Monday, November 25, 2013
The Deal with Iran
This is one time I can understand the skepticism about trusting the Iranians to discontinue their development of a nuclear weapon. I don’t trust them either, but we’ll learn more in six months. We haven’t really spoken to them in 34 years. They have a new leader so why not give it a shot?
It didn’t surprise me that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not like this deal because anything short of dismantling all the centrifuges would have been unacceptable to him. I also expected Senator Lindsey Graham, Bill Kristol, the GOP and even a few Democrats to be against anything other than more sanctions. The Israeli lobby will be in full force trying to persuade Congress to balk at this deal. It’ll be interesting to see if Harry Reid brings up a bill calling for more sanctions in the next six months.
Joe Scarborough didn’t surprise me, when he said that the Iranian deal was a terrible, and he hurled another charge of competency at President Obama. Joe cracked me up when said some unnamed sources, his Arab connections, told him that they don’t know what side President Obama is on. Mr. Scarborough doesn’t understand why Sunni Arab countries don’t like the United States negotiating with Shiite countries like Iran. It’s like teenage girls not liking their best friend talking to someone outside their little clique. Joe was also upset because the administration did not tell Israel or Saudi Arabia about their secret talks with Iran five months ago. He said that it was unconscionable and disrespected our allies. I don’t think so because they would have disagreed with the meetings. It’s one of those “it’s easier to say you’re sorry than to ask for permission.”
Bill Kristol was furious, saying that the sanctions were working, and we should do more. In 2003, Iran had 164 centrifuges under really tough sanctions. Today, they have 19, 000; you do the math. Things got kind of heated until Richard Haas, president of the Council Foreign Relations, asked Bill point blank, “what would you do short of starting a war, to get all those centrifuges dismantled?” “Bill Kristol said that some targeted strikes would not be considered a war.” I think it’s important what Iran would consider an act of war.
I remember the 2008 presidential campaign when Obama was labeled naïve for saying that we should negotiate with Iran. It was during that same campaign when Obama said he would go into Pakistan and get Osama bin Laden if he had information he was there. Those are two naive campaign promises that he kept. The Iranian deal may go awry but at the very least, we will know what they have been up to and what they are capable of doing.