The Iranian nuclear deal for dummies

The story of ‘The bridge on the river Kwai’ is eerily parallel to Obama and Kerry’s cooperation with Iran

The first thing to understand about the Great Powers nuclear deal with Tehran is that it is designed to permit US President Barack Obama to exit the White House in January 2017 without having to use American military force against Iran. Otherwise the nuclear accord makes no sense. It is becoming more and more apparent that the accord lacks the teeth to convince Iran that it will pay an intolerable price if it crosses the nuclear threshold in the future. Dennis Ross, a former presidential adviser, contends that Washington must clarify this will spark a military response. In addition to a more aggressive posture, the US should even supply Israel with bunker busters and aircraft capable of destroying nuclear weapons targets. Ross makes no bones about it. Washington should inform Tehran that if she starts enriching uranium above the agreed limit, this would trigger an American military strike. But the opposite is happening.

Rather than Washington warning the Ayatollahs to comply, it is Tehran that is laying down the law. The Iranians have now barred American and Canadian nuclear inspectors from participating in the teams of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Every other day there is a new and preposterous revelation. Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that he was unaware of the details of the IAEA’s secret agreement for inspecting some of Iran’s nuclear sites. (Military bases are off limits without agreement on a 24-day advance notice). Looking rather perplexed, Kerry explained that the IAEA is an independent UN body and is empowered to conduct secret arrangements. Even Kerry was left in the dark.

No, apparently the U.S. Secretary of State was not joking. So his Iranian partners know the terms of the crucial inspections but the U.S. does not? How could Washington have signed a nuclear deal with Iran if it did not even know the details in the key element of nuclear inspections? There would appear to be only two reasonable explanations: either Kerry’s response was patently false, or Obama is not concerned about the nuclear inspections. His goal is to ram some kind of a deal through Congress. Forget about the details. Have you ever wondered why Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has been laughing his head of ever since the signing? Consider that the U.S. has committed to aiding Iran in protecting its nuclear activities from an external cyber attack reportedly mounted by Israel and the US, which set back Iran’s nuclear weapons project! So when they renew their nuclear weapons research, the US is supposed to help Iran protect it.

Remember British Col. Alec Guinness who helped his Japanese captors in ‘The ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ classic film from World War ll. Obama and Kerry are not far behind. I’m not kidding – this is the official text on page 142 of the nuclear agreement:

Co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear weapons threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems.

Obama’s deal with Iran = nuclear proliferation of Middle East

I must admit that Kerry seems so convinced the nuclear deal is good for Israel and the Sunni Arab states that I believe he has fallen victim to the Stockholm syndrome of identifying with his Iranian ‘captors’. Both Obama and Kerry are totally locked on to leaving it as their historic legacy. The Swedes granted Obama the Nobel Prize in advance; Kerry could be soon waiting in line. But the fact remains that although Obama and Kerry are trying hard to portray the accord as a diplomatic coup they are gambling with Israel’s survival and they should know it. This has prompted Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee to warn that it would ‘open the door to the ovens’. Yet Kerry had the gall to warn Israel to shut up or she would bear the blame if the agreement is blocked by the US Senate!

Meanwhile the Secretary has toured the Arab states trying to convince them that the deal is also great for them. Lots of luck. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and most of the Gulf States perceive the Shiite Ayatollahs in Iran as anathema; and rightly so. But now America is seen as opting with their fanatical Shiite foe, which seeks to dominate the Muslim world, and is currently backing an insurrection against Saudi Arabia. While Kerry will offer a ‘defensive umbrella’ of conventional weapons, they are more worried about America enabling Iran to become a nuclear power.

So will they sit still in the wake of Obama’s march to folly that has totally ignored their grave misgivings? On the contrary, the Iranian nuclear deal may trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Paradoxically, Obama’s reckless obsession with trying to contain a nuclear Iran could lead eventually to a far more dangerous nuclear proliferation in the region. But there is still the element of time, and thankfully, although he has hinted he would like to carry on, Obama’s days in the White House are numbered.

As for America’s allies in the 5P+1, Germany, France and Britain were just along for the ride and were prepared to follow the US’s lead. Indeed, they are more concerned about checking Russia’s aggressive designs nearer to home…

As for America’s allies in the 5P+1, Germany, France and Britain were just along for the ride and were prepared to follow the US’s lead. Indeed, they are more concerned about checking Russia’s aggressive designs nearer to home such as in Ukraine. Granted, Iran’s ballistic missiles, designed to carry nuclear warheads, may be in range of their capital cities, but the US intelligence community believes it will take several years before Iran’s ICBMs can target the Eastern seaboard of the ‘homeland’. By then Obama will be long gone.

In short, the West Europeans follow America’s lead in just about everything when it comes to their national security. But with a brutal enemy threatening to wipe it off the map with even one atomic bomb, Israel does not enjoy that luxury. Moreover, the West Europeans can count on Israel not to acquiesce in an Iranian breakout for A-bombs. As for Russia and China, they are cashing in on what is clearly President Obama’s grand design to disengage from the ‘Near East’ and concentrate on the mounting economic challenge of China in the Far East. And needless to say, America’s strategic dependence on Middle East oil has declined dramatically.

Do Arab states now depend more on Israel than they do on America, which they suspect has sold out to Iran?

Obama initiated his disengagement policy by degrading the ‘special relationship’ with Israel with his trip to Cairo that excluded Jerusalem. He followed that up by siding with the Palestinians and dispatching Secretary Kerry with a peace plan based on an ill-conceived withdrawal from the West Bank – one that lacked adequate security arrangements. (Imagine if the IDF had been pulled back from the Jordan River and nearly all the West Bank with Islamic State now threatening Jordan, an American ally. In fact, Israel has just supplied King Abdullah with combat helicopters to defend against the looming ISIS threat). Do Arab states now depend more on Israel than they do on America, which they suspect has sold out to Iran?

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