The Mullahs Master Team Obama

If progressives love to ‘talk’ for the sake of ‘talking’, they should know that they’re being mastered by the ultra-realists Mullahs who seek to keep this ‘game’ going to essentially run out the clock while pursuing a nuclear break-out.

In exchange for essentially nothing, we up $2.8 Billion in hard cash.  Oh yeah, and both sides want to keep ‘talking’.

Friday’s briefing:  “We saw openings and progress and creative proposals that began to see a potential assurance that elements of the Iranian program could be assured as peaceful to our satisfaction.” As for the goal of talking, well. . . “this is used to create a space for a comprehensive deal.”

For the hawks in the room, let me translate this ephemeral talk:  there are complex formulas to keep Iran’s production of nuclear fuel below thresholds where the Mullahs could achieve a breakout toward a bomb.  Much of this relates to technical requirements about uraniun enrichment, oxidation, centrifuge types and other arcana that OBSCURE the central issue.  Will a final deal put a bomb out of Iran’s reach, or will it give the Iranians the option to build one whenever it chooses?

Essential for the deployment and delivery of any nuclear weapon is a ballistic missile.  Although conventional weapons are easy to detect, once this technology is fielded, proliferation removes our capacity to detect.

As for the centrifuges, Iran is using far more complex, highly efficient models that can enrich uranium in ever-smaller cascades, essentially out of U.N. sight.  Currently, it is operating nearly 20,000 centrifuges.

Do the math, even with an agreement, the Iranians will be able to field 2 or 3 nuclear weapons a year.  We should note that Iran has been illicitly procuring parts for delivery vehicles (ballistic missiles).  Remember, North Korea, Zimbabwe, the Congo and Central/South American drug trade routs?  The fix is in.

In the meantime, gave the Mullahs a modest economic recovery thanks to non-effective sanctions.  Studies by Roubini Global Economics and Foundation for the Defense of Democracies noted that during sanctions, the Iranian regime still received $11 Billion in direct relief.

Where does this leave the west?

The Iranian bargaining position has hardened since the interim agreement last November.  Why?  Because it senses a desperate American executive in need of a foreign policy achievement. Let’s not forget the cynicism animating the tactics of team Obama, for any comprehensive agreement would occur after November elections when a lame duck Democratically controlled Senate would give it a blessing.

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About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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