It looks as if the leaning tower of Jell-o, our commander in chief, is ready to fold again. When last we left Iran’s Supreme despotic leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, he was claiming that there was no way there would be nuclear inspections on Iran’s military sites. Oh, and the day Iran agrees to the final deal, all the sanctions get instantaneously lifted. All of these demands contradicted the framework agreement, as described by the Obama administration. But no worries. It looks as thought the administration is about to fold.
Regarding the inspections of nuclear facilities on military bases (PMDs). even before the framework deal was announced, the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. would allow Iran to delay letting the inspectors know what was being done on the bases until all the sanctions were lifted. Which of course raises the question of why Iran would agree to let inspectors on after sanctions are lifted. Oh, sure, the sanctions can “snap back” as long as the U.S. can convince Russia (who is now selling missiles to Iran) not to veto the sanctions at the U.N. Security Council. Of course getting those two countries to allow the reimposing of sanctions is as likely as me waking up in the morning with hair covering my bald head.
Also, on inspections, Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication, started floating language last week indicating a U.S. fold was imminent. The administration’s traditional message has been “We will do whatever the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA_ requires for verification.” According to IAEA experts that means anytime, anywhere they can inspect suspicious sites, including military sites. There can’t be a system where the IAEA asks for permission, then the Iranians say “Prove to us you actually need access,” then a few weeks go by, then maybe inspectors get to go in or maybe they don’t. The Iranians would just move or destroy the evidence while blocking inspectors — something they’ve actually done at Parchin and something that Saddam Hussein did quite successfully. During a press conference held in Panama last week, Rhodes walked back from the “anytime, anywhere” promise saying:
On the military sites, similarly, clearly there will have to be the ability for the IAEA to conduct inspections that are consistent with what’s in the framework, which includes resolving past issues of concern with the IAEA related to possible military dimensions of Iran’s program, as well as Iran joining the additional protocol and having the ability of the IAEA to inspect suspicious sites, no matter where they are, if the United States and other countries, again, present information and seek access through the IAEA to those sites.
In other words, in order to inspect the nuclear facilities on military bases, the U.S. has to ask the IAEA, who will ask Iran, who will hide everything before anybody is allowed to inspect.
During a joint press conference with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy, Obama was asked point blank whether he would rule out lifting Iran sanctions at the time of the nuclear deal. The president pointedly refused to answer, talking instead about “creative negotiations.”
With respect to the issue of sanctions coming down – I don’t want to get out ahead of John Kerry and my negotiators in terms how to craft this. I would just make a general observation and that is that how sanctions are lessened, how we snap back sanctions if there’s a violation – there are a lot of different mechanisms and ways to do that. Part of John’s job and part of the Iranian negotiators’ job and part of the P5+1’s job is to sometimes find formulas that get to our main concerns while allowing the other side to make a presentation to their body politic that is more acceptable. Our main concern here is making sure that if Iran doesn’t abide by its agreement that we don’t have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops in order to reinstate sanctions. That’s our main concern. And I think that goal, of having, in reserve, the possibility of putting back and applying forceful sanctions, in the event of a violation, that goal can be met. And it will require some creative negotiations by John Kerry and others, and I’m confident that we’ll be successful.
Folks, I have said it over and over: Preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons is important for the safety of Israelis and Americans. We are the big Satan. Sadly, the way the tower of Jell-o in the White House is negotiating this deal, the U.S. is in grave danger.
Cross-posted at The Lid