Obama administration officials have leaked to the Associated Press an outline of the deal they are pursuing with Iran’s mullahs. What is striking is how little benefit Iran’s adversaries will receive in exchange for the immediate lifting of sanctions, even assuming that Iran honors the agreement:
Officials said the tentative deal imposes new limits on the number of centrifuges Iran can operate to enrich uranium, a process that can lead to nuclear weapons-grade material. The sides are zeroing in on a cap of 6,000 centrifuges, officials said, down from the 6,500 they spoke of in recent weeks.
When the negotiations began, the U.S. and its allies wanted a limit of 500 to 1,500. Iran currently is operating around 10,000 centrifuges.
But U.S. officials insist the focus on centrifuge numbers alone misses the point.
Combined with other restrictions on enrichment levels and the types of centrifuges Iran can use, Washington believes it can extend the time Tehran would need to produce a nuclear weapon to at least a year for the 10 years it is under the moratorium. Right now, Iran would require only two to three months to amass enough material if it covertly seeks to “break out” toward the bomb.
So, best case, assuming that Iran doesn’t cheat and follows the agreement to the letter, Iran can have a nuclear weapon within 12 months rather than two or three? And then, after ten years, all bets are off? Such an agreement obviously will not prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, and is not intended to do so.
The AP confirms that the “agreement is unlikely to constrain Iran’s missile program,” which means that Iran will continue to develop ICBMs. So when Iran decides to go nuclear, it will have the ability to deliver nuclear warheads to–for example–New York City. So much for the Great Satan.
Apparently the Obama administration has pushed for a ten-year expiration date. France wanted the agreement in place for 25 years. “More feckless than the French” sums up President Obama’s foreign policies quite well.
One more thing: adding insult to injury, “[a]s an added enticement, elements of a U.N. arms embargo against Iran could be rolled back.”
The proposed agreement will invigorate Iran’s economy, strengthen the mullahs’ grip on the country, legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, and lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. (Indeed, the arms race has already begun, in anticipation of the deal going forward.) How anyone in the West can see this as a desirable outcome is beyond me.
UPDATE: The future, per Michael Ramirez. Click to enlarge: