Sorry for the corny title of this article — I was going to call it “It’s the Centrifuges, Stupid!” — but as a Hollywood movie executive famously said in a script meeting, “Obviousness is your friend.” He was right about screenplays and he’s right here. No one believes Barack Obama about anything anymore. Why should they? The new Iran deal is Obamacare II, only worse, a thousand megatons worse.
So many things are wrong with the agreement coming out of Geneva, it’s hard to know where to begin (for an excellent overall go to The Israel Project’s Tower website or look right here with our resident expert Dr. Ledeen), but the most egregious part indeed comes down to centrifuges. Iran has some 19,000 of them — more than three times the amount of longtime nuclear-armed Pakistan. The agreement forbids the Iranians to build anymore, but, much more importantly, it allows the Iranians to fix any of their centrifuges that may be broken and get them working again..
How many of those 19,000 are broken? I’m not sure anyone outside Iran knows, but as will be recalled, the Stuxnet computer virus of 2010 was designed to bring these centrifuges to a halt and apparently did so quite successfully in many cases. But now — thanks to the deal that Obama and Kerry have put together — the Iranians will have six unmolested months to get as many of them up and running as they can, enriching uranium.
Speaking of which, Iran’s “right to enrich” is supposedly still under dispute, the Americans saying one thing about the language in the deal and the Iranians another. Some dispute. The prologue to the “interim” agreement states that the amount of enrichment will be decided in future negotiation, not (nota bene) whether enrichment will be allowed or not. (The specific language reads: “a mutually defined enrichment program with practical limits and transparency measures to ensure the peaceful nature of the program.” Uh-huh.) Meanwhile, Iran is able to enrich up to five percent, not the previous alleged maximum of 3.5%. Whatever happened to that other 1/5%? Confusing, no? Oh, well, that’s a long way from the 20% needed for weaponization.
No, it’s not. It’s not very much at all when you have 19,000 centrifuges. How much of a setback for the Iranian nuclear weapons program is this five percent permissible level then? According to the New York Times, about as pro-Obama a publication as you can get outside of a Chicago Democratic Party newsletter, the current agreement will retard the Iranian program only about one month.
One month? For this we give them oodles of desperately needed cash — seven billion on the face of it but some suggest that’s floating up to twenty — not to mention ending sanctions on such things as auto parts. This is great for Ayatollah Khamenei who, we have learned recently, owns the BMW distributorship in Iran.
Nevertheless, we are told by such wise men as Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski that this is a good deal and we should jump at it. More specifically, these realists attest, this is the best deal we can get now.
Really? The Iranians came to the table because of sanctions. We are now lifting them and, simultaneously, encouraging others to think proactively about doing business with Iran, a potential gold (or oil) mine. We are also ratifying the hellacious Islamic regime of the mullahs that oppresses women, murders homosexuals and imprisons and tortures all those who oppose it. Forget human rights. What are they? America (really Obama in this instance) just wants a deal.
It’s not surprising. Obama never did anything for the Green Movement. Why should he care now, especially with his post-Obamacare numbers imploding? Anything to move the ball and distract the news cycle. So what if Ayatollah Khamenei called Israel a “rabid dog” about three days ago while the throng before him yelled “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”? It’s just a little hyperbole, right? He’s not serious. This isn’t Munich. This is a respectful negotiation between peers.
“No, it’s not,” I repeat, again obviously. This is the desperate move of a president in free fall, only it’s a move being made with millions of lives at stake. If the sanctions in place brought Iran to the table, why wouldn’t ratcheting up the sanctions, as Congress sought to do, get Iran actually to agree to dismantle its program, to shrink back the extraordinary number of centrifuges we know them to have, a number vastly higher than any peaceful nation could possibly need?
Now we will never know.
So we have left it all to Israel and, incredible as it may seem, Saudi Arabia to put a stop to this madness. What will they do? I wouldn’t want to be them. It’s no fun at all Perhaps a new prayer should be added to the Jewish liturgy. “Thank G-d I wasn’t born Benjamin Netanyahu.”