Democrats & Liberals Archives

Final Deal with Iran Announced

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released the full text of the final agreement reached by the 6 negotiation partners with Iran. I have not had time to look at the agreement itself nor have I read much commentary regarding its details, so I am withholding judgement for now.

Back in April, I discussed the announced parameters regarding the current negotiations with Iran. I still hold the same opinions that I did then.

Most important in my approach is the fact that in the absence of a deal, economic pressure on Iran is probably going to be decreased. Note what the British, French and German Ambassadors to the US said last May:

"You're already seeing a number of countries which of course don't respect the embargo on oil," U.K. Ambassador Peter Westmacott said Tuesday, referring to half a dozen economies with an exemption from U.S. sanctions that lets them import Iranian crude, as well as companies that have sought to evade bans on trade. Westmacott spoke alongside his French and German counterparts at the Atlantic Council, a Washington policy institute, about the prospects for reaching a deal on Iran's nuclear program before a self-imposed deadline of June 30. Sanctions on Iran have probably reached "the high water mark," the British envoy said. "You would probably see more sanctions erosion" if the talks collapse, unless the failure were "clearly, incontrovertibly" Iran's fault. "If diplomacy fails, then the sanctions regime might unravel," German Ambassador Peter Wittig said. "It depends on who's to blame if there's no deal." Some would view a move by the U.S. Congress "blocking this deal" as a "trigger" to stop observing sanctions, he warned. President Barack Obama, under pressure from lawmakers, signed a measure giving Congress the opportunity to review a deal before any U.S. sanctions could be eased.

If these are the thoughts of our allies, imagine what the Russians & Chinese must think. This is why an agreement that merely delays Iran's nuclear capabilities by 15 years might be the lesser of the three evils.

Regardless, I won't have a fully informed opinion until at least next week. Please note I will be away from home Thursday through Sunday, so I won't be available to answer comments. It also means my participation will be rather sparse today through Thursday as I must spend time making preparations.

Posted by Warren Porter at July 14, 2015 9:30 AM
Comments
Comment #396556


It is my understanding, from what I’ve read, that a great many countries, allies, and enemies alike are ready to tell our Congress to go pound sand. The sanctions could be lifted with or without us.

Scott Walker and Mike Huckabee’s heads are about to explode, as is Netanyahu’s.

All we can do is wait and see…

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 14, 2015 10:10 PM
Comment #396557

Rocky,
Looks like Obama hit it out of the park.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/14/iran-nuclear-deal-reactions_n_7793728.html

Favorable reaction is coming in from virtually every country. The only opposition is coming from Israel and American conservatives. All the GOP is doing is making itself look ridiculous in the eyes of the world. Jeb Bush-Bush called it “appeasement.” And no, I can not explain that. Caught a minute of Hannity interviewing Cheney. One would think the idea is to gain supporters, not scare the crap out of them by trotting out a snarling awful reminder of the failed foreign policy of the previous administration. Cheney and Bush did nothing about Iran. Nothing.

Obama is turning out to be one of the great leaders of our time, and the most successful president since FDR.

Posted by: phx8 at July 14, 2015 10:48 PM
Comment #396558

I don’t know much of what is in the agreement so I will not say much but what I will say is if our people who are held by Iran are not released, Obama is worse than Jimmy Carter ever thought about being, by the way phx8 what exactly are we getting out of all this?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 15, 2015 8:50 AM
Comment #396559

The deal with Iran is limited to nuclear technology. Other aspects of Iran’s malevolence are not a part of the deal as they were not cited as justification of the UNSC sanctions. Therefore, this deal will not have any impact on any Americans held hostages in Iran. Obama’s handling of the hostage situation, good or bad, is irrelevant to whether the US should accept or decline the current deal before us.

by the way phx8 what exactly are we getting out of all this
Because an Iranian nuclear weapon would not threaten the US directly, we will actually gain nothing from this deal. Israel, on the other hand, will benefit immensely. Instead of contending with a nuclearized Persian state before the end of the decade, they will have a framework for ensuring that Iran’s military remains denuclearized for at least 15 years. Afterwards, Iran will continue to participate in the NPT, which provides its own protocols to inhibit the development nuclear weapons in signatory nations. Posted by: Warren Porter at July 15, 2015 10:42 AM
Comment #396560

What will we gain? We advance the cause of nuclear non-proliferation. We have the opportunity to re-integrate Iran into the international community and a chance to re-establish diplomatic relations. We and our allies show that leadership uses diplomacy to achieve ends, and will only resort to force as a last resort- that cooperation is rewarded, and ultimately benefits everyone.

