The deadline for a political agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program has come—and gone, and yet we’re still negotiating.
“We’ve made enough progress in the last days to merit staying until Wednesday. There are several difficult issues still remaining,” spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.
An Iranian negotiator, meanwhile, said his team could stay “as long as necessary” to clear the remaining hurdles.
In Washington, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest suggested that talks meant to produce an outline that would allow the sides to continue negotiations until the June 30 final deadline had not bridged all gaps. But he said that the sides were working to produce a text with few specifics, accompanied by documents outlining areas where further talks were needed.
And why wouldn’t Iran keep the negotiations going as long as possible? While they are ongoing, it can run all the centrifuges it wishes, inching ever-closer to break-out. Fellow RedStater streiff wrote a marvelous and succinct overview of the situation.
The combined effect of this is to make a farce of the key point in the Iran unclear negotiations. That concept is breakout, or the date when Iran will have enough fissile material to produce a bomb. Right now the target for breakout is… one year. That’s right. The official position of the United States is that we are willing to lift sanctions on Iran if its breakout time is one year in the future. In reality, the Iranians are probably 8 months from breakout and they will have a weapon long before our inspections detect it.
Which country is on the receiving end of the sh*t end of the stick in this? Israel. This cannot be overstated or repeated enough times.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu knew this in 2012. He knew it in 2013, and 2014, and spoke to a joint session of Congress not even a month ago with the same message: this is a bad, terrible deal. In 2012, Netanyahu addressed the United Nations (a speech which was boycotted by the Arab powers, just as his March address to Congress was boycotted by Obama, Biden and Kerry). He was speaking about Islamic extremists.
I am sure of one thing. Ultimately they will fail. Ultimately, light will penetrate the darkness.
We’ve seen that happen before.
Some five hundred years ago, the printing press helped pry a cloistered Europe out of a dark age. Eventually, ignorance gave way to enlightenment.
So too, a cloistered Middle East will eventually yield to the irresistible power of freedom and technology. When this happens, our region will be guided not by fanaticism and conspiracy, but by reason and curiosity.
I think the relevant question is this: it’s not whether this fanaticism will be defeated. It’s how many lives will be lost before it’s defeated.
We’ve seen that happen before too.
Some 70 years ago, the world saw another fanatic ideology bent on world conquest. It went down in flames. But not before it took millions of people with it. Those who opposed that fanaticism waited too long to act. In the end they triumphed, but at an horrific cost.
My friends, we cannot let that happen again.
At stake is not merely the future of my own country. At stake is the future of the world. Nothing could imperil our common future more than the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons.
To understand what the world would be like with a nuclear-armed Iran, just imagine the world with a nuclear-armed Al-Qaeda.
To illustrate his point, Netanyahu used the simplest illustration: a chart shaped like a bomb. This, in 2012.
This is a bomb; this is a fuse.
In the case of Iran’s nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages.
The first stage: they have to enrich enough of low enriched uranium.
The second stage: they have to enrich enough medium enriched uranium.
And the third stage and final stage: they have to enrich enough high enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Where’s Iran? Iran’s completed the first stage. It took them many years, but they completed it and they’re 70% of the way there.
Now they are well into the second stage. By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage.
From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Nothing has changed, other than the Iranians nearly completing the second stage. The only thing that held them back was cyberwarfare (untangling STUXNET) and other covert operations, likely run by Israel.
Israel, unlike the U.S., did not dismantle its human intelligence network in Iran, and the Mossad maintains a robust presence inside the Iranian government, military, and civil institutions. If anyone will know first when Iran is ready to achieve breakout, it will be Israel.
Yet Israel can’t watch and effectively counter all the places to which Iran has expanded: Yemen, Syria and Iraq. Obama’s obsession with completing a deal with Iran, coupled with its overt support of Palestinian objectives (East Jerusalem settlements, the Hamas-PA unity government, and possible U.N. recognition), has placed Israel in an untenable situation.
All of these—what we would call policy blunders—don’t present a short-term existential or strategic “clear and present danger” to America. We are separated by two oceans, regardless of the porous southern border. Our “soft” targets may be vulnerable to terror, but that’s the extent.
Obama’s Iran deal will make Israel into a ghetto. A well-armed, prosperous ghetto, but a ghetto just the same. And more Jews are being forced into this ghetto daily, first from the Middle East, where the Jewish population outside Israel is practically non-existent. Then, increasingly, from Europe, where anti-Semitism has become rampant and common.
At the risk of knowingly violating Godwin’s Law (anyone using Nazi analogies online automatically loses the argument), the Third Reich could not have invented a better way to eliminate the Jews from Europe and Asia. Israel will be forced to either give up its claim as the Jewish homeland—its nationhood, which will lead to mass slaughter of Jews (sooner or later), or it will be forced to fight an unwinnable war of attrition against enemies many times its size, who will possess nuclear weapons and delivery systems.
Iran will not launch a nuke on Israel from its own soil—that would almost assuredly fail. It may launch from Lebanon, or Syria, or even from the Sinai, which has become a lawless no-mans-land under the unstable Egyptian government.
What kind of warning will Israel have? Even Iron Dome might not be able to stop a nuke if it were launched along with a massive rocket salvo, overwhelming the system. Don’t think Hamas didn’t try that during last summer’s war, and don’t think for a second that Iran wasn’t watching (through Hizbollah, its proxy).
In this ghetto, Israel cannot allow Iran to achieve breakout. At some point, the situation will become desperate enough to launch a military strike. Our government knows this—President Obama knows it. We may find America in the crosshairs of an Israeli operation in order to keep us out of the way, instead of cooperating with Israel. Even the Saudis don’t inform us of their military operations, so why would Israel. Ironically, the Saudis might even assist Israel with an Iran raid—the Al Saud ruling dynasty has almost as much to lose by the Iranians gaining nuclear capability.
If President Obama continues to push this catastrophic surrender to Iran—surrendering Israel and its inhabitants to those who would bring darkness to the whole world—his legacy might best be viewed in hindsight as a crime against humanity. Just as the SS-Totenkopfverbände leaders who initiated the ghettos across Europe were tried and convicted, history will convict this administration for the worst atrocity of the 21st century.
It must be stopped at all costs, before the cost is too high.