As I predicted back in January, the Obama administration is proceeding full speed toward a complete and abject surrender to Iran on the issue of nuclear weapons.
Though the administration is touting an imminent breakthrough in negotiations, that breakthrough seems to consist of the United States abandoning its previous negotiating position and tossing some of its allies under the bus.
Talks over Iran’s nuclear program have hit a stumbling block a week before a key deadline because Tehran has failed to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether it tried to build atomic weapons in the past, say people close to the negotiations.
In response, these people say, the U.S. and its diplomatic partners are revising their demands on Iran to address these concerns before they agree to finalize a nuclear deal, which would repeal U.N. sanctions against the country.
The United States is considering letting Tehran run hundreds of centrifuges at a once-secret, fortified underground bunker in exchange for limits on centrifuge work and research and development at other sites, officials have told The Associated Press.
The trade-off would allow Iran to run several hundred of the devices at its Fordo facility, although the Iranians would not be allowed to do work that could lead to an atomic bomb and the site would be subject to international inspections, according to Western officials familiar with details of negotiations now underway. In return, Iran would be required to scale back the number of centrifuges it runs at its Natanz facility and accept other restrictions on nuclear-related work.
Instead of uranium, which can be enriched to be the fissile core of a nuclear weapon, any centrifuges permitted at Fordo would be fed elements such as zinc, xenon or germanium for separating out isotopes used in medicine, industry or science, the officials said. The number of centrifuges would not be enough to produce the amount of uranium needed to produce a weapon within a year — the minimum time-frame that Washington and its negotiating partners demand.
To place this in context, the Fordo facility started production in 2003 and despite Iranian assurances that it had revealed all its nuclear facilities was only revealed to exist in 2009 AFTER it was discovered by Western intelligence sources. Even the negotiators know this is a cave by Obama:
This type of concession would allow Iran to continue work related to its nuclear weapons program, even under the eye of international inspectors. If Iran removes inspectors—as it has in the past—it would be left with a nuclear infrastructure immune from a strike by Western forces.
“Once again, in the face of Iran’s intransigence, the U.S. is leading an effort to cave even more toward Iran—this time by whitewashing Tehran’s decades of lying about nuclear weapons work and current lack of cooperation with the [International Atomic Energy Agency],” said one Western source briefed on the talks but who was not permitted to speak on record.
With the White House pressing to finalize a deal, U.S. diplomats have moved further away from their demands that Iran be subjected to oversight over its nuclear infrastructure.
“Instead of ensuring that Iran answers all the outstanding questions about the past and current military dimensions of their nuclear work in order to obtain sanctions relief, the U.S. is now revising down what they need to do,” said the source. “That is a terrible mistake—if we don’t have a baseline to judge their past work, we can’t tell if they are cheating in the future, and if they won’t answer now, before getting rewarded, why would they come clean in the future?”
This deal is so bad that even corrupt Democrats can’t stand it:
[mc_name name=’Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000639′ ], senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said such a compromise demonstrates that the U.S. is negotiating “any deal for a deal’s sake.”
“An undue amount of trust and faith is being placed in a negotiating partner that has spent decades deceiving the international community,” denying inspectors access and actively destabilizing the region, he said.
As negotiations stand, the number of centrifuges would grow to more than 6,000, when the other site is included. Olli Heinonen, who was in charge of the Iran nuclear file as a deputy director general of the U.N’s International Atomic Energy Agency until 2010, says even 6,000 operating centrifuges would be “a big number.”
Asked of the significance of hundreds more at Fordo, he said, “Every machine counts.”
Iran reported the site to the IAEA six years ago in what Washington says was an attempt to pre-empt President Barack Obama and the prime ministers of Britain and France going public with its existence a few days later. Tehran later used the site to enrich uranium to a level just a technical step away from weapons-grade until late 2013, when it froze its nuclear program under a temporary arrangement that remains in effect as the sides negotiate.
Winston Churchill once observed that “Jaw-jaw is better than war-war.” He was correct as long as “jaw-jaw” is not a delaying tactic to allow a side intent on “war-war” to increase their strength.
In Tehran last week, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that even if there is a nuclear deal with the six-power group, Iran and the U.S. would remain foes in the region despite efforts by both countries to contain the rise ofIslamic State.
“Their goals are totally different than ours in the region,” Mr. Khamanei said.
The Obama administration seems incapable of understanding this basic principle. Iran is a terrorist state. It is committed to both regional dominance and the acquisition of a nuclear weapon. It is not a negotiating partner. It is a dangerous opponent bent on the destruction of US influence and allies. We should not be allowing them to have a nuclear weapon.