Never mind Iran’s nuclear-site scrubbing, Republicans are the enemy

You're either with us or against us. And by "us," I mean me and John Kerry. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

You’re either with us or against us. And by “us,” I mean me and John Kerry. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

Oh:

“The U.S. intelligence community has informed Congress of evidence that Iran was sanitizing its suspected nuclear military site at Parchin, in broad daylight, days after agreeing to a nuclear deal with world powers.

“For senior lawmakers in both parties, the evidence calls into question Iran’s intention to fully account for the possible military dimensions of its current and past nuclear development. The International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran have a side agreement meant to resolve past suspicions about the Parchin site, and lawmakers’ concerns about it has already become a flashpoint because they do not have access to its text.

“Intelligence officials and lawmakers who have seen the new evidence, which is still classified, told us that satellite imagery picked up by U.S. government assets in mid- and late July showed that Iran had moved bulldozers and other heavy machinery to the Parchin site and that the U.S. intelligence community concluded with high confidence that the Iranian government was working to clean up the site ahead of planned inspections by the IAEA.”

That’s from Bloomberg View’s Josh Rogin and Eli Lake, who go on to write:

“Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker told us Tuesday that while Iran’s activity at Parchin last month isn’t technically a violation of the agreement it signed with the U.S. and other powers, it does call into question Iran’s intention to be forthright about the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program.

“‘The intel briefing was troubling to me … some of the things that are happening, especially happening in such a blatant way,’ he said. ‘Iran is going to know that we know.’ He added the new information gave him ‘a lot of concerns’ about Iran coming clean on military dimensions of its nuclear work.”

And what should we think about those in Congress who believe there are too many problems with this deal to approve it? Let’s go to President Barack McCarthy — er, I mean, Obama:

“‘It’s those hardliners chanting “death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus,’ Obama said (in a speech Wednesday).”

Oh.

(Insert bright-blue face of one holding one’s breath waiting for the same people who criticized Mike Huckabee’s “ovens” comment to scold Obama for explicitly likening the GOP to a regime that cheers for America’s destruction.)

So, let’s get this straight. It’s the hardliners — i.e., the ruling clerical class of Iran — who are most opposed to the deal … even though they’re also ultimately the ones who had to sign off on it (because they don’t call the ayatollah the “supreme leader” for nothing). This is the same group of hardliners, by the way, whom we asked during the negotiations to cut out the “death to America” chants, to no avail. And it’s those who oppose the deal who are “making common cause” with the hardliners, not those who struck the deal with said hardliners?

Confused? Well, then you just have to realize the real problem here is not the nuclear-site-scrubbing Iranians, but that the nuclear-site-scrubbing Iranians might deem us untrustworthy. From Jeffrey Goldberg’s write-up of an interview with Secretary of State John Kerry in The Atlantic:

“‘The ayatollah constantly believed that we are untrustworthy, that you can’t negotiate with us, that we will screw them,’ Kerry said. ‘This’ — a congressional rejection — ‘will be the ultimate screwing.’ He went on to argue that ‘the United States Congress will prove the ayatollah’s suspicion, and there’s no way he’s ever coming back. He will not come back to negotiate. Out of dignity, out of a suspicion that you can’t trust America. America is not going to negotiate in good faith. It didn’t negotiate in good faith now, would be his point.'”

Yep, that — backing out of a bad deal with Iran — is the “ultimate screwing” here. Not, you know, signing a deal that gives Iran more money to finance terror, destabilize other Mideast regimes and threaten Israel, while unconditionally ending international embargoes on selling Iran arms or ballistic missiles and, in the end, leaving the country in the same place a decade from now as it is today in terms of developing a nuclear weapon. No, that couldn’t possibly be the “ultimate screwing” by an American administration.

