We stand on the brink:
Iran and major powers are close to agreement on a 2- or 3-page accord with specific numbers that would form the basis of a long-term settlement aimed at ending a 12-year standoff over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, officials said on Friday.
Page 1: Iran pretends to not have a nuclear weapons program.
Page 2: We pretend to believe Iran.
Page 3: Sanctions are lifted.
And here's where the confusion starts:
U.S. and Iranian diplomats gather at a Baroque palace in Europe, a historic nuclear agreement within reach. Over Iraq's deserts, their militaries fight a common foe. Leaders in Washington and Tehran, capitals once a million miles from each other in ideological terms, wrestle for the first time in decades with the notion of a rapprochement.
No! This is not a rapprochement. Not even if you affect a French accent--and the French to their credit are not that deluded.
Iran considers us their enemy. And if we grant them a deal that keeps America's planes and missiles out of Iran's skies while opening the spigot to Iran's economy, Iran will get the nuclear weapons that they believe are necessary to keep their enemy at bay and even push us out of the Middle East.
If Iran is still pondering our offer, it is surely because they are furiously debating what our terms mean.
Oh, I'm sure they recognize it paves the way for their nuclear weapons program to proceed. They can read.
What they are debating boils down to one side being those "pragmatists" who insist that the Great Satan would never be so stupid, and so their must be some deep Devilish trick designed to destroy Iran.
They'll say that President Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize before he knew where all the bathrooms were in the White House for his potential for nuclear disarmament, and we're to believe he is blessing our nuclear path to achieve a "legacy" that will last only until we set off a nuke? Do you think we're stupid?
(Even boot lickers like Vox will have trouble accepting the Earnest/Psaki/Harf spin that the nuclear detonation is proof that the policy is a success. Tip to Instapundit.)
On the other side are the "mission from God" types who insist the agreement that grants every wish is a sign that Allah is with them and has delivered this deal to the true believers of Iran after their many decades of suffering so that Iran can finally smite the Great Satan. Do you lack faith in Allah?
So at one level, we may be saved by the Iranians who refuse to accept that they can get a good deal right now. The Iranians may believe that they have two more years of an ineffective and irresolute Obama administration to get closer to nuclear weapons, so why why risk the poison pill hidden by the crafty Great Satan? Do you really believe Kerry is as stupid as he looks and sounds?
Or we may be saved by France leading the Europeans who have started to get a little nervous about the way we are driving this nuclear bus (tip to Instapundit):
During the negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program, reports have leaked indicating simmering tensions between the United States and its European partners, especially France, but England and Germany as well. Despite public insistence on the their unanimity in these protracted negotiations, significant if subtle differences in their strategies toward Iran and their long-term goals point to fault lines within the trans-Atlantic partnership. The US and Western Europe are not fully aligned with respect to their grand strategy.
Who knows? The Europeans may see us as an unreliable ally, with the Obama administration release of Israeli nuclear secrets (old, but still significant) demonstrating that we will screw even a close ally if they stand in the president's way (what's the curse about being careful about what you wish for?).
[UPDATE: This seems appropriate now:
Stupid cowboy Americans.]
The Europeans may not trust us to protect them, figuring that Iran will have the ability to nuke Europeans first and so buy us time to go after Iran before we are a target.
Or the Europeans may be too weak to see any other way than to simply go along and pretend all is well.
So it is all up in the air.
Perhaps our own eagerness to get the Iranians to sign (I can see Kerry trying to press the pen into Iranian fingers and attempting to force a signature) will just scare the Hell out of the Iranians that this is all a deep trick that they must not fall for. We're out of here, spawn of Satan!
Or perhaps God really is on Iran's side and our president is His will made into flesh to allow Iran to go nuclear.
Have a nice day.
UPDATE: Good Lord, the Dumb and Dumber pair are still fluffing their delusion; and Pat Buchanan also sees Iran under the mullahs as our natural ally.
If Iran is such a natural ally, why would it take so much work to make sure they don't get nukes to threaten us?
It's pure madness out there.
UPDATE: Israel is not happy over the deal as it appears to be taking shape:
"This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that," Netanyahu told his cabinet in Jerusalem as the United States, five other world powers and Iran worked toward a March 31 deadline in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Noting advances made by Iranian-allied forces in Yemen and other Arab countries, Netanyahu accused the Islamic republic of trying to "conquer the entire Middle East" while moving toward nuclearization.
"The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous to humanity, and must be stopped," he said.
Yes. Lausanne is where the
Defenders of the deal call it a rapprochement with Iran. But it isn't. Nor is it a "Nixon goes to China moment."
Iran is doing what it has long done under mullah rule--undermine regional states by arming Shia opposition and seeking nuclear weapons--and we are now saying that we don't mind that so much.
That is called capitulation. It is a "Chamberlain goes to Munich" moment.