Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I'm So Prescient, I Scare Even Myself

I don't know how long I've been repeating my basic position on the final nuclear deal with Iran. I've said it so often you probably wish I'd just get on with it. You get my point. But now John Kerry verifies my charge.

Yes, I keep saying that the basic deal can be described in far fewer pages than the actual deal (and whatever secret side deals there are): Iran pretends not to have nuclear weapons programs; and we pretend to believe them.

Behold the pretending:

Asked by Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) to respond to a recent statement by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that the agreement would not stop Iran’s nuclear program, Kerry advanced a defense of the Iranian dictator notable for its astoundingly tortured logic:

KERRY: And do you know why he’s saying that? Because he doesn’t believe the Americans stopped them, he believes he stopped them because he issued a fatwa, and he has declared the policy of their country is not to do it. So he is, as a matter of sovereignty and pride, making a true statement. He doesn’t believe the Americans stopped them. He said they didn’t want to get one in the first place.

In other words, Iran already stopped its nuclear program; hence the nuclear deal stops nothing.

This is close to "they had a nuclear weapons program before they didn't have the nuclear program" territory.

Remember, this administration defends the deal by saying it is the only way to stop Iran from going nuclear in the next decade. That's the point of the deal.

So Iran pretends not to have a deal; and Kerry leads the administration in pretending to believe them.

Which is aided by a vague, non-public side deal that is supposed to--but never will--clear up past Iranian nuclear weapons work.

Have a super sparkly day. If you can pretend.

UPDATE: Pretending about Iran's nuclear future depended on a practice run for the past:

Tehran based its entire negotiating position on the claim that the nuclear program was entirely peaceful: The regime didn’t want a bomb, would never want a bomb, and thus never worked on a bomb. ...

As late as June, State Department spokesman John Kirby explained that “access is very, very critical. It’s always been critical from day one; it remains critical.”

The reason access is critical is because without establishing what nuclear work the Iranians have done in the past, especially the PMDs, it’s impossible to know whether or not Iran is abiding by the agreement. In other words, without resolving the PMD issue, any inspection and verification regime is virtually meaningless.

And yet the White House is now saying that Iran’s past work doesn’t matter. What’s important, said Kirby in a press conference today, and echoing Kerry, is not what Iran did or might have done in the past, but rather what their nuclear program is going to look like in the future.

Besides, as Kerry has claimed, in an attempt to cover all the bases, the administration has “absolute knowledge” of what the Iranians did previously.
Iran pretends they never had nuclear weapons programs; and we pretend it doesn't matter if Iran admits past nuclear work.

Which of course will undermine any future efforts to punish Iran for cheating on this deal. Iran can insist that any violations are merely technical in nature or a difference of opinion on terms. And since the deal goes along with Iran's position that they don't have a nuclear weapons program, anyway, what's the big deal if Iran violates the deal to get cheap and clean nuclear energy more quickly?