Monday, May 19, 2014

Why Pretend When God is So Obviously On Your Side?

Iran's contempt for America may well save us from a bad nuclear deal.

Iran has set "red lines" that they will defend in the nuclear negotiations.

Three days of negotiations in the fourth round of Geneva discussions ended Friday in arguments and confrontations when the Iranian team presented their country’s new “red lines,” diminishing any hope by the Obama administration to claim victory in its approach to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, according to reports from Iran.

The wording is perhaps revealing by saying that the Obama administration cannot "claim" a victory in talks rather than writing that the administration cannot "achieve" a victory.

That's been my worry all along:

Well of course a deal is possible! Duh. All Iran has to do is pretend to end their drive for nuclear weapons and all we have to do is pretend to believe Iran. Simple, no?

Iran's "red line?"

• The expansion of Iranian nuclear research and development.

• The acceptance of Iran’s need for enrichment on a level that feeds the need of the country (the country has over 19,000 centrifuges, far more than is needed for peaceful nuclear purposes, and would like to expand).

• The preservation of the Arak heavy-water plant (the plant once operational could produce plutonium and serve the ruling clerics with a second path to nuclear weapons).

• No interference or limitation to the country’s military and defensive measures (the Islamic regime is under U.N. sanctions for developing ballistic missiles and it currently holds the largest missile stockpile in the Middle East with ranges capable of reaching as far as Europe).

• The removal of all sanctions at once as opposed to step-by-step relief (the U.N. resolutions and sanctions in place are the results of efforts by several U.S. administrations and over a decade of negotiations).

Is that all? Because what is left for Iran to give up? Commemorative coffee mugs and key chains to celebrate going nuclear?

The Iranian negotiator, Shariatmadari, who read out these "red lines" also said "These (red) lines, which the enemy had never expected to see, at first caused their disbelief and then their anger to the level of shouts and arguments."

"Enemy?" That's not terribly partner-like, is it? Aren't we just friends they haven't made yet?

And note that by calling their terms "red lines" the Iranians are just adding insult to injury by reminding the world of President Obama's red line over Iran's ally Assad using chemical weapons--which Syria is still using when we are perhaps just months away from completing the chemical deal with Assad.

But Iran's actions are welcome, as I also noted in that post where I worried we'd be willing to "claim" victory:

If we don't get a deal, I think it will be because Iran will save us by refusing such a framework. I really think that the Iranians may have such contempt for us that they won't even be willing to pretend to comply with the West's demands.

We've reached out and gone easy on Iran to make them think we can be their partner and perhaps even friend. But since Iran sees us as their enemy, going easy on Iran just raises their contempt for our power.

We recoil from war to prevent Iran from going nuclear. We'll get both, yet.