Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Bad Deal

Here is a very clear editorial published today by The Times of London.
>From a military perspective Saudi Arabia is looking a more likely ally than the US.
Obama is so desperate to close a deal and have a diplomatic victory that he is going get jammed: the Iranians are far from stupid.
It needs no further comments. It says it all, clearly and strongly. Let us hope that this bad deal will never be signed.
A Bad Deal
Iran is outwitting the West in nuclear talks at Lausanne
    March 30 2015  <http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/>

If a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme is clinched in the coming days, it will be hailed as a diplomatic breakthrough. It will be nothing of the kind. Judging by leaks from the negotiating table, Tehran has not done enough to allay suspicions that it intends eventually to produce nuclear weapons.
Worse, if the framework agreement is signed on the basis of current drafts it will contribute to a reckless recasting of the US position in the Middle East. Iran would be upgraded to the status of regional ally, while Israel, whose fears have been largely ignored during a year of diplomacy, would be awarded the status of regional irritant.
These are unintended consequences of the broader failure of the Obama administration’s policies in the Middle East. Plainly President Obama is not actively seeking a nuclear Iran. Rather he wants to reduce the chances of the United States, or Israel, having to launch a pre-emptive attack against Tehran. The diplomatic aim of the US and its five negotiating partners, including Britain, has thus been to cap the number of centrifuges capable of enriching uranium and limit to 12 months the time Iran would need to make a bomb.
The determination to notch up at least one success in Middle East peacemaking has, however, led Mr Obama to make ill-considered concessions in the belief that Iran is acting in good faith. The original negotiating aim of the US was to disable Iran’s uranium enrichment by restricting its centrifuges to between 500 and 1,500. The draft deal emerging out of talks in Switzerland suggests that Iran will instead cut its centrifuges from 10,000 to 6,000 at the Natanz site and operate 500 more in the fortified bunker in Fordow. The Fordow machines are supposed to be dedicated to medical and scientific purposes. In return for this, and for accepting strict verification procedures, Iran can expect the lifting of sanctions.
The deal is flawed. First, the Fordow plant can be quickly switched back to enriching uranium. Second, Iran has still not come clean to the International Atomic Energy Agency about its past attempts to develop nuclear weapons. This has made it difficult to determine whether secret programmes are continuing. Third, any arrangement hinges on transparency: Iranian readiness to accept snap inspections without let or hindrance. Finally, the supposedly comprehensive deal is set to run only for ten to twelve years.
It is therefore possible that Iran has made a conscious decision to prepare for nuclear “breakout” but not to go fully nuclear until 2025. Sanctions will be lifted. Tehran will prosper and spin an ever wider web of regional alliances that challenge Saudi Arabia and Israel. Its support for Hezbollah and Hamas, and its backing for the Assad regime and for the Shia militias in Iraq and the rebels in Yemen are only a foretaste of what is to come. Its clout will be increased by the knowledge of its nervous neighbours that it is on the cusp of becoming a nuclear power, and that the US is not willing to slow Iran’s ascent.
The agreement taking shape in Lausanne is based on the most generous possible reading of Iranian intentions, namely that the regime will make genuine concessions because it is desperate to be readmitted to the club of rational, benign states who crave nothing but peace in the Middle East. That is naive. Instead of containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, this deal may simply give Tehran carte blanche to plan a future with its own bomb.

No comments:

Post a Comment