In economic terms, we may see lower oil prices, and a slight increase in overall international trade. Iran is a relatively small country, but still, it helps.

When China opened in the 70’s, it took a long time for that to come to fruition. In some ways, we are still working on it. This treaty offers the same kind of opening with Iran. It won’t happen quickly. It may not happen at all. But it is certainly worth trying.

I know this kind of optimism is fundamentally foreign to the conservative mindset. Sometimes optimism doesn’t work out. But it is a far more rewarding mindset than perpetual fear and anger.

Posted by: phx8 at July 15, 2015 11:22 AM
Comment #396561

Some people want to see all issues with Iran resolved immediately. That is impractical. We have to prioritize. That is not to say hostages are unimportant. My guess is that we will negotiate something there fairly soon. Other issues, like support for international bad actors and hatred of Israel, are much more difficult and will also need to be addressed.

Another benefit is that I do not think the Iranian government will be able to stand close contact with the western culture. Given enough time, the Iranian people will turn their back on the religious fundamentalists. But it does take time.

Be confident in our political system, our economic system, and our culture. We are more powerful than some people realize.

And with our surveillance technology, the chances of the Iranians secretly building a bomb are zero. We are a LOT better there than people realize.

Posted by: phx8 at July 15, 2015 11:27 AM
Comment #396562

KAP,

Iran gets billions of dollars and gets to continue its nuclear work. It gets to continue hating and threatening the US and it gets to continue being a state sponsor of terrorism.

We get the satisfaction to hope that we appeased Iran enough to abide by the agreement.
My guess is that we are in the same position as last year and we get a nuclear armed Iran in 5-10 years. We get a nuclear armed Iran with mid range delivery capabilities in 10-15 years.

Those on the right get the pure entertainment value of watching the left trying to spin this as the greatest of great from the king of all kings. LOL.
They know dang well that this whole thing hinges on Iran’s willingness to honor the agreement, something Iran’s past gives no indication of it doing.
They know dang well that this might possibly only delay Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, not prevent it.

The quest for some kind of meaningful legacy continues, LOL.

Posted by: kctim at July 15, 2015 11:42 AM
Comment #396563

Exactly kctim, we get NOTHING Iran gets it all and laughing all the way to the bank. The left is going to get themselves dizzy with all the spin.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 15, 2015 12:20 PM
Comment #396564

Keep dreaming phx8, someday you will have a winner in the W.H. but not this time.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 15, 2015 12:22 PM
Comment #396565

Absent ground invasion, regime change or nuclear annihilation, there is nothing we can do to prevent Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons. Delaying is the best we can hope for. The big question is which situation will cause a greater delay to Iran’s nuclear program? With the deal, there are reasonable protocols put in place that make it extremely difficult for Iran’s militarized nuclear research to progress much in the next 10 or 15 years. On the other hand, without a deal there are zero protocols in place to keep track of Iran’s activities or limit its research. If Russia, China and Europe blame the US for letting a deal collapse, they will likely lift sanctions unilaterally and Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons will be enhanced.

If this deal is not approved by the US Congress, Iran will acquire nuclear weapons in 5 years. I guarantee it.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 15, 2015 12:41 PM
Comment #396567

Warren, with or without the deal Iran will have the bomb within a year. Iran is about as trust worthy as N. Korea.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 15, 2015 1:15 PM
Comment #396568

“And with our surveillance technology, the chances of the Iranians secretly building a bomb are zero. We are a LOT better there than people realize.”

The most dimwitted among us would never give zero odds of anything not happening.

We have heard from this president who obviously believes we got a good deal. We have heard unfulfilled promises and lies from this man many many times in the past on obamacare, illegal immigration, border security and more.

I place no trust in his interpretation alone of the Iranian deal. I will wait for more information and more discussion.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 15, 2015 2:05 PM
Comment #396569
I will wait for more information and more discussion.

I found Max Fisher’s interview with Jeffery Lewis to be quite informative. Regarding the so-called “snap back” provision on sanctions:

The snapback thing is really clever, I had to read it a couple of times to make sure it said what I think it said.

