Michael Ledeen sets forth the three major reasons why President Obama’s deal with Iran represents such a huge coup for the mullahs. First, it relieves the regime from its currency crunch which Ledeen says has the country down to something like two-to-three months’ hard currency supplies. Second, it provides a clear commitment that Tehran can continue enriching uranium. Third, it confirms to the regime’s internal opposition that the West is not prepared to seriously challenge the regime.
The administration denies that it has recognized an Iranian “right to enrichment.” As Michael points out, however, the text of the agreement says that Iran can keep enriching (to 3.5 percent) and that the final agreement we say we want will provide for “a mutually defined enrichment program with practical limits and transparency measures to ensure the peaceful nature of the program.”
Plainly, this is a recognition of Iran’s right to enrich. The administration’s claim to the contrary represents its latest “if you like your health care plan…” moment.
Ledeen takes no comfort from the 3.5 percent limit on enrichment. “From there to weapons-grade uranium is a question of a few months,” he notes. Moreover, “under this deal, Iran gets to keep plenty of 5 percent uranium.”