The June 30th deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran isn’t looking very healthy at this point, particularly considering the fact that the date happens to be tomorrow and some of the principle negotiators aren’t even in the same country at the moment. Of course, it was never really much of a deadline anyway in the eyes of most competent observers. President Obama and his Secretary of State are desperate for a deal, seemingly at any cost, and they’ll keep pushing the deadline back as many times as needed until they have some sort of bone to bring home to Washington. But it may not take as long as some of us thought if the most recent report coming from across the pond is correct.
The Iranians were looking like they were ready to walk out in a huff over the idea that nosy inspectors from the international community would be poking around their most sensitive nuclear installations. What could we possibly do about that? Hey… how about if we just don’t inspect them?
The P5+1 countries led by the United States under Barack Obama have caved in to Iranian demands and will not insist on inspections of nuclear installations as part of a deal on Iran;s nuclear weapons program, Channel 1 reported Sunday.
The channel’s Arab affairs correspondent reported that the June 30 – Tuesday night – deadline for the talks has been set back to an unspecified date but that the negotiations are good natured and the feeling is that the deal is nearly done.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was expected to fly to Tehran Sunday night for consultations on a final bargaining position.
Is there any reason to cave on what is essentially the lynchpin of the entire deal? (That being the idea that we could keep a lid on the Iranian nuclear pot provided we were free to roam around and inspect.) Over at Powerline, one possible answer is offered.
It means they already have nukes, i.e., sufficient highly enriched uranium for, at a minimum, 1 – 5 Hiroshima type bombs. Therefore, there is nothing Obama can do: once the kooks have nukes it’s game over; we can never directly attack them without huge risk. See Korea, North.
The real travesty is that — of course! — Obama never had any intention of making sure that Iran would “not be permitted to have nuclear weapons.” As usual, the threats of preëmption, “all options on the table,” were always lies which is why the left let him get away with an explicit invocation of the Bush Doctrine.
Plausible but not proven. It could mean that they already have too much bomb quality material, or perhaps that we’ve simply determined that they already have 100% of the capability to get there in short order and we don’t have any cards left to play in the hope of stopping them short of a full on military attack. Either would explain the alleged change in position and the latter isn’t particularly better than the former in the larger scheme of things.
But it still smells bad, so why do it when you could at least continue to bluster and rattle sabers? Relying on little more than Occam’s razor here, the most obvious answer can be summed up in one word: legacy. One of the major dings against Hillary Clinton as she tries to invoke her “experience” as Secretary of State in her bid for the presidency is that she never really accomplished anything. John Kerry doesn’t want to walk away from this gig with a similarly empty bag, so getting signatures on some sort of deal is critical to him personally. And as for his boss, the President is in the middle of a full blown March of Triumph with dreams of what the various displays in his presidential library are going to look like. The bronze statues dedicated to Obamacare and gay marriage are already being carved, but he could use a big foreign policy one to complete the set.
He started out his presidency promising to heal the world by mending America’s tarnished reputation as a bully. For six hears he’s been extending hands around the globe waiting for some of these folks to unclench their fists but has repeatedly gotten a punch in the nose for his efforts. There has been no progress with North Korea, China is thumbing their nose at us militarily and Russia is… well, the less said about that the better right now. Iran is probably Obama’s last shot at cementing his legacy as a peacemaker and guardian of the new age of global harmony. Sealing this deal is critical to that legacy. Unfortunately it looks like he’s going to have to give away the entire store to get it.