According to the deal, the way this is going to work is that sanctions will be lifted, but in a conditional fashion. If any party to the deal — and, not to spill the beans, that means the United States — is dissatisfied with Iran’s compliance, then first it has to go to the joint commission [of the seven states that signed the Iran deal plus the European Union]. If they don’t get satisfaction, then they go to the UN Security Council. And they can notify them that they’re not satisfied with the compliance of another party.

That starts a 30-day clock ticking. The Security Council must act to resolve the concerns of the state. If the Security Council does nothing — which could include them trying to pass something and the US vetoing it — at the end of the 30 days, if there’s no action from the Security Council, the sanctions are reimposed automatically.

If Lewis’ interpretation is correct, then this is a truly excellent deal. Even in the worst case scenario, it seems the US can unilaterally reimpose sanctions on Iran. This gives the agreement real teeth in order to enforce Iranian compliance.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 15, 2015 4:22 PM
Comment #396570

“If Lewis’ interpretation is correct, then this is a truly excellent deal.”


I am constantly amazed at how little it takes to please an obamaite.

If Iran cheats we can reimpose sanctions. Big f*cking deal. The sanctions have been in place for years and the result is that we have insured that Iran will sooner or later have nuclear weapons.

Iran has emerged from the “deal” greatly empowered, enriched, and emboldened. They have been given a license to cause further unrest in the region with almost a guarantee by our president that we will not interfere.

I expect greater and more frequent battles in that part of the world with the US continuing to waffle and play no significant role. We no longer are the leaders in world affairs. We are relegated to the back bench of events and have become mere spectators enthralled by domestic squabbles over sex and benefits.

When dictators and terrorists are not challenged, all hell breaks loose.


Posted by: Royal Flush at July 15, 2015 5:19 PM
Comment #396571

“If Lewis’ interpretation is correct, then this is a truly excellent deal.”


I am constantly amazed at how little it takes to please an obamaite.

If Iran cheats we can reimpose sanctions. Big f*cking deal. The sanctions have been in place for years and the result is that we have insured that Iran will sooner or later have nuclear weapons.

Iran has emerged from the “deal” greatly empowered, enriched, and emboldened. They have been given a license to cause further unrest in the region with almost a guarantee by our president that we will not interfere.

I expect greater and more frequent battles in that part of the world with the US continuing to waffle and play no significant role. We no longer are the leaders in world affairs. We are relegated to the back bench of events and have become mere spectators enthralled by domestic squabbles over same-gender marriage, who is allowed to legally be in our country and who gets more government benefits.

When dictators and terrorists are not challenged, all hell breaks loose. Be prepared.


Posted by: Royal Flush at July 15, 2015 5:25 PM
Comment #396572
I am constantly amazed at how little it takes to please an obamaite.

Royal you must be one of them that believe this problem started after Obama was elected. So just to keep you informed your boys, GWB and his boss Cheney, had the chance to fix this in a conservative manner, instead those chicken hawks stood by and did nothing. Well not nothing they did show us the results of their “cowboy diplomacy” in the meantime, what a joke that turned out to be. So bad that when America corrected the mistake they, the rest of the world, awarded our current president with a Nobel Peace prize! So before you get on the high horse of the non-involved and start believing Trump’s braying I would suggest you take a serious look at the situation.

Lets face it Royal the conservatives have applied a “starve the beast” strategy to make the government smaller these past 35 years. It worked. They actually charged the last war in the middle east off the books and on a credit card. Now they would have us believe they could do better were they in charge, yes they could send our grand kids onto war in the middle east but little else. Beyond that they couldn’t do any better in gaining a peaceful solution. Not even the Israeli wing of our Congress. They are brash and they are ready to make America the lackey of the Israel extremist but they couldn’t do better.

Lets face it Royal, we have France, Germany,the UK, China, Russia and the EU working this with us, yet you tell us it is Obama that could have done better! Your buffoonery has reached new heights in that you would blame these countries and our government for not doing better. Time to get off the kool aid Royal.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 15, 2015 8:41 PM
Comment #396573

To put it into context:
When Bush & Cheney took office, Iran had a few dozen centrifuges. By the time they left, Iran had 19,000.

Ladies and Gentlemen- the American Conservatives!!!

Posted by: phx8 at July 15, 2015 9:55 PM
Comment #396574

If you think this agreement is going to stop them you are dillusional and that’s liberalism.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 15, 2015 10:39 PM
Comment #396577

KAP, where were you when your guys were at the wheel? Your guys let them run amok. Why didn’t you advocate for Cowboy diplomacy then? You guys had a full run at it and instead you punted.

