Saturday, March 28

NY Times: Nuke agreement with Iran may not even be written, may not specify numbers

For over a year Team Obama has been "negotiating" with Iran about their nuclear program.  Two supposed "deadlines" have come and gone without a deal being reached, but the Democrats smile, shrug it off and ask if we can start negotiating again--a move that tells everyone with a brain how eager they are to make a deal.  Any kind of deal.

In theory the Iranians should be the ones pressing for a deal, because their goal is to win the complete removal of all the economic sanctions carefully instituted by the West--penalties put in place precisely because Iran was running a nuclear program that had bomb-making potential.

But the side that's showing irrational eagerness for a deal is Obama's team.  And they're so eager that administration sources are now saying that this elusive but oh-so-critical "deal" may not even mention any specific numbers, or even produce anything in writing!

Of course you think I'm kidding, because how could any rational person believe a deal is worth a damn if it doesn't have specific, written terms?  But such is delusion under which Obama and company have been operating for the guy's whole time in office.

For liberals, here's how the Obama-loving N.Y. Times reports it:
In Nuclear Talks, Iran Seeks to Avoid Specifics
     NY Times, March 24, 2015 
If an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear capability is reached by the deadline seven days from now, one thing may be missing: an actual written accord, signed by the Iranians.

Recently Iran has increasingly resisted any kind of formal “framework” agreement at this stage in the negotiations, preferring a more general statement of “understanding” followed by a final accord in June.....

If so the U.S. and its partners may find themselves in the uncomfortable position of describing the accord as they understand it while the Iranians go home to offer their own version.

That poses a political challenge to the Obama administration, which is under pressure to present Iran’s commitments to a suspicious Congress by early April, in an effort to hold off the passage of sanctions or a bill that would require Congress to sign off on any agreement.

Just last week a senior American official involved in the negotiations said that the framework accord with Iran would have to be more than a declaration of intentions. Rather, it would have to contain a “quantifiable dimension.”

There is a lot to quantify, from the number of uranium-enriching centrifuges that would remain spinning to exactly how Iran would change the design of a reactor that is under construction to limit the production of plutonium, another pathway to a bomb. But Iran says it will not agree to such specifics, at least for now.

[A big problem is that] Republicans in Congress, along with a significant number of Democrats, took the March deadline for an agreement--announced by Mr. Kerry last November--as a [deadline].  If the Iranians would not provide specifics by then, many in Congress told the White House, it was a sign that Iran was deliberately dragging out the process and needed to be further pressured by new sanctions.

But Iran’s politics are running in the opposite direction. The country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has declared that he wants only one agreement, presumably the one in late June.

Iran’s top negotiator, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, has made it clear to his Western counterparts that keeping hard-liners in the country in check — including generals in the Revolutionary Guard Corps and powerful mullahs who dislike the idea of being limited by any accord — is a delicate art. His fear is that a deal that details Iranian compromises could give them an opening to scuttle a final deal.

Asked about the problem, an American official conceded that it was still unclear whether Iran would sign anything by next Tuesday. The official said that the United States and its allies would be “making clear with as much specificity as possible what’s been agreed to.” But the official said that “beyond that, we really have no idea,” and that much would be left to the technical annexes.

A senior administration official who was in Lausanne for the talks last week told reporters there that the United States still hoped to agree on specific limits by the end of March that define the parameters of a more detailed, comprehensive agreement that is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.

That is essentially what Mr. Kerry had envisioned last November — a two-step process that would demonstrate concrete progress to Congress and keep the process with the Iranians moving. At the time, the Iranian negotiators seemed on board.

But in early February, Ayatollah Khamenei, who has taken his own negotiators by surprise several times, said there would be only one agreement. That left the U.S. and its allies in an uncomfortable place. What was the March deadline all about if it was no longer a deadline in the Ayatollah’s eyes?

The American answer has been to plunge ahead. “I don’t see how [an agreement] could be meaningful without having some quantitative dimensions,” said the official, who could not be identified under the protocol for briefing reporters. “Otherwise, it’s not an executable program.”
If you're under 30 or so and not a political junkie you need to know that the emperor's aides routinely use the Lying Media to carefully, incrementally reveal things to the public that would be jarring or unfavorable to the emperor.  By leaking such things through anonymous "officials" weeks or months ahead of time, then when the same highly unfavorable or shocking terms are "discovered" by critics after the deal is done, the media can dismiss the revelations by claiming they're "old news."

As one of the emperor's henchmen put it on a Sunday talk show when asked if he'd changed a memo about the attack in Benghazi: "Dude, that was two years ago!"

Short answer: Obama will announce a faabulous deal with the Iranians that will absolutely, positively prevent them from getting an atomic bomb for a whole year.

    Q:  How will it do that?

    A:  Sorry, we can't reveal that.

    Q:  Well what does the agreement actually say?

    A:  Um, it's not written.

    Q:  What?? How can you have an agreement about something so lethal without it being written?

    A:  Because great leaders like our president and Iran's Supreme Ayatollah trust each other. 

    Q:  Wait, the Iranians supplied weapons to Iraqi hard-liners to kill Americans.  How can you trust them to honor an agreement--especially if it's not written?

    A:  You wouldn't ask that when Booosh was president.  You must be a raaaacist.

Just watch--when the agreement is announced, the Times and the WaPo and all the other major papers will minimize the significance of any of what they'll call "potentially troublesome details" in what will be described as a "framework agreement."  Oh they'll mention 'em, but the spin will be that any such nagging questions--raised nearly exclusively by "Republicans in congress" ("and a handful of  mostly southern Democrats"--nudge nudge, wink wink) will be, like, totally resolved in the final agreement at the end of June.

The rest of the spin will be that the U.S. would have been able to negotiate a much stronger, better agreement, but opposition and criticism of Obama by Republicans in congress limited the administration's flexibility.  So if this whole deal turns to shit, remember it's the Republicans' fault.

Meanwhile Obama will have removed the remaining sanctions--thus removing any incentive the Iranians had to make any real concessions.

But LOOK!  We have an Agreement!  All hail our faabulous emperor!  No one else could have done such a faabulous thing!  Peace!


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