Iran negotiations just buying time – for Iran

Kenneth Timmerman President, Foundation for Democracy in Iran
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Don’t hold your breath for a meaningful agreement over the Tehran regime’s illegal nuclear program any time soon, no matter what you read in the propaganda networks.

We’ve seen this movie before. Many times, in fact.

Tehran hints it is prepared to make big concessions ahead of some make-it-or-break-it meeting with Western powers, only to offer some new excuse at the last minute that makes it necessary to hold yet another negotiating session.

It would be comic, if only the results were not potentially so deadly.

In mid-April, negotiations held in Istanbul between Iran and the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany (the P-5+1) were supposed to “resolve” the Iranian nuclear crisis.

Last weekend, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency flew unexpectedly to Tehran, for meetings the propaganda networks wanted us to believe foreshadowed another major breakthrough.

This week, this magical mystery tour disembarked in Baghdad for yet another round of smoke and mirrors.

In each instance, a monumental decision was made … to hold another meeting.

The mullahs in Tehran are masters at this game. Once they get us inside the carpet shop, they know they’ve got the sale. All that needs to be negotiated is the final price.

In the case of Iran’s nuclear program, the Obama administration has actually been shilling for Tehran. Against the better instincts of the French, the Brits, even the Germans, the United States has convinced them to accept Iran as a uranium enrichment power.

That is the “carpet” the Iranian regime has been wanting us to buy from the get-go. For the past three years, they’ve just been haggling with us over the price.

Allowing Iran to retain uranium enrichment technology and materials is a deadly concession, one that ultimately will lead us to war.

The reason is very simple: The very same centrifuges that spin uranium gas to 3% enrichment to make fuel for nuclear power plants can spin a bit longer to enrich the gas to 90% to make nuclear weapons material.

Same centrifuges, same process, same materials. The only added ingredient is time.

Guess what the Iranians have been buying over the past three years? Time.

Throughout these past three and a half years, Iran’s centrifuges have never stopped spinning, and they continue spinning today even as we “negotiate.”

Iran is clearly talking about talks, not about substance; and the Iranians’ goal is to buy more time.

After three difficult years of negotiations with the Europeans, which I chronicled in my 2005 book Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran, the Bush administration finally convinced the Europeans that the Iranian regime could not be trusted with centrifuge enrichment technology because Tehran had violated its commitments under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

That led to a series of United Nations Security Council resolutions condemning the Islamic Republic of Iran, and calling on the world to impose a series of increasingly tough sanctions on Iran if it failed to comply with its NPT commitments.

Those commitments required Iran to come clean about its past nuclear weapons-related research. They also required Iran to put all of its nuclear activities under IAEA monitoring, and to eschew any research relevant for nuclear weapons development.

To this day, Iran remains in defiance of those Non-Proliferation Treaty-based requirements, and thus has no legal right to any nuclear-related technology, period.

So why has the Obama administration cast aside the strong bargaining position it inherited from its predecessors?

Does the administration actually want Iran to succeed in testing a nuclear weapon, so that we can move toward a containment policy once and for all?

Or do they want to empower Iran as a virtual nuclear weapons state to become the predominant power in the Middle East?

Do they want to provoke Israel to launch pre-emptive military strikes on Iran, say in October, so Obama can play-act that he did everything he could to prevent a war, and now the United States must punish the “belligerent” Israelis?

Whatever the answer to these questions, one thing is sure: The current negotiating strategy of the Obama administration is leading us directly to a war we do not need and can actually prevent by adopting the more sane policy of helping the people of Iran get rid of this murderous regime.

Ken Timmerman is the Republican nominee for Congress in Maryland’s 8th District, and a New York Times best-selling author. Learn more at TimmermanForCongress.com.