I guess it is easier to sit back and then complain and nit pik when a Nobel Peace prize winning president partners up with other major players in the world and gets some progress, but it just seems to make you guys and your small government approach… well… so small.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 15, 2015 10:57 PM
Comment #396578

Yea right j2 progress Iran gets what they want and the U. S gets nothing. Not even the 4 Americans that are rotting in an Iranian prison. Tell me why are there some in YOUR own party that are leery of this deal????

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 15, 2015 11:09 PM
Comment #396579

I wonder what would have been the outcome of these negotiations with Iran has we not had the cowboy diplomacy of GWB and the conservative controlled congress of the time. We were under the illusion that we could conquer the world in those days, and I suppose the Cottons of the world still suffer the same delusion. But we went into the WMD war in Iraq and not proved to Iran and the world our powers are not omnipotent.

I know conservatives complain because they think for some reason the negotiations could have been better had we threatened military force but conservatives are so delusional it is hard to take what they say seriously. Take the upstart Cotton as an example. He wants to invade Iran and show then we mean business but he has taken so much money from defense contractors, the war profiteers and Israel, that his opinion is worthless. How can we trust his judgement, especially after we trusted GWB and his boss and Cotton is just an inexperienced GWB?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 15, 2015 11:20 PM
Comment #396580
If you think this agreement is going to stop them you are dillusional and that’s liberalism.

The deal could delay the Iranian nuclear program long enough to beneficial to us and our allies. It could also fail, that is true. The problem is that the alternative (Congressional rejection of the deal) is far worse because it guarantees that Iran will develop a nuclear weapon in short order. At least with the deal we have a chance of delaying the Iranian bomb by a decade or more.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 15, 2015 11:21 PM
Comment #396581

Warren, The operative words are “COULD” and “CHANCE”. This agreement “COULD” be a catalyst for an arms race in the area. Then again the ayatollah might just say F**K YOU to it. Warren, IMO Iran already has the makings for a bomb but they know if they test we will know, that they can’t hide. Giving them notice that an inspection is coming is like telling a teen in 2 weeks I’m going to inspect your phone of course they are going to hide or move what they are really doing.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 15, 2015 11:41 PM
Comment #396582
Yea right j2 progress Iran gets what they want and the U. S gets nothing.

KAP, you seem to have missed the point of my post, where the hell were you guys when you had the wheel? You could have done better according to you guys but instead you did nothing! Now you complain, now you say it isn’t a good deal, but when your were up at the plate you didn’t swing you stood there and struck out without swinging the bat. Why do you think you have any say in the outcome now?


Not even the 4 Americans that are rotting in an Iranian prison.

Jeez KAP you guys are something. This negotiation was specific to nuclear bombs, how hard is that to understand? Are you really suggesting we scrap the whole thing because the Iranians didn’t release these 4 Americans? Would you have felt the same if the whole deal fell through because 4 Chinese were held and China wouldn’t sign off until these 4 were returned? Are you and your conservative friends gonna bring up other issues that had nothing to do with the subject as reasons to stop the whole agreement?
Things like the color of the Iranians flag or the fact that negotiations took place on a Sunday?


Tell me why are there some in YOUR own party that are leery of this deal????

KAP. once again I don’t have a party. But if you are asking me why some in the democratic party are leery of this deal I would suggest you ask them. I can offer an opinion but what good would it do, I mean would you believe me? Oh hell my first guess is because it is such an important deal and there are concerns. But it could be due to other reasons, such as they are conservatives and fear and hatred are the guiding factors in their decision making, or they suffer delusions that they could have done better than the many countries and their negotiators.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 15, 2015 11:44 PM
Comment #396583

KAP, So what do you want? Should we go to war with Iran or what? This arrogance, you guys thinking you could have done better by braying about military intervention went out the window with your cowboy diplomacy and the Iraq war. Your team screwed the pooch for the rest of us KAP. It is time to face facts, do you really want another war on a credit card and off the books?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 15, 2015 11:53 PM
Comment #396584

“But we went into the WMD war in Iraq and not proved to Iran and the world our powers are not omnipotent.”

should be “But we went into the WMD war in Iraq and not proved to Iran and the world our powers are not omnipotent.”

Posted by: j2t2 at July 15, 2015 11:57 PM
Comment #396585

whoa that should be “But we went into the WMD war in Iraq and not proved to Iran and the world our powers are not omnipotent.”