Reader Comments 0

58 comments
MarkVV
MarkVV

One of the worst pieces of hogwash in these debates is the repeated argument that “Iran cannot be trusted;” not a country in which you think “we should place our trust.” As if a treaty with any adversary were ever a matter of trust. When the US made treaties with the USSR, did we trust them?

If we trusted Iran, we could just write down what either country would do, shake hands and that would be it. Instead, the deal specifies the verification mechanisms. And lying about those verifications is a shameful attempt to turn public opinion against the deal.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

This deal was to stop a nuclear arsenal in Iran.  It wasn't to completely stop Iran from being a power in the region. 


The deal stops Iranian progress on nuclear weapons.  Iran can still use nuclear material for peaceful means, such as medicine and power. 


If anyone is confused by your representation of the right-wing clerics and the right-wing republicans hating this deal, then try to learn more about the complexity of Iran and the US.  Moderates love this deal. It's good to have a way to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran's hands.  

Hardliners hate this deal. Why? Because we negotiate "with those heathens!"  Not because it's a bad deal or a good deal.  It's the trust. 


Say we live up to our side and Iran lives up to their side.  No Nuclear weapons! Yay! Nuclear crisis averted. 

Say we do not live up to our side and Iran lives up to their side.  NUCLEAR WEAPONS FOR IRAN. War! pestilence!  

Say we live up to our side and Iran does not live up to their side. Sanctions! War! Pestilence! 


So, lets at least try to live up to the agreement and let Iran be the idiot.  Don't prove those right-wing clerics right by sabotaging the deal. 

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@LogicalDude You continue to misunderstand the governance of a country in which you think we should place our trust.

Wena Mow Masipa How
Wena Mow Masipa How

Is this blog post supposed to divert attention from tonight's comedy hour?

Caius
Caius

Interesting column.


First I would say that the Obama administration made absolute chumps out of Congress.  From day one Congress has viewed any deal between the P5+1 + the EU as a deal between Obama and Iran.  Nothing is further from the truth as all will see in about 5 months when sanctions start getting released by most of the world.  (For starters see the 3/15/2012 and 7/14/2015 news releases by SWIFT.) Plus Iran has billions of dollars sitting in banks in China, India, Japan,S. Korea, Turkey and Taiwan that will be unfrozen and they can start spending.


Second, note that nothing Congress does will have any impact on any of the above.  All Congress has control of is the sanctions on Iran put in place by Congress.  Most US sanctions were put in place by Executive Order of US presidents.  They can be undone with the stroke of a pen.


So while entertaining, Congress' actions has little to do on this deal.


Third, if I was the ayatollah I would be praying that Congress overrides a veto and takes the US out of the deal.  That way Iran gets all their non US assets unfrozen and the US is out of the picture on the inspections.  Kinda like both having your cake and eating it too.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

You folks act like a bunch of republicans.


Reasonable people can come to reasonable conclusions under reasonable conditions, unless you are a republican.


Get used to it, the world in not living in the 1950's like it "used" to be, and you wish it was.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

“‘It’s those hardliners chanting “death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus,’ Obama said (in a speech Wednesday).”


Iran’s revolutionaries are aging. Most are in their late fifties, sixties, or seventies. The Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, turned seventy-six this month. More than sixty per cent of Iran’s eighty million people are under the age of thirty-five. 


Nazanin Daneshvar launched a Groupon clone in 2011, when she was twenty-six. Called Takhfifan—from takhfif, or “discount,” in Farsi—it works with more than ten thousand merchants and has more than a million subscribers. “No one could believe this could exist in Iran,” Daneshvar told me. “When I’m questioned, I say, ‘Do you think we’re riding camels?’ Obviously, don’t judge Iran just by what the clerics say at Friday prayers.”


