Barack Obama’s top foreign policy objective from the time he declared his candidacy for the White House in February 2007 was to engage with Iran for the purpose of negotiating a nuclear agreement. He told Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes:
I think that the notion that this administration has — that not talking to our enemies is effective punishment — is wrong. It flies in the face of our experiences during the Cold War. Ronald Reagan understood that it may be an evil empire, but it’s worthwhile for us to periodically meet to see are there areas of common interest.
Of course, what Obama ignores is that Reagan engaged with Mikhail Gorbachev, not Leonid Brezhnev, not Yuri Andropov, nor Konstanin Chernenko. Reagan engaged with Gorbachev because of glasnost and perestroika. Gorbachev created a political environment in the Soviet Union that emphasized liberalization (in the classical sense of the term) and de-emphasized anti-Americanism. It was this environment that gave Reagan the opening necessary to negotiate the INF Treaty.
Well, Iran has no Gorbachev much less the Persian equivalent for perestroika. Iranians can only choose the leaders the Mullahs see fit to run. That President Rouhani is treated by the Obama administration with more legitimacy than Benjamin Netanyahu is contemptible. But what else can one expect of President Obama? He saw fit to negotiate with an Iranian regime that is as anti-American as the day it seized the U.S. Embassy in 1979. Indeed, at this very moment, Iran is holding four Americans in captivity.
The fate of those four Americans, the human rights situation in Iran, not to mention Iran’s status as the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism didn’t enter into it for President Obama. All Obama wanted was an agreement, any agreement with Iran. This is evident from the fact that the June 30th deadline for a final agreement was extended four times. Although the Obama administration threatened to walk away from the table it never did. It was desperate and Iran knew this all too well.
Still there’s a good chance this agreement may get President Obama yet another Nobel Peace Prize he doesn’t deserve. He declared, “We have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region.” On the contrary, this agreement will ensure a nuclear arms race in the region. Aside from Israel expanding its nuclear arsenal, the Gulf Arab states will see fit to develop their own nuclear technology. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration acts as a surrogate for Iran. With the Obama administration in this role, this agreement won’t quell Iran’s ambitions, nuclear and otherwise. It will encourage them. Iran’s authority in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and now Yemen has been entrenched. What is to prevent Iran from expanding its sphere of influence elsewhere in the region?
The Obama administration will brag about the 10-year limit on nuclear production and the 15-year limit on access to nuclear equipment and fuel. Iran has been granted the right to do something that we don’t allow allies like South Korea to do — enrich uranium. Sanctions are to be removed against Iran by next year. But don’t worry, the Obama administration assures us. There is the snapback provisions in which sanctions could be snapped back into place if Iran violates the agreement. Yet this is highly unlikely since Iran will be sitting on the dispute resolutions committee that will determine if Iran has violated the agreement. Once sanctions are gone, they aren’t coming back.
But what about Congress? Can’t it nix this deal? Not very likely. As Andy McCarthy argued last April, the Corker Bill guarantees that the deal goes through:
To summarize, the Constitution puts the onus on the president to find 67 Senate votes to approve an international agreement, making it virtually impossible to ratify an ill-advised deal. The Corker bill puts the onus on Congress to muster 67 votes to block an agreement.
Under the Constitution, Obama’s Iran deal would not have a prayer. Under the Corker bill, it would sail through.
With Congress having abdicated its responsibilities, the Iran nuclear agreement is a fait accompli. It ensures that Iran is entrenched as a regional power in the Middle East and gives it room for expansion. It means more political repression in Iran and it also means the four Americans held captive in Iran stay there unless Iran is feeling generous one day. Oh yes, it will build a nuclear weapon and once it does let us not be surprised if it sees fit to use it against Israel.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Iran nuclear deal represents a 21st century version of the Munich Agreement. God help us.