Posted by: j2t2 at July 16, 2015 12:00 AM
Comment #396586

j2, I never said anything about war, all that BS is coming from your keyboard not mine. If it were me j2 I would keep the sanctions until there was proof positive beyond a shadow of doubt Iran was keeping their half of the bargain and also the billions that are frozen. Then if they were a gradual release of sanctions and funds. I trust Iran as far as I can throw the BS you spread here.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 16, 2015 12:23 AM
Comment #396587
The operative words are “COULD” and “CHANCE”. This agreement “COULD” be a catalyst for an arms race in the area

You are right. There is a substantial risk Iran cheats on the deal and ends up destabilizing the region. However, under the agreement there is a chance that doesn’t happen. Absent any agreement, we are guaranteed to get a nuclearized Iran that destabilizes the region. I’d rather go with the option that at least has a chance of turning out better for everyone rather than the option that has no chance of doing so.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 16, 2015 8:47 AM
Comment #396588

Warren, The problem is we gave in to everything Iran wanted and a 24 day window to hide anything that goes against the agreement. All this agreement does is “PER CHANCE” slow down their bomb making abilities and does nothing to curb their Terrorist support activities.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 16, 2015 10:22 AM
Comment #396589

It would be difficult for anyone to be more consistently wrong about something then the conservatives on this blog and in Washington DC and the general conservative punditry from news sources are and have been about President Obama, without really trying hard to be wrong. When it comes to anything at all they have a built in capability to say the dumbest and most uninformed statements. President Obama is having a summer of success that is nearly unrivaled in our modern Presidential history. I do believe that there wont to be wrong is completely clouded by their wont to see him as something other than successful. Their ability to ignore his success has made it more difficult for them to oppose his ideas by virtue of the fact that he exhibits something that plays to their most weakest arguments against him, success.

From just this posting:

“Obama is worse than Jimmy Carter”
“watching the left trying to spin this as the greatest of great from the king of all kings”
“someday you will have a winner in the W.H. but not this time”
“unfulfilled promises and lies from this man”

They would be laughable if not for there serious misunderstandings.

I must ask our conservative cohorts here, how can you be and have been so wrong about something unless you just aren’t trying to be correct but only want to use rhetoric, innuendo and stupidity to guide your decision making? When does the “Aha” moment occur to you all? Your ability to ignore success in the face of your own desire for opposition is bordering on insanity or maybe just loss of mental capacities in judgment?

Now please don’t start with the “messiah” nonsense. You all know that my beliefs of President Obama and any of his predecessors in that position has been that they are honest men attempting to do a very difficult job to the best of their abilities, no matter their party affiliation. Coincidentally President Obama is appearing more adept at that than any recent predecessor (socially, economically, diplomatically, politically).

Conservative ideas and policies need to be recognized for the advantages they can provide if there are to attain any serious consideration. If all we see is an uncanny ability to not recognize any success, even when it is as evident as it has become, how can we accept the ideas and policies you wish to bring to the discussion?

This last 17 months can only become more difficult for conservatives to make any point to the general electorate if they do not at first accept even the most modest of successes of our President. This does not bode well for any necessary dialogue that will help contribute to our next general election for the office of President of the USA and the decisions that need to be made by the voting public.

I wish to remain confident that this agreement with Iran will help bring about the best outcome however the middle East and the participant governments and ideologies does not appear to have any intentions of good outcomes. That doesn’t mean I can’t persevere in that belief along with our President.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 16, 2015 11:00 AM
Comment #396590

Speaks, You and Obama can believe anything you want in that liberal Utopia, but sooner or later you have to accept Reality. Like I said a few times, Iran cannot be trusted to abide by any agreement NOW. That doesn’t mean that sometime in the future when all the “Old School” leaders are gone that some young leader gets rid of all the “Old School” ways.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 16, 2015 11:27 AM
Comment #396592

KAP,

The problem is that your alternative requires ones to believe that Iran will behave well in the absence of any agreement. I don’t want to even imagine the quantity of kool-aid it takes to believe such rubbish.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 16, 2015 12:00 PM
Comment #396593

KAP, glad to hear that you might hold out some hope for the future, that is not a bad thing. I believe we need more of that.

You have little ability to chastise me about accepting reality when you haven’t been able to exhibit even a smidgeon of reality when it comes to accepting the success that President Obama has experienced this summer. It would be nice to occupy that liberal Utopia you refer to but you see then I would be just like the conservatives on this blog, attempting to exist in a fantasy of your own making without regards to the reality of the situation.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 16, 2015 12:01 PM
Comment #396594

Speaks, have you read the agreement? It is not a success, it is a hope to delay.

The sanctions did not have the teeth or the support they needed in order to be effective. The other countries no longer want the sanctions in place and are not worried about the fact that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism and, a self proclaimed enemy of the US and Israel.

Rather than coming together and creating, applying and enforcing effective sanctions to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, the world gave up and are now trying to appease Iran in hope they won’t be a-holes when they get the bomb in a few years.

The agreement is available for viewing. Warren and other liberals with integrity are stating that there is “substantial risk Iran cheats on the deal.” Iran’s past proves it cannot be trusted.

The idea that this is all about Obama, is ridiculous. Using that excuse to ignore the facts wore out long ago.

Posted by: kctim at July 16, 2015 12:06 PM
Comment #396595

Warren, WRONG, I don’t believe Iran will behave well with an agreement. They got what they wanted now the dictators are rejoicing and laughing at us and still saying “Death to America and Israel”.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 16, 2015 12:08 PM
Comment #396597
I don’t believe Iran will behave well with an agreement

You have said this dozens of times. What you have not commented upon is the alternative scenario: No agreement with Iran.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 16, 2015 12:19 PM
Comment #396598

Warren read comment 396586.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 16, 2015 12:23 PM
Comment #396599

kct, no the Iran treaty cannot be deemed a success yet. That will take a lot more time. What was worn out a long time ago is opposition to anything about Obama because of “Obama”. Who on earth said this was about him, except perhaps you?

The treaty will be judged on the merits of it’s outcomes. My and your conjecture regarding these outcomes are just that, conjectures not based in reality.

The successes I refer to are socially, economically, diplomatically and politically. I did not say the success I refer to is the outcome of this agreement but I could say that the process of reaching an agreement appears to be successful in it’s first stages. This can change.

The facts are that we live in a dangerous world, fraught with any number of possible outcomes due to this agreement and many other agreements or avenues we are destined to take. That we attempt to address these dangers in a reasonable and thoughtful manner is something that I desire.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 16, 2015 12:28 PM
Comment #396600

Warren, Agreement, No agreement What’s the difference if they don’t abide by it. They are going to do what they want with or without. The scenario is the same, they will continue what they are doing behind our backs. Iran WILL CHEAT period.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at July 16, 2015 12:30 PM
Comment #396601

8 No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 16, 2015 12:42 PM
Comment #396602

If it were me j2 I would keep the sanctions until there was proof positive beyond a shadow of doubt Iran was keeping their half of the bargain and also the billions that are frozen. Then if they were a gradual release of sanctions and funds. I trust Iran as far as I can throw the BS you spread here.

So just keep things as they are, but then they would still be building right? I don’t understand this logic, or are you suggesting have it both ways despite the inability to actually do so. Those that trade with Iran and want the oil aren’t gonna keep the sanctions in place forever KAP. I guess we could try Cotton’s bluster and braying approach but do you think it would work?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 16, 2015 12:45 PM
Comment #396604

Who on earth said this was about him? You did.
In a post about the Iranian agreement, you just posted 3+ paragraphs stating your opinion that those who disagree do so because their want to see him fail prevents them from seeing his success. That they ignore success simply out of opposition.

The facts are that this agreement does nothing to prevent an enemy of the US and one of its closest allies, from getting the nuclear weapons it desires.

Posted by: kctim at July 16, 2015 1:02 PM
Comment #396605

Speaks; “Your ability to ignore success in the face of your own desire for opposition is bordering on insanity or maybe just loss of mental capacities in judgment?”

Success? Ensuring that Iran achieves nuclear weapons is success? Releasing billions of held assets to the prime financier of terrorism in the Middle East is success? Obama and Kerry kissing The Ayatollah’s butt is success?

It appears that once again our liberal friends are pleased when our country is humiliated and further endangered.

Iran’s goal was to have the sanctions lifted. DONE

Iran’s goal was to deny snap inspections of their facilities. DONE

Iran’s goal was to further its power and influence in the Middle East. DONE

Iran’s goal was to weaken our relationship with friendly countries in the region. DONE

The goal of the United States was to give obama a legacy. DONE.

It will take some years before we know for certain that his legacy is actually a noose around our necks.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 16, 2015 2:03 PM
Comment #396606

Speaks; “Coincidentally President Obama is appearing more adept at that than any recent predecessor (socially, economically, diplomatically, politically).”

Adept is the appropriate word Speak.

He changed his mind on same gender marriage for political gain. He changed his mind on the legality of his writing immigration law for political gain. He bargained away our primary chip of sanctions to control bad behavior by Iran.

Adept is correct. obama is just another snake-oil salesman pandering to the ignorant. He can change his mind and call black, white better than any president I know. Like the snake he is, he sheds his skin to fit the politics currently in vogue.

I sure am glad that Roosevelt and Truman weren’t enthrall with a “Peace Prize” instead of doing what is necessary to protect America.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 16, 2015 2:13 PM
Comment #396607

Warren; “The problem is that your alternative requires ones to believe that Iran will behave well in the absence of any agreement.”

Iran’s Ayatollah and his party came to the bargaining table primarily because the sanctions were so effective they were losing control of the country. A few more years of sanctions and they would have capitulated completely or be overthrown.

Obama and Kerry have ensured Iran will have nuclear weapons and the money to finance even more terrorism and unrest.

I fully expect that when Iran explodes its first nuclear device obama will blame Bush.

My generation lived under the nuclear threat from the Soviets. My liberal friends will live under the nuclear threat from Iran and their proxies. We survived…will they?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 16, 2015 2:20 PM
Comment #396608

Iran’s goal was to develop nuclear technology unmolested by IAEA inspections: UNDONE

Iran’s goal was to have the sanctions lifted immediately and unconditionally: UNDONE

Iran’s goal was to mine uranium without any outside monitoring: UNDONE

Iran’s goal was to keep all its existing centrifuges: UNDONE

Iran’s goal was to keep certain aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle inaccessible from the IAEA’s purview: UNDONE

Russia & China’s goal of unilaterally lifting sanctions against Iran: UNDONE

The goal of the United States was to make the best of a bad situation whereby support for the UNSC sanctions was crumbling not only in Russia & China, but Europe as well. Although the deal is far from perfect, it is decent given the weak hand Obama was playing with.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 16, 2015 2:21 PM
Comment #396609
A few more years of sanctions and they would have capitulated completely or be overthrown.
Bullshit. North Korea has faced far more onerous sanctions for much longer, but the state remains. Sanctions were definitely making life uncomfortable for Iran, but they were never an existential threat to the regime.
Iran’s Ayatollah and his party came to the bargaining table primarily because the sanctions were so effective they were losing control of the country.
Those sanctions were partly put in place as a result of the brutality of the second Ahmadinejad administration. Once Rouhani replaced him, China & Russia indicated that it was time for the sanctions to be lifted. China & Russia are desperate to trade with Iran and this has emboldened Iran when interacting with 5+1, severely weakening Obama & Kerry’s ability to extract concessions from Iran.
I fully expect that when Iran explodes its first nuclear device obama will blame Bush.
Obviously. Bush dropped the ball on this one 10 years ago by insisting on multilateral talks instead of going the bilateral route favored by Kerry. Granted, the Clinton administration shares its portion of the blame. Posted by: Warren Porter at July 16, 2015 2:36 PM
Comment #396610

“China & Russia are desperate to trade with Iran and this has emboldened Iran when interacting with 5+1, severely weakening Obama & Kerry’s ability to extract concessions from Iran.”

Please cite source.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 16, 2015 2:45 PM
Comment #396612

kct, believe what you will but understand that it is my contention that I did not call this agreement a success. I may have intoned that the ability to reach an agreement could be considered successful since that is what happened. I know you like to read between the lines of anything I type but I did not say that the Iran agreement had a successful outcome and credit Obama with that, he has many other successes this summer that point to his abilities socially, economically, diplomatically and politically.

RF, I will wait until you have attained the office of President of the USA before lending any credence to your opinions. For now, as always, you demonstrate your inability to process information when it comes to our President and you demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge regarding the Middle East and the political acumen necessary for our leadership to make the correct decisions. I have every bit of confidence that President Obama has a lot more of the aforementioned acumen than you possess.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 16, 2015 3:13 PM
Comment #396613

Ah, yes Speak…they call it Potomac fever. obama has it bad and you caught it.