“There are fourteen million people in greater Tehran, and maybe one hundred thousand attend Friday prayers,” she said. “Most people say we should talk to the Americans and solve our differences. We can both benefit. There are many investment opportunities in the oil and food industries.” She pointed to the ketchup bottles on every table. “Look, we use Heinz!”


http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/27/tehrans-promise


1979 was a long long time ago

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Hedley_Lammar To Iran's credit, that modern element has long been present. To its discredit, that hasn't changed the political reality in 36 years. The regime has survived one transfer of power (after Khomeini's death) and there is, unfortunately, little reason to think it wouldn't survive another one. Another thing I'd love to be wrong about.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

In terms of real value to the US, Western Allies, and allies in the region, what has this deal changed for the better? Will it de-escalate the civil strife and open warfare in the region? No. Will it make anyone safer? No.


Historically these types of deals have fueled arms races and empowered tyrants. This one empowers (encourages) Iran and the Ayatollah to double-down on their commitment to dominate the region and thus opens the door much wider for the international powers to profit off the resulting arms race. All the Obamas and Kerrys of the world and their backers profit, people suffer and die as a result.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

We can't go back to calling them part of the axis of evil and ignoring them.

Letting this deal that was forged with five other nations play out might produce some benefits. Say Iran does skirt the rules, sanctions go back in place and more countries line up to denounce them. Then perhaps their moderates gain more power and actually get more moderate. It may sound like wishing but I don't see how we could hope for better without the deal.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

For those who haven't made up their mind on this deal.


By negotiating from a position of strength, Dershowitz believes a deal could have been reached to lift the sanctions, with Iran agreeing to dismantle their nuclear program and permitting 24/7 inspections. “Now the problem is that we negotiated as equals and we were playing checkers against the people who invented chess, and they checkmated our president and our secretary of state,” Dershowitz said. “The end result is that now we are going to be equals because they are going to have nuclear weapons, and once they have nuclear weapons they are essentially equals, we can’t take them on, we have no viable military threat against them, so it was a double disaster.” 


http://observer.com/2015/08/dershowitz-obama-is-an-abject-failure-by-his-own-standards/ 

MarkVV
MarkVV

@RafeHollister 

The deal permits 24/7 inspections, so Dershowitz lies right there. And if by "dismantling nuclear program Dershowitz means not allowing a peaceful nuclear energy program, he should explain how anybody has the right to demand that.


Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@MarkVV "The deal permits 24/7 inspections, so Dershowitz lies right there. "

That is not true. In fact, Iran can delay inspection requests for weeks if not months.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@Kyle_Wingfield @MarkVV 

That is a lie that you, among others, have been promulgating. Why don’t you quote from the text of the agreement what supports your claim?

M H Smith
M H Smith

@Kyle_Wingfield @MarkVV 

 They also control the locations of where these inspections can take place. 

Our best bet or only hope, is that all nations of this world understand using nuclear weapons anywhere at anytime is a zero sum game nobody can win, or survive.

Oppenheimer well quoted the Hindu scripture "I am become death, the destoryer of worlds"  



M H Smith
M H Smith

@RafeHollister 

Fortunately there is only one country that comes close to equal the U.S. in military capability. 

Iran per se' will never be an equal to the U.S. in anything. Should Russia tie their lot to Iran then you have a valid claim in mutual terms. 

However even the lunatics in Iran will eventually understand this Oppenheimer Hindu quote

"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." 

So it is a zero sum game on the part of any nation or its' leaders to think of launching a nuclear attack on anyone.  

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Someone needs to tell Obama his charisma only goes so far, and when it comes to Iran's leaders, it's worthless.

Tool and die makers work primarily in "tool room" environments. Venture outside the "tool room" and production ends.

Obama is unbelievably naive.  

332-206
332-206

As are the other 5 nations...

Likewise
Likewise

It's not just their hatred toward Obama.  It was the same thing when Clinton was president (who now appears to be a nice guy to them). Republicans would shut down our entire economy and bring us to the brink of nuclear war if they thought it would diminish a Democratic president.  Although they cloak themselves in patriotic symbolism, they care not for the welfare of this country and its citizens. Their only concern is political power. 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Likewise Yeah, the GOP should follow the example the Dems set in their support of Dubyah!

