?

GarandFan on February 4, 2015 at 10:25 AM

That Obama is one tough negotiator…

PatriotRider on February 4, 2015 at 10:26 AM

Translation= “we are now closer than ever to blowing israel off the map”…

elvis lives on February 4, 2015 at 10:31 AM

should just quickly invaded, killed saddam, left and let whomever deal with iran.
we were already over a decade enforcing the no fly zone, saddam got what he deserved.
but we should not have tried to implement a government there.

dmacleo on February 4, 2015 at 10:32 AM

That Obama is one tough negotiator…

PatriotRider on February 4, 2015 at 10:26 AM

He makes Neville Chamberlain look like Winston Churchill.

ConstantineXI on February 4, 2015 at 10:38 AM

If Congress imposes sanctions, will King Barack have the political balls to veto them?

GarandFan on February 4, 2015 at 10:25 AM

If it is not a veto proof vote then make no doubt about it that he will veto them…

mnjg on February 4, 2015 at 10:42 AM

we were already over a decade enforcing the no fly zone, saddam got what he deserved.
but we should not have tried to implement a government there.

dmacleo on February 4, 2015 at 10:32 AM

In the spirit of King Abdullah of Jordan today, allow me to quote Eastwood from Unforgiven:

Deservin’s got nothin’ to do with it…

JohnGalt23 on February 4, 2015 at 10:55 AM

Iran: “We concede nothing and you will lift all sanctions”

Obama: “You guys drive a hard bargain but you have to promise to dominant the whole region. I’m tired of it and March Madness is right around the corner. Deal?”

Iran: [blink] [blink] “Deal. Buy the way, we will destroy Israel.”

Obama: “Whatevers”

WisRich on February 4, 2015 at 11:14 AM

buy s/b by

WisRich on February 4, 2015 at 11:15 AM

That, however, ignores the fact that Iran kept its nuclear-weapons program hidden successfully from the IAEA for most of a decade. Pardon us for not exactly considering that a fail-safe.

Uh, no. Based on the latest National Intelligence Estimate, Iran has no nuclear weapons program. Furthermore, U.S. intelligence supports IAEA’s of Iran’s nuclear program. In addition, Iran no longer has any 20% enriched uranium. But don’t let objective facts get in the way of war propaganda. Right?

antifederalist on February 4, 2015 at 11:33 AM

and to think, we had iran checkmated with saddam in there.

its funny how we’ve been financing and arming the sunni states for decades (fyi isis and taliban are sunni. strict sharia law is sunni.) and now you guys are scared of making a deal with the shia states.

btw – the sanctions had done nothing to slow their nuclear program.

everdiso on February 4, 2015 at 11:34 AM

During the Manhattan Project we had scientists who thought it was a good idea to give the Soviet Union the bomb on fairness grounds. We now have an administration who feels the same way with Iran getting the bomb.

rbj on February 4, 2015 at 11:38 AM

This deal is a surrender, not just in Iran but throughout the entire region. The only thing missing is the little piece of paper and the declaration of peace in our time.

No doubt the history books will over look this fact…

Seven Percent Solution on February 4, 2015 at 1:18 PM

Based on the latest National Intelligence Estimate, Iran has no nuclear weapons program.

antifederalist on February 4, 2015 at 11:33 AM

Hm, isn’t this the same group that in 2007 conveniently declared Iran’s nuclear program frozen in 2003 because of fear that Bush might take military action? Those kind of “facts” leave me looking elsewhere for evidence.

inmypajamas on February 4, 2015 at 1:34 PM

They will talk until they get the bomb;then, talks end and possibly Israel also.

cbanalyst on February 4, 2015 at 1:48 PM

Obama wants his legacy real bad.

And a real bad legacy is what he will have.

I remember way back when Obama was newly inaugurated, and I thought, “As bad as he is, he’ll have a way to go to be worse than Jimmy Carter.”

Obama’s making Jimmy Carter look much better lately.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 4, 2015 at 2:19 PM

They will talk until they get the bomb;then, talks end and possibly Israel also.
cbanalyst on February 4, 2015 at 1:48 PM

If Iran were an existential threat to Israel, why hasn’t Israel preemptively attacked Iran? My guess is that they don’t see Iran as a real threat.

antifederalist on February 4, 2015 at 2:52 PM

Iran president cheers nuclear talks, says deal is getting closer

Secretary of State John Kerry has loosened up billions of dollars to rescue the Iranian economy in exchange for nothing but talk, for one thing. Now, though, it appears that Kerry will cut a deal that not only allows Iran to keep all of its centrifuges, but also grants them de facto hegemony over the Middle East and Afghanistan to boot — and does so behind the backs of our European Union allies.

Obama and Kerry are using the same strategy Bill Clinton used with little Kim in North Korea where Clinton sent money, food, oil and more so Kim would stop nuclear weapons development. It was all such ‘smart power’ until Kim set off a nuclear weapon.

With all our aid to Iran, look for them to accelerate their nuclear ambitions and soon follow crazy Kim’s example and set off a couple nuclear weapons.

RJL on February 4, 2015 at 2:55 PM

If Iran were an existential threat to Israel, why hasn’t Israel preemptively attacked Iran? My guess is that they don’t see Iran as a real threat.

antifederalist on February 4, 2015 at 2:52 PM

The Israelis calculate that the odds are about 7-3 in favor of The oOne or his chosen successor, Hillary, defending Iran by a nuclear strike on Israel. Because they recognize that the American left in general, and those two in particular, are roughly as batsh!t crazy as the mullahs.

Since the Israelis aren’t about to nuke us, they are effectively stalemated by the gibbering dingbats we keep putting in power.

And yes, the Iranian government knows this and is counting on it.

clear ether

eon

eon on February 4, 2015 at 6:34 PM