Michael Adler on the talks with Iran after the talks with Iran:
What went before, an interim framework agreement that caused a great deal of controversy, is no longer the bogeyman. That was a false bogeyman since it was merely a way of freezing Iran’s nuclear work in place so talks could be held, and yes, it left Iran with almost all of its nuclear capacity.
The genuine bogeyman now includes big questions with big consequences—how many centrifuges will Iran have to enrich uranium, ostensibly for civilian reactor use but also possibly to make bombs; if Iran will be able to use advanced centrifuges which can enrich more quickly; if Iran is free to develop ballistic missiles which could carry atom bombs; if Iran will have a plutonium-producing reactor; if Iran can continue to do nuclear work at the site of Fordow, buried under a mountain and so relatively invulnerable to air attack.
The talks on a so-called comprehensive agreement are set to last six months and will determine the future shape of Iran’s nuclear program, and whether the United States and Iran can agree on what is expected to be a more limited Iranian nuclear capability.
But Iran announced in the most publicly defiant way earlier this week that they would be scrapping nothing.
Was that some sort of negotiating ploy, designed to try and improve their position in front of the talks? Or was it a rebuke because they know the Wiggleroom Administration doesn’t have the clout to get a better deal? I’m leaning toward the latter.
As said on this page many times before, any reasonably technologically competent country which wants nukes, will get nukes. The most we can do short of war is to make the effort more economically painful and/or take longer. What we could do, however, is be resolute with our Middle East allies, welcome them under our nuclear umbrella, and announce to Iran quite publicly that any “rogue” nuclear attack on us or our allies will be treated as an attack directly from Tehran — and that we would respond accordingly. There’s precedent for that last point from the Cuban Missile Crisis, when Kennedy announced that any attack launched from Cuba would be treated as an attack launched directly from the Soviet Union.
We might also add that, oh yeah, that sanctions will continue so long as the centrifuges spin and Tehran’s terror games continue. Period.
Instead we’re flopping around the region like a fish in a net — a net of our own making.