GMFA
GMFA

57% of Americans are for the agreement with Iran. Kyle you are on the wrong side of the equation. 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@GMFA

American voters oppose 57 - 28 percent, with only lukewarm support from Democrats and overwhelming opposition for Republicans and independent voters, the nuclear pact negotiated with Iran, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. 


Voters say 58 - 30 percent the nuclear pact will make the world less safe, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds.---Aug. 3rd

MarkVV
MarkVV

@GMFA  After being told lies about the deal, what would you expect?

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@FIGMO2 @GMFA Typical with proggies, accuracy is not that important, just use whatever means available to get the results they desire, even if it involves completely reversing a poll result.

straker
straker

Israel almost certainly has nuclear weapons.


If Iran attacks them with nukes, Israel will likely be destroyed.


But, Israel would instantly launch a nuclear counter strike which would not only destroy Iran but would likely destroy the entire Islamic Middle East.


This would take about 30 minutes, at most.


So, this deal, all the talking about its pros and cons, is nothing more than smoke which is hiding some unknown agenda.

MarkVV
MarkVV

Politics should be a serious business, but occasionally it is, inevitably, fun. Not so the politics of the nuclear deal with Iran. Here we are talking about a deadly serious matter in all respects. Not because of all those fears about what might happen in 10 or 15 years – as if anybody could predict anything in the future- but because of the present and near present, and the only two alternatives to this deal with Iran.

One alternative is war – a preemptive strike by the US or Israel or any other country or coalition to destroy the nuclear facilities – with little chance of total success and all the consequences of the US being dragged into another war in the Middle East, with thousands and thousands people getting killed, The other one, which has not been mentioned as much, is that Iran, free of the bonds of the agreement, would indeed rapidly develop a nuclear weapon even before such a strike. Which of those do the opponents of the deal prefer?

None of the opponents of the deal has offered another realistic alternative. What they do is to try to scuttle the deal, and one way is to influence the public opinion by false arguments. One was the immediate lies about what the deal was. This latest “news” is just another attempt.

So Iran is destroying a suspected military site, in no violation of the agreement. Should we not welcome the news? Is that not what we want to happen?

When the opponents of the deal lack any real technical arguments, they turn to everything else we would want Iran to punish for or prevent from doing, as if a deal about nuclear power was a realistic way of achieving it. Only in their dream world.

jezel
jezel

@MarkVV Why should America politicize the bigotry of the Arabs and Jews..rather than...along with the rest of the world...expose it for what it is and...take control of the things in dispute. Is honoring  their hatred for one another...worth a world war ?

fedup52
fedup52

After the 2007-2008 our economic disaster there is no doubt Republicans are America's enemy.  You might as well throw in the traitor word describing Republicans.

As of NPR news this morning the Republicans, in all practical purpose, are working for AIPAC and not for America.

BigJohn767
BigJohn767

@fedup52 Economic disaster was predicated by the Dems allowing/forcing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give mortgages to individuals who were not qualified except for the color of their skin. They were warned and chose to ignore the warnings. 

Gandolph
Gandolph

@fedup52 The actual facts behind the  economic crisis are that the government (Senator Chris Dodd-(D) and Rep. Barney Franks (D) used their respective positions to push for home loans for unqualified buyers and Wall Street and big bankers took advantage due to greed. I am not sure how that translates into Republicans being traitors, except maybe in your mind.

M H Smith
M H Smith

At the moment we have two good deals going for us in the Middle East, Kyle: 

Turkey and Saudi Arabia.  

ATLAquarius
ATLAquarius

Sorry Kyle but until someone comes up with a plan that doesn't involve invasion but prevents 100% Iran from a nuclear weapon this is the best there is especially with only one party attempting to participate in governing but good luck in 2016

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@ATLAquarius I think we had a plan that was working, until someone negotiated it away and got little if anything in return..

