Thursday, June 11, 2015

Obama on Iran vs the truth about it

Michael Doran, “Now, there are two stories out there that are being told. One is the story that the Obama administration is telling, and the other story is the one that our allies in the Middle East are telling. The story the Obama administration is telling us goes something like this: Back in — back in April of 2013, there was an election in Iran which brought to power this guy Rouhani, who is a reformer. And Rouhani wanted to change relations with the West….And that then has led to this process that we have here before us today. That’s not the story that our allies are telling. They’re saying that this process is not the result of a strategic change in Iran. It’s the result of a strategic change in Washington. The United States — the United States started this process with major concessions. It ripped up six Security Council resolutions that called for zero reprocessing and zero enrichment. It gave Iran, in the first step, as part of the interim agreement, it gave it the right to enrich, and it said also that the restrictions on its program would be temporary, right? So the negotiation after that — after the initial interim agreement and the negotiations were over how long would that period of temporary restriction be? And under what — how big would the restrictions on the — on the program be?”

Obama Bending Over Backwards to Preserve Iran Nuclear Deal

On April 2, the State Department released a “fact sheet” on the emerging nuclear agreement with Iran that included this pledge: “U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under the deal.”
Today the Associated Press is reporting: “The Obama administration may have to backtrack on its promise that it will suspend only nuclear-related economic sanctions on Iran as part of an emerging nuclear agreement.” The “may have to” could be puzzling to outsiders: Why does the administration have to do anything? The answer, of course, is because the president wants a deal concluded with Iran by June 30, no matter the details.
This requires some extremely creative reinterpretation of the April 2 fact sheet by State Department spinners who are now claiming that, on second thought, pretty much ALL sanctions are nuclear-related: “For example, they say measures designed to stop Iran from acquiring ballistic missiles are nuclear-related because they were imposed to push Iran into the negotiations. Also, they say sanctions that may appear non-nuclear are often undergirded by previous actions conceived as efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program.” Clearly the current leaders of the State Department are graduates of the Bill Clinton School of Linguistics: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”
That the Obama administration is willing, nay eager, to concede points that were considered non-negotiable a mere two months ago should hardly be surprising. The entire history of the administration’s talks with Iran is the story of one American concession after another. As the Wall Street Journal noted, “Top Obama administration officials entered negotiations with Iran in September 2013 hoping to dismantle most of the country’s nuclear infrastructure,” but the Iranians wouldn’t agree to that. So “the goal of the talks shifted—away from dismantling structures and toward a more complex set of limitations designed to extend the time Iran would need to ‘break-out’ and make a dash toward a nuclear weapon.”
Even now, after all of the concessions the administration has made, some points of difference remain, at least in public; for example, on how quickly sanctions will be phased out and how much freedom Iran will need to grant to international inspectors. The Iranians are demanding an immediate lifting of sanctions while the Obama administration claims that it will be conditional based on compliance. The Iranians are also insisting on the right to deny inspectors access to their military sites while the Obama administration claims that the agreement will be enforced by the most intrusive inspections ever. Is there any doubt about how these disputes will be resolved? There is little doubt that, after the reported latest cave-in on non-nuclear sanctions, the administration will cave on those points, too, while obfuscating to deny that it has done so.

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