Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Historic Iran deal! Wait…What’s that odor?

The world celebrates. The six brave nations of the P5+1 have done the impossible! They’ve convinced Iran to sign an agreement that will end Iran’s military nuclear program!

The world is ecstatic. The BBC exclaims, “Iran nuclear talks: 'Historic' agreement struck”, (July 14, 2015). Everyone else echoes the same theme: historic deal (Associated Press)…breakthrough nuclear deal (Financial Times)…historic pact (NBC News)…triumph for diplomacy (Channel 4 News).

At last, the world can breathe a sigh of relief. This deal is near-perfect: it ensures that Iran will not get nuclear weapons (“Iran, major powers agree historic nuclear deal”, Arab News, July 14, 2015)… The deal puts strict limits on Iran’s nuclear activities for at least a decade and calls for stringent UN oversight (ibid) world powers hope this deal will make an Iranian atomic bomb virtually impossible….Tehran has actually accepted allowing a UN atomic watchdog to get access to military bases [emphasis mine] (Jay Solomon, et al,“Iran, World Powers Prepare to Sign Off on Nuclear Accord”, Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2015...this is a ‘win-win’ for everyone (Arutz Sheva)…this deal meets every single ‘bottom-line’ established by the US when these negotiations began (Arutz Sheva).

This deal appears to do everything the world wanted. The Iran bomb will be blocked. There will be strict oversight. Military bases will be inspected.

But wait. Is the world’s celebrating with a little too much joy too soon? Is the world’s praise for this deal just a little bit off-target?

Look at what this deal hides. First, that access to military bases referred to above won’t be open-ended. It will be ‘tightly controlled’ (Al Arabiya, ibid). It will be ‘managed’ (ibid). The original standard of "anytime, anywhere’ inspections has now been replaced with ‘managed access’, meaning Iran will have a say in how, when and where international inspectors will gain access to its military facilities (Eli Lake, “[US] House Intel Chairman says deal paves way for Iran bomb”, Newsday, July 14, 2015). How can this deal provide ‘verifiable’ compliance when Iran controls the inspection process?

Second, this deal requires more talk before an actual agreement can be signed. There are still significant unresolved issues, including the major issue of whether Iran has truly upheld its previous agreements to shrink its nuclear infrastructure.

Third, the technical gap between the two sides hasn’t yet been bridged (Al Arabiya, above). The only thing the two sides have agreed to is to continue discussing this gap.

This is an ‘historic’ agreement? It’s more a half-baked agreement. As Al Arabiya reports, an agreement isn’t an agreement until both sides actually sign something—and that signature ceremony keeps getting postponed (Dr Majid Rafizedah , “Historic Iranian nuclear deal reached, but what comes next?”, Al Arabiya, July 14, 2015). These talks are far from over.

Nevertheless, both European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and US President Barack Obama described this deal in terms of ‘hope’ (Parisa Hafezi, et al, “Iran deal reached, Obama hails step towards 'more hopeful world'”, Reuters, July 14, 2015). It’s “a sign of hope for the entire world" Mogherini said…It’s “a step towards a ‘more hopeful world’, Obama said (ibid).

This is such a good deal, Obama declared, that every path to a nuclear weapon will be cut off for Iran (Claire Phipps and Matthew Weaver, “Iran nuclear deal: historic agreement in Vienna – live updates”, The Guardian, July 14, 2015).

Israel doesn’t believe it. Netanyahu still believes that this deal won't cut off the path to an Iranian bomb, it will build that path to that bomb (Nora Kelly, “Benjamin Netanyahu: 'World Is a Much More Dangerous Place' With Iran Deal”, NationalJournal, July 14, 2015). Arab Gulf states, meanwhile, are too suspicious to jump for joy like the rest of the world (Linsey Hilsum, “Today’s Iran deal is a triumph for international diplomacy”, Channel 4 News, July 14, 2015). A nuclearized Iran threatens their survival. Alone among the world’s reactions, these Gulf states were for the most part uniquely silent during the first ten hours after the ‘deal’ was announced.

If these Arab states think this deal is a sham, the deal won’t ‘bring new hope to the world’. It’ll bring a nuclear arms race to the Middle East (David Ritz, “Engel: ‘Very Possible’ Iran Nuclear Deal Sets off Arms Race in Middle East, U.S. is ‘Taking a Gamble’”, Washington Free Beacon, July 14, 2015).

Something smells. There’s too much about this deal that’s uncertain, if not downright troubling, for the world to celebrate. Why is the world so eager to jump with joy?

The world, particularly the West, is afraid, not joyous. It’s terrified of the world’s most powerful terror regime. It fears what Iran might do if talks ended without sanctions being lifted.

Only Israel and Arabs nearest Iran lack that fear. Will this deal bring Arabs and Jews together? (Ariel Ben Solomon, “Iran deal could lead to improved covert Arab-Israel cooperation”, Jerusalem Post, July 13, 2015). Could this deal become ‘historic’ only because it’ll blow up in the world’s proverbial face?

You can tell this 'deal' is no deal. it's got an evil smell of failure all over it.

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