DMayr
DMayr

Gasp: all the folks who just KNEW Iraq was behind 9/11, Saddam was in cahoots with Bin Laden, and had beaucoup WMDs in preparation for an all-out assault on the free world, are now convinced Iran is doing the same thing.


Webster's has a word in it: accountability. And a similar word: laughability. Thanks to the GOP, apparently, they're now synonyms.

BigJohn767
BigJohn767

@DMayr WMDs were found....in Syria where Saddam sent them prior to the invasion....

Gandolph
Gandolph

@BigJohn767  Never confuse a liberal with the facts.  You will make them angry.

cw1960
cw1960

@BigJohn767 @DMayr Sorry, but no. Try again.  Oh, are you talking the WMDs that Bush/Cheney gave Saddam to use on his own people but then degraded and became inert?

lvg
lvg

GOP says this deal will wipe out Israel;

israel is only country in Mideast that has first strike nuclear capacity with submarines in the Persian Gulf; 

israel is only country in Mideast with a full anti ballistic missile arsenal protecting it;

Israel is only country with US naval ships off its coast ready to strike Iran if it attacks Israel;

Israel and US have repeatedly sabotaged Iranian nuclear facilities including in 2013 blowing up parts of a facility 300 feet underground;

In October 2014 an entire facility at Parchan which was only 30 miles from Teheran was destroyed by a massive blast;

Yet GOP claims Iranaian have no reason hate US and Israel;

Former leaders of Mossad back the deal;

Israel is only country to have total control over a major US party' and Natanyahu says he is coming to Congress to make sure his sheep toe the line.

He's got Kyle doing his bidding here.

M H Smith
M H Smith

@lvg 

That ^^^ has been an update from "Teheran Ted". Your cover has been blown, Kyle. Report to your handlers at once for extraction and redeployment instructions comrade.  

Gandolph
Gandolph

@lvg So, question for you.  Let's assume that Iran gets a nuke.  Let's further assume that Israel has nukes already (yes, I know that they do, but bear with me here).  Of the two, who in your opinion is most likely to use them on their neighbors? 

This is fun so let's do another.  As small in size as it is, do you think that one nuke getting through would be enough to annihilate Israel?

One more follow-up.  What do you think would happen to the entire Middle East if that were to happen?  Do you think that it could lead to a wider conflict, maybe to even starting another world war?   How will other Middle East countries respond to a nuclear Iran, a country in which religious positions trump everything? Think Sunni versus Shia.

OK, that was more than one follow-up but by now, you should be getting the idea.

87GaDawg
87GaDawg

@lvg

And the President says no deal means bomb will rain down on Israel.  Both sides say the other is lying.

BigJohn767
BigJohn767

@m h smith @lvg Sad....when the Islamist terrorists start killing more and more US citizens here on our soil, you liberals will be the first to ask why we didn't do something to prevent it....like take them out in THEIR country....

jezel
jezel

@lvg Well said and simply put. No person or treaty will solve the several thousand year old conflict between the Arabs and the Jews. But trying to talk it out sure beats shooting it out.

M H Smith
M H Smith

@BigJohn767 @m h smith @lvg 

First of all I'm not a liberal, second of all I don't make the calls on fighting the terrorists you're complaining about, so at least show the truth more courtesy here than you've shown in your accusations tagged below against me. 

If I could make the calls, I would serve warrant to kill them(the terrorist) when ever and where ever they could be found by any means we have.    

M H Smith
M H Smith

@Gandolph @lvg 

Iran has all they need to make nukes. The entire Islamic world had all they needed to produce nuclear weapons once the western powers(the U.S. included therein) educated A.Q. Khan on how to make the nuclear bomb and weapons. 

Shortly there after Pakistan became a nuclear power. Then all of Islam had the knowledge to make nuclear weapons. 


It is only a matter of time until all the other Islamic countries that want to join the nuclear club do so.