To whom it may concern, in the wake of Tuesday’s announced agreement on Iran’s nuclear weapons program…
First, what basis has there ever been for a deal on Iranian nukes? Is this not a country with whom a state of war has existed since 1979? Perhaps it requires an Ivy League doctorate in foreign relations to understand such questions, but conducting an agreement with a hostile power bent on the destruction of America and its allies would seem to be futile unless it addressed the hostility in the first place, no?
Iran has, it is inarguable, prosecuted a ceaseless war of opportunity against the United States since the overthrow of the Shah. The Iranians opened those hostilities with the taking of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, followed that hostile act with the taking of American hostages in Beirut by its proxies during the 1980s, engaged in naval warfare with us in the Persian Gulf in the early 1990s to their great detriment, bombed American servicemen stationed in Saudi Arabia and Beirut, fought a continuous proxy war against our ally Israel through Hezbollah and Hamas for most of the past three decades, and killed Americans with roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan. This in addition to wholesale support for international terrorism from a wide array of sources; in fact, no other country on earth has promoted jihadist terror against America and the West on Iran’s scale since 1979.
Were any of Iran’s hostile activities bargained away in this negotiation? Has Iran’s diplomatic posture vis-à-vis the United States changed as a result of this deal? If so, it would be nice to see evidence. Instead, we’ve only seen continued “Death To America!” street theater courtesy of the Iranian government.
Without a fundamental change in Iran’s posture toward the United States and Israel, it would seem foolish to expect the Iranians to abide by the terms of any deal struck with us on arms. What basis is given for American trust in Iran’s compliance with such a deal?
Has Iran agreed to destroy weapons facilities? Is it handing over equipment? To whom? We are told it must shut down two-thirds of its centrifuges; why aren’t those machines being boxed up and shipped away? We’re told the weapons facility at Arak is to be repurposed to produce less plutonium; why isn’t it being shuttered?
We’re told Iran must submit to an intrusive inspections regime, but not the “anytime, anywhere” regime Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry opened the negotiations with an insistence upon.
Are we at least, as a show of good faith, getting the release of the four Americans known to be unjustly held in Iranian prisons as hostages? Why is there no release for Pastor Saeed Abedini, whose only crime was that he was an American Christian preaching his faith inside Iran’s borders?
What deliverables are we getting from this deal? Are there any? We know that Iran now gets to sell its oil on the open market, that an arms embargo against it will be lifted in five years, a ban on ballistic missiles lifted in eight years, and that some $100 billion in frozen assets are now available for Iranian use. Are there any guarantees that money won’t be deposited into the coffers of Hezbollah and Hamas, or the Houthis, or the Afghan Taliban? How will those guarantees be secured?
Did Obama and Kerry just make a deal which gives Iran the right to sell oil and engage in finance as a nation in good standing with the world while building ICBM’s in eight years and nuclear bombs in 15 — with not even so much as the four American hostages held in Iranian jails coming home?
What guarantees, or even theories, do Obama and Kerry offer to dispel the obvious expectation that a legitimately sanctioned Iranian nuclear program won’t set off a nuclear arms race in the Middle East? Why would anyone expect the Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians, Turks, Bahrainians, Kuwaitis, or Armenians not to pursue nuclear weapons now?
There should be no expectation of satisfactory answers to any of these questions; American leadership with honest fealty to American interests would either easily have them ready or else it would have abandoned the negotiations months ago. For Obama, despite a puddle of lies to the effect that he recognized a bad deal was worse than no deal, it’s plain he has chosen the bad deal, and as a result there is little reason to even ask whether his judgment is motivated by incompetence or something more sinister. We know mere incompetence can’t explain this agreement, which raises the question what role Valerie Jarrett, the White House advisor of uncertain portfolio and Iranian birth, played in crafting it.
But as to the role of incompetence, here’s a question for Bob Corker, the Tennessee Republican Senator whose bill purports to put the Iran deal under congressional scrutiny but merely subjects rejection to the status of congressional legislation that can be vetoed by the president. Why pass such a bill when Obama now directly threatens such a veto? Why not merely regard the agreement as a treaty subject to Senate ratification? Isn’t this merely the Capitol Hill Republican Failure Theater we’ve come to know and despise?
Who shall we blame when Iran violates the agreement and rains nukes down on Tel Aviv, starting a Middle East nuclear holocaust? Who shall we blame when an Iranian nuke explodes in the high atmosphere over the East Coast, setting off an EMP that returns some large portion of our country to the mid-19th century? Will it be Obama’s fault, or Corker’s, or that of Obama’s Republican successor?