It’s great that CNN is taking a look at the terms of the deal we have entered into with Iran and trying to anticipate the terms of the one that is in store for us next. The farcical Joint Plan of Action that provides the outline of the current deal is only four pages long. (CNN has posted the text here.) It goes a long way to answering questions that CNN seems to think are open for discussion.
The video above includes footage of Iranian President Rouhani declaring that neither limitation of nuclear technology nor the destruction of uranium enrichment centrifuges is in the picture, to the apparent surprise and consternation of Fareed Zakaria and the other guy. Here is a transcription of the segment including Rouhani’s declaration:
HASSAN ROUHANI: So in the context of nuclear technology, particularly of research and development and peaceful nuclear technology, we will not accept any limitations. And in accordance with the parliament law, in the future, we’re going to need 20,000 mega watts of nuclear produced electricity and we’re determined to obtain the nuclear fuel for the nuclear installation at the hands of our Iranian scientists and we’re going to follow in this path.
FAREED ZAKARIA: So there would be no destruction of centrifuges?
ROUHANI: Not under any circumstances. Not under any circumstances.
CHRIS CUOMO: I mean, Fareed, what is the deal? That’s supposed to be the whole underpinning of moving forward from the United States perspective is that they scale back and dismantle all this stuff we’ve been hearing. How do you interpret what you just heard from the president?
ZAKARIA: Well, I was as struck by it as you were, Chris. This strikes me as a train wreck. This strikes me as potentially a huge obstacle because the Iranian conception of what the deal is going to look like and the American conception now look like they are miles apart. The Iranian conception seems to be they produce as much nuclear energy as they want, but it is a civilian program and you can have as much monitoring and inspections as you want. The American position is that they have to very substantially scale back the enrichment of uranium and the production of centrifuges.
Now for the first time you have the president of Iran unequivocally saying there will be no destruction of centrifuges. He also made clear in the interview with me that the two heavy water reactors would continue in operation. So this seems like — you know, this is stillborn — I’m not even quite sure what they’re going to talk about if these are the opening positions. And it’s very hard to walk back from as absolutist a position as the president of Iran laid out.
The other guy concludes the segment with the observation that it makes you wonder who’s zoomin’ who — is the Obama administration spinning its American audience or are the Iranian officials spinning their crowd at home (as the Obama administration contends). I seriously doubt they’ll pursue that particular inquiry with the tenacity it deserves.
On the question of who’s zoomin’ who, take a look at the video posted by the Free Beacon in “Ed Henry: ‘CNN is broadcast outside of Iran, right?’”
Transcription via Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard (although I have tweaked it).