Saturday, April 4, 2015

Do We Have a Deal?

The deal no one ever thought would happen, well, happened. Iran and the United States and its partners have agreed to a framework that would lessen Iran's nuclear program and hinder its ability to produce an atomic bomb.  
The deal would reduce the number of Iranian centrifuges from 19,000 to 6,100, cut uranium enrichment to 3.67 percent for fifteen years, halt the production and additional testing of nuclear fuel for one of Iran's reactors, and allow inspectors to visit Iran on a regular basis and make sure the Iranians aren't cheating.  In exchange, the U.S. and other countries involved would left economic sanctions against Iran and transfer $4.2 billion of oil revenue to Iran in installments.
President  Obama says that this is as good a deal as can be expected and has asked Americans to think about those who oppose it and ponder if we really want to go to war in the Middle East again.  Republicans are enthusiastically saying yes - to going to war.  Speaker John Boehner said that it would be "na├»ve" to suggest that the Iranians could not continue to develop a bomb under the deal, while  U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) insisted it would allow to keep enough centrifuges for military purposes and wouldn't rein in Iran’s ballistic missile program.  Abroad, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it would still allow Iran to remain on a path to the bomb.  "Netanyahu is absolutely right," said no European leader whatsoever, and the biggest worry form the Gulf states so far seems to be what would happen to the oil market if Iran suddenly releases a lot of petroleum it couldn't sell under sanctions.
Don't expect a final deal to be done by the end of June. Congress is already insisting on looking at the agreement, with a bipartisan effort to tie the President's hands.  Convincing Boehner, who recently called Obama an "anti-war President" - he did not mean that as a compliment - of the need to avoid conflict is about as likely as convincing Republicans that guns ought to be regulated (and the horrible Kansas governor Sam Brownback just signed into law a bill allowing Kansans to carry concealed weapons without a permit, which suggests new and interesting ways of settling disputes over a drink in Wichita) because Republicans believe that anything can be taken care of if you have enough weapons at the ready.
A word of warning if the GOP takes over the Presidency in 2017 and starts a war with Iran:  Not only would it be a war infinitely worse than the ones we just got out of, but if there is a war between the U.S. and Iran, it won't be Iran the rest of the world imposes sanctions on.  Especially if our next President is Scott WalKKKer.  (Lord God , NO!)  He recently said that if he were to become President in January 2017, he'd cancel any such deal with Iran on his first day in office even if our allies objected - meaning they wouldn't be our allies anymore.

No comments: