Saturday, July 18, 2015

Straw Man

Reading Roger Cohen is a waste of time that may kill brain cells (if certain experiments on mice translate into humans). I haven't read him in a long time. He hasn't gotten any better as he turns his attention to Iran.

We're fully into "this bad deal is better than no deal" territory after the false spring of "no deal is better than a bad deal" defense of negotiator integrity:

So what do the critics, from Republican presidential hopefuls to the Israeli government, seek in place of the deal with Iran that verifiably blocks Tehran’s path to a nuclear weapon for at least the next 10 to 15 years? Presumably, they want what would have happened if negotiations had collapsed. That would be renewed war talk as an unconstrained Iran installs sophisticated centrifuges, its stockpile of enriched uranium grows, Russia and China abandon the sanctions regime, moderates in Iran like Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are sidelined, and a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic draws closer. [emphasis added]

But Iran would not be unconstrained absent this deal:

On July 14, the president explained, "Without this deal there would be no agreed-upon limitations for the Iranian nuclear program.” And the next day, he ridiculed “the alternative, no limits on Iran's nuclear program, no inspections.”

This is patently false. The last council Iran sanctions resolution, 1929, adopted on June 9, 2010, requires the IAEA to report “on whether Iran has established full and sustained suspension of all activities” that were set out in prior sanctions resolutions.

After receiving a report, Resolution 1929 set up [a] scenario for lifting sanctions, temporarily or permanently. ...

So has Iran satisfied the conditions for suspending or terminating the Security Council resolutions? The answer is a resounding no – from the mouth of the IAEA itself.

On May 29, 2015, the IAEA produced a report on Iran that lays out – for the umpteenth time – “Iran is conducting a number of activities…which are in contravention of its obligations to suspend all enrichment related activities and heavy water related projects.”

Why would the Security Council sanctions resolutions suddenly disappear when they specifically require Iranian compliance that has not been forthcoming? The answer is: they wouldn’t. The council sanctions only disintegrate if the Obama administration does the leg work for Iran and has them rescinded.

And yet Secretary Kerry lectured the deal’s non-believers in Vienna: “United Nations Resolution 1929…says specifically that if Iran comes to negotiate – not even get a deal, but comes to negotiate – sanctions would be lifted.”

Sanctions Resolution 1929 says no such thing. Sanctions get lifted if, and only if, the IAEA verifies Iran has suspended all enrichment-related and other activities – which the IAEA has not done (and will never do under the agreement).

We have the resolutions in place and the veto power to defend those sanctions. Just as we worry that Russia or China could veto new sanctions, we can defend existing sanctions as the basis of continuing to pressure Iran.

Sure, Russia, China, and others could violate the sanctions. But do nuclear deal defenders really want to stand on the ground of the ability of nations to undermine deals on paper?

Read it all. War was not the automatic alternative to walking away from this deal.

Based on Iran's actions without a deal, it could have been--and still may be unless this deal is just a way to ease us into accepting Iranian nuclear weapons--the only way to stop Iran.

Even if the deal really does prevent mullah-run Iran from getting nukes in the next decade, time flies when you are pretending to have solved a problem.

How'd that 1994 deal to stop North Korea from getting nuclear weapons go, anyway?

Cohen says that "the door to Iran opens" with this deal with Iran.

That's exactly my worry. We can live with Iran as an ally. We did before nutballs took over the country. But we can't live with mullah-run Iran as an ally.

And we'll find out what trying to live with a nuclear-armed nutball-run Iran is like.