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Invitation to danger in the Middle East and beyond

The America-led deal with Iran threatens many countries in the Middle East, not least Israel, virtually guarantees a nuclear Middle East, threatens American credibility, tolerance and consistency, and elates Iran.

The interim accord between Iran and six nations, under the leadership of the US, sets numerous dangerous precedents:

• Every one of the nuclear pursuits that Iran has agreed to give up is reversible; the sanctions relief that the West has agreed to is not reversible — the billions of dollars released to Iran cannot be retrieved. Worse:

• With this accord, the momentum shifts from squeezing, coercing, Iran to renounce its nuclear pursuit to releasing Iran from sanctions.

• The military option, supposedly “never taken off the table” by the US, including President Obama, is now seen in retrospect as never having been on the table to start with, since, as Obama now puts it, “only diplomacy can bring about a durable solution to the challenge posed by Iran’s nuclear program.” Which means: The invocation of a military option as a “last resort” by Obama (perhaps also by Bush) was just words. Which means:

• US credibility as a military power is undermined, since no one will believe, at least under the current administration, that a “military option” is ever a genuine threat. (Among the current non-believers: Syria and Saudi Arabia.)

Read related news analysis, “Interim deal on Iran splits Congress on new sanctions

• American relations with Israel can only become contentious (that’s probably understating it), since Netanyahu committed to Obama not to strike Iran in return for Obama’s commitment that an accord

such as the one now struck would never be struck.

• Ditto. Relations with Saudi Arabia.

• Ditto. Iraq.

• Ditto. Egypt.

• Ditto. Jordan.

• The affirmation of the right of Iran to a nuclear pursuit — whether the word “right” is used or not — is unequivocally included in this accord; and if Iran has that right, so does Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, and Egypt, and Jordan, and, for that matter, Syria, and the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, and Yemen, and Aden. Which means:

• A nuclear Middle East.

• The conclusion of an agreement with Iran on nuclear matters is a dangerous simultaneity, an intolerable American tolerance of hate. As follows: Iran hates Israel and hates Jews, and the evidence for this is not just from the previous regime of Ahmadinejad, but also from the new, “moderate” regime. Its supreme leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khameini, called Israel Prime Minister an “unclean rabid dog” this week, well after the election of the new, “moderate” regime. Which means:

• The primary motivation of Iran to develop a nuclear weapon — to destroy or destabilize Israel — is not reduced one iota by this accord. On the contrary, this accord reinforces the Iranian bigotry, for this bigotry is now shown not to deter the West from coming to terms with Iran.

• This accord shines a damning light on the Obama technique of verbally validating the worries of that country which stands the most to lose by this accord, Israel (Obama: “[Netanyahu] has good reason to be skeptical about Iran’s intentions”), and thinking that a verbal validation is sufficient to keep Israel at bay, sufficient to compensate for a practical act of endangering Israel.

• The apologetics for this accord blithely ignore hard realities. Obama, for example, notes that the accord forbids Iran to start up new centrifuges, failing to mention that Iran already has 10,000 operational centrifuges, and some of them may continue unhindered under the current accord. Which means:

• Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt and many other countries in the Middle East are being set up for a repetition of Obama’s post-massiveinsurance-cancellation gesture, when he said, “This one’s on us,” as if taking responsibility after the fact carries any meaning to people who cannot get their cancelled insurance back. With no disrespect intended for people who no longer have the insurance they were promised they could keep, Obama’s taking responsibility at some future time, after Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, would be far more horrendous. “This one’s on us” wouldn’t cut it in the face of the frightening specter of a nuclear Iran.

• The US has learned nothing from the North Korea fiasco, when the evil leadership of North Korea made all manner of promises to the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Go look: North Korea is a nuclear power, and the most oppressive power on earth. This dynamic in the nuclearization of North Korea is the precedent that both powered the current accord with Iran and foreshadows its potential horrors.

• Under the best interpretation and implementation of the current accord, Iran will be left with serious nuclear capabilities that will

need only a few weeks of violation of the accord to acquire the capacity to make a nuclear weapon.

• This agreement promises daily access to inspectors of Iran’s nuclear facilities — promises made to the six nations that negotiated the deal, but not to the International Atomic Energy Agency, i.e., to the inspectors themselves. Iran can cancel these promises with impunity at will. Any time Iran wishes to close its sites to the inspectors — such as the time after which it has taken hold of the billions of dollars in sanctions relief — Iran can do so. And proceed to make a bomb. Which, with Iran’s additional leeway to spin centrifuges that it is granted under the current accord, would only take a few weeks. So what if sanctions were then reinstated?

• In any event, it took years to bring such major world powers as China, Russia, Germany and India to agree to enforce the current sanctions — years of small-step by smallstep negotiations and agreements — but now what? If these (and other) countries begin to do business with Iran again, and if Iran violates its part of the accord, how practical is it to expect multiple American administrations to get these countries back on board with serious sanctions — and to do so in time to stop an Iranian bomb (even presuming that sanctions, by then, would make a difference)?

The only hope to avoid all of these dangers is for Congress to press ahead with more sanctions; is public outcry against the accord; is public support, in this country and elsewhere, for those leaders who decry this deal; is public support for Israel if it acts militarily against Iran; and is . . . prayer. Prayer for Israel. Prayer for all of the other states and peoples threatened by an Iran that is already the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

Obama is gleeful that he got Osama bin Laden. Obama has now made a pact with bin Laden’s tactical and ideological (if not religious) admirers and successors.

What cause for hope is that?

Copyright © 2013 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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