Monday, September 21, 2015

My Predictive Power is Slightly (But Tragically) Off

Back when the Iran nuclear deal was announced, I predicted Iran would release hostages to get the deal through Congress. I was almost right.

The nuclear deal is on, without even the need for a veto since Senate Democrats filibustered the effort to reject, contrary to the farcical legislation that deemed the deal not a treaty:

As time ran out for US lawmakers to halt the Iran nuclear deal Thursday, officials in Washington turned their attention to ensuring that Tehran lives up to its side of the bargain.

Senior administration officials said the "ball is in Iran's court" as it seeks to convince the international community its nuclear program has been halted, just short of the threshold of producing an atomic weapon.

Right off the bat, we see the administration is confused. This deal does not require Iran to convince the world of anything. Indeed, it requires us to prove Iran isn't abiding by the deal.

That's a massively big difference. In the former, any gray area is proof that Iran isn't living up to the deal and a trigger to punish Iran. In the latter, gray area is insufficient proof to wreck the glorious deal by punishing Iran.

But I digress.

In any case, my major prediction about passing the Iran deal is already wrong. I said I expected Iran to release 3 of the 4 American hostages they hold just before Congress votes in order to provide cover to Democrats to vote to sustain the deal:

Iran being Iran, they'll probably just release three and deny any knowledge of the fourth. Best to keep a hostage in reserve, eh?

So after a decent interval that Iran can use to deny there is any linkage, expect some hostages to come home, with a quick trip to the White House for a photo op.

I was totally off in thinking that Senate Democrats would need any help from Iran to get the deal passed without forcing the president to exercise his veto of legislation rejecting the deal (as the president and Congress committed to doing earlier in the year).

Also, while I was off on the timing, I was absolutely correct that Iran would release prisoners!

Iran has released five senior al Qaeda operatives from detention and will soon allow them to leave the country, prompting fears they will join other terrorists in Syria planning attacks on the West.

According to intelligence sources, three of the five are members of al Qaeda's ruling committee the Shura Council.

They were released in exchange for an Iranian diplomat kidnapped in Yemen earlier this year.

It's so odd that Iran waited until after the president began to implement the deal.

I see Iran is well down the path of being a responsible regional power!