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NETANYAHU HOPES KISSINGER & SHULTZ WILL SWAY CONGRESSS ON IRAN

Former Israeli Defense Minister Barak: 'U.S. should give Iran ultimatum or else!'

Dr. Henry Kissinger speaking to the Senate (photo credit: C-Span)

 Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, the two deans of U.S. foreign policy, have gutted President Barack Obama's nuclear understandings with Iran. In a devastating critique in the Wall Street Journal, the two professors give Obama an 'F' in foreign policy. Chapter and verse, they dissected clause after clause of the accord hammered out by Secretary of State John Kerry and the other members of the P5+1 and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Lausanne. When Shultz and Kissinger were finished, Obama and Kerry looked like rank amateurs in coping with the Iranians:

"Iran has gradually turned the negotiations on its head – the West has felt the need to break every deadlock with a new proposal."

 The two former secretaries then shoot down nearly every aspect of the nuclear understandings:

  • Verification - due to vagueness and complexity will not be effective.
  • Iran gives up none of its nuclear equipment and facilities or possession of fissile material - it only places them under temporary restriction and safeguard.
  • Doubtful if IAEA is up to daunting task of verification in light of Iran's numerous facilities and ample experience in nuclear concealment.
  • Violations will be inherently difficult to deter.
  • Likelihood that nuclear breakout will not be a clear-cut event but rather by gradual accumulation of ambiguous evasions.
  • Disagreements are inevitable over the scope and intrusiveness of inspections.
  • Undertaking of 'snap back' of sanctions is unlikely to be clear or automatic.
  • ARAK heavy water reactor that produces weapons grade plutonium: '…when suspect activity was identified but played down in the interest of a positive negotiating atmosphere is not encouraging'.
  • New foreign commercial interests with Iran will militate against re-imposing of sanctions, leaving America isolated.
Iran's new and improved centrifuges for uranium enrichment.

 So much for the difficulty in enforcing the nuclear accord; and it gets worse - after the expiration of the agreement in a decade, Kissinger and Shultz contended that Iran could become a significant nuclear, industrial and military power. It will have a latent capacity to weaponize at a time of its choosing. Bear in mind there are no limits on Iran's research and development, enabling it to bolster its nuclear potential and rapidly deploy more advanced centrifuges (for uranium enrichment much faster - DE). There is also the question of reducing the 10,000 kilograms of enriched uranium to 300 kilograms.


 
The Obama-Kerry gambit will open the door to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.

 All the while Iran's neighbors will see it as a prelude to an even more dangerous permanent fact of life. America will be viewed as conceding a nuclear military capability to the country they consider to be their principal threat. Some will insist on at least an equivalent nuclear capability - Saudi Arabia has already, and others are likely to follow. In other words, the Obama-Kerry gambit will open the door to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.


 The two former secretaries then consider the possibility of the U.S. extending a nuclear umbrella to its allies in the Middle East - it would be far too complex to contemplate seriously. Neither were they convinced the nuclear accord would lead to closer cooperation between America and Iran, although they were combating the common enemy of ISIS. 


"Rather than enabling America's disengagement from the Middle East, the nuclear framework is more likely to necessitate deepening involvement there on complex new terms."

 Shultz and Kissinger noted that some senior Iranian officials describe the nuclear negotiations as 'a form of Jihad by other means'. And even while the final stages were being hammered out in Lausanne, the Iranians were intensifying their military efforts to expand their power in neighboring states such as Yemen, and threatening the strategic strait of Bab-al-Mandeb. The lifting of sanctions would further empower Iran's hegemonic efforts. And if President Obama hopes that the nuclear agreement will allow the U.S. to retreat from the region, he had better think again:

"Rather than enabling America's disengagement from the Middle East, the nuclear framework is more likely to necessitate deepening involvement there on complex new terms."

 

 So much for the Kissinger-Shultz assessment of what the White House hopes to showcase as President Obama's crowning glory of his second term. The question now is what impact it will have on the U.S. Senate, which is engaged in a tight tug-of-war on whether to support Obama on the nuclear deal that the two respected secretaries portrayed as a virtual nuclear debacle. Obviously it gives the Republicans more ammunition to fire at Obama, while some Democrats, who have been sitting on the fence, may now decide they want no part in what is turning out to be a foreign policy farce of historic consequences. It could muster enough opponents in the Senate for the 67-vote majority to bar lifting the sanctions. In any case, it will force Obama and Kerry to take a tougher stand in the final round of talks with the Iranians to be concluded by June 30th.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Photo: Amit Shabi)

 In hauling the nuclear deal over the coals, the two former Republican secretaries of state did not offer a plan of their own. However, Ehud Barak, a former Israeli defense minister, has recommended what should be done. Interviewed on CNBC, Barak has refuted Obama's position that a 'world war' is the only alternative to his nuclear agreement:

"The U.S. should tell Iran to dismantle its military nuclear facilities or else! It is not too late. All the enriched material should be moved out of Iran, the Fordo facility closed, and a stop put to all nuclear weaponization. If all is not agreed upon, the alternative would not be an all out war like in Iraq or Afghanistan. Technically the Pentagon and the U.S. armed forces have extremely effective means to destroy Iran's military nuclear capability in the fraction of one night. In the spectrum between the war in Iraq and killing of Osama bin Laden, it would be more like the U.S. operation to kill bin Laden."

 
No matter what one thinks of Bibi Netanyahu, George Shultz and Henry Kissinger have now backed the Israeli leader's case that the budding nuclear deal will be a monumental disaster.

 IDF Col. (ret) Yigal Carmon, an Israeli expert on Iran's nuclear project, heads the MEMRI website which follows closely what Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and other officials are telling the Iranian people. Contrary to what President Obama and Secretary Kerry are saying, the Iranians have declared that nuclear activities at all facilities will not be halted or suspended. These include Natanz, Fordo, Isfahan and ARAK. The Lausanne understandings are no more than a smoke screen. The Iranians are playing the White House, which is now engaged in preventing Congress from continuing the sanctions. Carmon advises Netanyahu to carry on exposing the nuclear deal as a colossal scam that has duped Obama and Kerry.


 No matter what one thinks of Bibi Netanyahu, George Shultz and Henry Kissinger have now backed the Israeli leader's case that the budding nuclear deal will be a monumental disaster. But will their common sense assessment succeed in overcoming Barack Obama's determined rhetoric in the arena of American public opinion?

 

 


David Essing

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