Obama And Iran: Let’s Make A Deal At Any Cost

James Zumwalt Author, 'Bare Feet, Iron Will'
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Just as Academy Award Oscar nominees have prepared remarks should their name be called, President Obama had his ready to go announcing a nuclear deal (albeit a framework one) with Iran. The major difference: while uncertainty remains for nominees until the envelope is opened, not so for Obama who knew a deal was never in doubt.

So eager to make a deal, Obama started on it before he was first elected. Presidential candidate Obama sent an emissary to Iran in 2008 advising the mullahs he would be elected and be a much kinder negotiator on a nuclear deal. (Unsurprisingly, Team Obama failed to mention this Logan Act violation while leveling accusations of treason against the 47 GOP senators who wrote an open letter to the mullahs warning any Obama deal may not survive his presidency.)

Two developments concerning what he calls a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” are disturbing.

First, it is not a bad deal — it is a terrible one. Any agreement placing nuclear weapons in the hands of Armageddon-minded mullahs bent on creating the global chaos deemed necessary to expedite a messianic leader’s descent from an occulted state to establish Islam as the world’s religion should cause us worry. Yet Obama gives these madmen the bomb.

Second, while this is only a deal to make a deal later, polls already credit Obama with a major accomplishment. This suggests Americans fail to understand Obama has violated repeated assurances Iran would never have nuclear weapons.

Sometimes polls tell less about substantive issues and more about public ignorance.

During the U.S./USSR SALT II arms control negotiations, poll results revealed most Americans favored such a deal capping the number of missiles each side could have. But a follow up poll revealed respondents failed to understand SALT II would do that at levels giving the Soviet Union a larger numerical missile advantage — which respondents then rejected. They favored SALT II, until they realized what was in it.

This mindset is reminiscent of Nancy Pelosi’s incredulous statement on Obamacare legislation she had never read — i.e., “we have to pass it to find out what’s in it.” Such an approach with Iran will prove fatal.

How bad did Obama want this deal? So bad our negotiators capitulated on 80 percent of Iran’s demands. Nothing would deter Obama from such an agreement — not even international provocations days before a framework deal was announced.

With negotiations ongoing, a U.S. Navy helicopter over the Persian Gulf was buzzed by an Iranian military jet — the incident kept quiet so as not to upset the Iranians with a protest.

Obama negotiators also remained silent last month when the commander of Iran’s Basij militia, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, declared Israel’s destruction “non-negotiable.” Yet despite this, we negotiate a deal giving Tehran access to nukes!

Also ignored by U.S. negotiators was evidence Iran’s nuclear program is for military purposes, refusing to confront the mullahs on an Iranian document describing an electro-magnetic pulse (i.e., nuclear) weapon attack against the U.S.

A good sign one side has fallen under the spell of the other in negotiations is the latter using the former’s language. When asked at one point by a Westerner if a deal was possible, Secretary of State John Kerry’s “Inshallah” (God willing) response suggested as much.

Other recent developments quite telling about Iranian intentions also were ignored.

Obama refuses to hold Tehran accountable for its terrorist acts but U.S. courts do. Last month, a civil court ordered Iran pay $75 million to the family of a sailor lost in the October 2000 USS Cole suicide attack. Awards by other courts totaling billions recognize Iranian involvement in numerous attacks including the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing and 9/11.

It appears our “tough” negotiators failed to win promises Iran stop such terrorist activity, release Americans being held, stop threats against the West or otherwise act as a responsible member of the international community.

Iran’s terrorist proxy group Hezbollah understands far better than Americans what this deal contains — calling it a victory making Tehran “a member of the nuclear club.” It is chilling to have a terrorist organization say such words about a terrorist state.

Usually a supporter of Obama’s policies, the Washington Post is very critical of the deal for failing to shut down any of Iran’s nuclear facilities or dismantle any of the 19,000 centrifuges used to enrich uranium. Additionally, while the existing enriched uranium stockpile is to be reduced, no demand (after Tehran rescinded willingness to do so) is made it be shipped outside the country. The deal leaves Iran’s nuclear infrastructure intact — theoretically freeze-dried for a decade — before claiming nuclear club membership. But this foolishly assumes a nation yet to honor any arms control agreement signed will do so now.

One expert, Joe Cirincione, head of the American anti-nuclear proliferation group the Ploughshares Fund, finds the deal so bad it will enable Iran to reduce its “breakout” time should it make a run for the bomb. This is because it allows installation of improved centrifuge technology shortening breakout from several months to three weeks.

Although U.S. law requires the topic of Iran’s suspected warhead research be addressed before sanctions are lifted, the deal is silent on this.

The U.S. negotiating trend throughout has been one of unwillingness to discuss critical issues — definitive of Iranian intentions — for fear of disrupting talks. That gave the Iranians an enormous negotiating advantage.

America’s Arab allies describe the agreement as “Obama’s bad and dangerous deal” — resulting from U.S. “weakness” that feeds Iranian “expansionist” plans. Ironically, this deal will trigger an arms race, completely defeating Obama’s declared policy during his first year to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Saudi Arabia is closely working with Pakistan on acquiring one as well.

U.S. law requires lobbyists representing foreign governments register as such. Obama’s ‘let’s make a deal at any price’ strategy with Iran represents a complete capitulation of U.S. interests. No lobbying firm could have better represented a client. Perhaps we should check — Obama’s name may well be on the registry.