A deal — and then a war


Churchill. Is his kind of leadership extinct in the West?

Benjamin Weinthal:

The Islamic Republic of Iran has laid a foundation to impose its will on the U.S. and continue its illicit nuclear-weapons program. The elements of a negotiated agreement outlined today in Geneva show the Obama administration engaging in concessionary bargaining with a rogue regime.

Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, declared the U.S. and its partners “accepted the framework of Iran’s proposal,” the components of which entail sanctions relief in exchange for Iran’s suspension of some elements of its nuclear program.

There is no sign that Iran is willing to permanently stop its uranium enrichment, close its Arak and Fordo nuclear facilities, and ship its already 3.5 percent–enriched uranium outside of the country.

Moreover, there is no definitive method of verification to ensure that Iran’s clerical regime — a notoriously deceptive group — will comply with an agreement (Remember the North Korean debacle.)

In choosing to grant Iran concessions, the U.S. ignores that it has crucial economic leverage to dismantle Iran’s nuclear program. Bloomberg recently reported that “Iran’s economy will contract 1.5 percent this year after shrinking 1.9 percent in 2012,” while Trevor Houser, an economics expert, says, “Right now, Iran needs to sell its oil far more than the rest of the world needs to buy it.”

Israel’s PM Netanyahu responded to the news,

The proposal would allow Iran to retain the capabilities to make nuclear weapons. Israel totally opposes these proposals … I believe that adopting them is a mistake of historic proportions.

That is more or less the whole story. There will be more details, but it seems that the US, which could stop Iran from building nuclear weapons, has decided not to. Not only will it not make a credible military threat, it has folded even before exhausting the option of sanctions.

Saudi Arabia understands. It is now either on the verge of procuring nuclear capability from Pakistan, or has already done so.

This feels so … 1938. A vicious civil war chews up a country, which is serving as a proxy for the major combatants, who are arming themselves for the big show. The ‘responsible’ nations of the world try to defuse an aggressor’s violence by a policy of appeasement. Trita Parsi asks “Do we want a deal or a war?” but maybe we’ll make a deal and get a war anyway.

Netanyahu has been accused of ‘overreacting’, he’s been called ‘shrill’ and his demand that sanctions be increased rather than reduced until Iran actually dismantles its program is said to be ‘unreasonable’. He is “out of step,” say diplomats. I am sure they said the same about Czech President Edvard BeneÅ¡ in 1938.

Netanyahu is quite rational, aware of the danger facing his country from the fanatically anti-Israel regime in Iran, whose officials have said over and over that they intend to destroy it. And now they are getting nuclear weapons. How is he supposed to sound?

Netanyahu is on a collision course with the US. The US will do practically anything to keep Israel from attacking Iran, and will punish her if she does. And Netanyahu sees that he simply will have no choice but to attack Iran.

Keep in mind that most of those, like Meir Dagan, that opposed an attack did so because they thought that the diplomatic option might work, not that Iran could be allowed to have the bomb. And diplomacy — tough sanctions — might have worked, if it were not for the cowardice, ignorance and stupidity of the Obama Administration.

But it is not going to be tried. There is going to be a deal. And then there is going to be a war.

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4 Responses to “A deal — and then a war”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    The proposed deal is a betrayal and evidence of Obama Administration mendacity. They are not keeping their promise to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
    I share the view that Prime Minister Netanyahu is telling it like it is. This is a betrayal of Israel by the U.S of historic dimensions. I expect that Pakistan will soon be transferring nuclear weapons in one way or another to Saudi Arabia.
    I am however far less certain that Israel is going to attack, and in fact should attack. It would mean having the whole world, including the U.S. against us. It could undermine our security completely as we would not be supported in the subsequent counter- attack by Iran’s surrogates most importantly Hizbollah.
    It may be , that is, a strike could be effective in seriously delaying the Iranian program while it at the same time undermines our security in a different way. After all the major consideration is our security and survival, and we are endangered in more than one way.

  2. Vic Rosenthal says:


    It is not possible for Israel to accept a nuclear Iran. This isn’t just my opinion, it’s Bibi’s opinion, and also that of Dagan, etc. Many competent people believed that sanctions, diplomacy, etc. should have been allowed to work before moving to a military option, but I didn’t hear any of them saying that Israel could live with an Iranian bomb.

    Yes, the consequences of attacking Iran will be very serious. But thanks to Obama and friends, unless something unexpected happens there doesn’t seem to be an alternative.

    I hope you had a peaceful Shabbat.

  3. Shalom Freedman says:

    I agree that it is impossible for Israel to accept a nuclear Iran.
    But how does one exactly determine that there is a nuclear Iran, or an Iran on the threshold of going nuclear in such a way as to convince others that this is the case?
    It may well be that there already is a nuclear Iran, and that the attack should have taken place some years ago.
    It may well be that Iran is already a few weeks within having nuclear weapons. The weaponization facilities are supposedly small and extremely difficult to detect.
    What I am saying I suppose is that attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities just when a deal has been, or now is about to be made makes Iran seem the good- willed peace- loving innocent and Israel the ‘heavy’.
    The Obama Administration will have a wonderful excuse not to support us.
    Total isolation is an enormous danger.
    I cannot feel confident about saying which of the two horrible alternatives is less horrible.

  4. Vic Rosenthal says:

    As someone said, the question is “which is worse, the bomb or the bombing?”
    I agree that Israel is in a trap today, a trap laid by Barack Obama, who is beginning to look like he will be remembered in history along with the various enemies of the Jewish people whom I needn’t mention.
    But the bombing is still better than the bomb.
    As to “how do you know when…” — that’s why there are intelligence agencies.