Over the years I've been blogging, I've repeatedly noted stories that Iran was within a year or even less of being able to go nuclear. Yet Iran has never gone nuclear over that time. Why?
Because that time frame was based on technical capabilities and not a decision to use that capability. Iran did not make that decision. Why?
Well, if they aren't ready to go nuclear with all aspects of nuclear weapons technology and can't defend themselves adequately, why cross a "red line" that doesn't lead immediately to nukes yet will trigger an effective attack by Israel or perhaps the United States?
Having a sufficiently large stockpile of enriched Uranium has long been an obvious red line. Iran knows that:
The problem from Iran's point of view is that they can't know if crossing one of these lines could trigger an American or Israeli preemptive strike out of fear that further delay in attacking would be too late to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons. And if I was an Iranian nutball, I wouldn't assume the Americans and Israelis couldn't knock out my infrastructure. ...
We're not dealing with idiots. If the Iranian mullahs believe there are red lines that trigger Israeli or American action, why wouldn't they take counter-actions rather than just blindly cross those lines and provide a pretext for military action against them?
Iran has been stalling for time, voluntarily restraining themselves from crossing the enriched Uranium red line for a long time now to avoid a military attack and allow them to advance all the lines of research and production they need to be a nuclear weapons power.
And now President Obama and his clueless sidekick Secretary of State Kerry have deluded themselves that they have achieved a Nobel Peace Prize-worthy objective by enshrining in a deal a decade-long status quo of a long breakout time at the price of granting Iran the ability to make lots of money and get our help to advance other lines of research toward a nuclear weapon.
They truly believe this is Smart Diplomacy.
UPDATE: Iran turned over information on past nuclear weapons work:
"Iran today provided the IAEA with its explanation in writing and related documents as agreed in the road-map for the clarification of past and present outstanding issues regarding Iran's nuclear program," the IAEA said on Saturday, confirming Iran had met a deadline.Well, they turned over their innocent explanations for the work.
And they turned that over to the IAEA. Which I assume means that while the information isn't secret, we still can't see it.
UPDATE: Here's a guide to the deal. I neither endorse nor condemn it.