The president changes positions faster than a liberal can spend public money and you call it leadership.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 16, 2015 3:27 PM
Comment #396614

RF, you seem to only want to type nonsense now. You make vague accusations and insipid remarks regarding our President. Your canards and hyperbole are very boring and I will not respond to that.

How about telling us what a conservative might do to make our country a better place? What might a conservative have done in the Middle East that could be considered better than what this Iran agreement lends itself to.

You have diminished your capability of judging our present situation by focusing to much on one man and your dislike of him. Get a grip.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 16, 2015 3:44 PM
Comment #396615

Sigh. You have ran off topic again, Speaks.
We weren’t discussing whether you thought the agreement was a success or not. In fact, in a surprising but brief moment of clarity, you actually displayed the ‘wait and see’ attitude shared by others.
What we were discussing is the Iranian agreement and your claim that all disagreement with policy and actions is based solely on opposition of Obama. I showed you where you were wrong on that.

Your definition of success and your opinions about Obama’s abilities socially, economically, and politically, are not the topic. When they are, we can discuss them.
But for now, let’s give Warren the respect of discussing the topic he posted about.

Posted by: kctim at July 16, 2015 3:49 PM
Comment #396616

kct, my perception of President Obama is not what I am debating with you. Your perception of President Obama and your ability to process the information contained in the Iran agreement is something I debate with you. Your attempts to tie everything to him started with this “watching the left trying to spin this as the greatest of great from the king of all kings”. Now do you understand that it is you attempting to put words into my keyboard? I did not type what is contained within the quotes but you did. You have displayed nothing here but your constant objection and dislike of a man that has reached political aspirations that you never, ever will be entitled to. I discuss the topics I want to here that I believe to be relevant to the discussion, I don’t wait for your invitation to do so, no matter how much you demand that.

I’ll leave any chastisement about being off topic to the author.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 16, 2015 4:02 PM
Comment #396617

Speak; “You make vague accusations and insipid remarks regarding our President.”

Good Grief man, don’t you ever read anything. obama has changed positions on everything I listed and more.

Blind support of obama, and denying verifiable fact regarding obama’s constantly changing positions is absurd.

Speak; ” What might a conservative have done in the Middle East that could be considered better than what this Iran agreement lends itself to.”

Reading challenged again Speak. I already gave my position and you even referred to it. Even someone with Alzheimer’s has a memory of more than a few minutes.

I find it interesting that Speaks often writes of the great achievement of obama in becoming president. I guess he can’t believe that a man, so devoid of morality, justice, and love of country could become president.

For your information Speak, I have many personal achievements that obama will never attain. And, I would never sell out an entire nation for personal gratification and aggrandizement.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 16, 2015 4:40 PM
Comment #396618

RF, again your inability to process information has been clouded by your asinine references to your dislike of our President. Your perception of him is your problem, not mine. President Obama may have changed some of his positions but I have no idea why you would think your ideas should be considered more important than his other than your rampant arrogance that borders on the ridiculous during some of our discussions. I don’t doubt that you believe you have “many personal achievements”. We all get very tired of hearing of those but nonetheless they are diminutive when compared to some one who occupies the office of our President, no matter how much you think they mean to you they mean little to any of us.

Reading challenged? I think not, perhaps if you consider that we have to keep using your distorted references to try to parse out what you mean you might understand the difficulty in attempting to figure out what you are trying to say besides, Obama bad, Obama bad.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 16, 2015 5:08 PM
Comment #396620

RF, oh and you would sell out anything in your life if you could denigrate our President, any liberal or any democrat so I cannot subscribe to your contention of moral superiority.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 16, 2015 5:11 PM
Comment #396621

Speaks

“my perception of President Obama is not what I am debating with you.”

I am aware of that, I know how to follow a discussion. As I have said more than once, it is your perception that people disagree simply out of opposition to Obama, that we were discussing.

“Your perception of President Obama”

CONTEXT Speaks. My ‘king of kings’ remark was poking fun at those who feel they must glorify everything Obama does. The entertainment value of that is priceless.

“and your ability to process the information contained in the Iran agreement is something I debate with you.”

I have processed it just fine and would LOVE to finally debate the actual topic.

“You have displayed nothing here but your constant objection and dislike of a man”

What I object to and dislike are the policies he has supported to date. I do not know, nor have I ever met the man, so it is ridiculous to suggest that I dislike him.

“that has reached political aspirations that you never, ever will be entitled to.”

Um, ok? Boo-hoo? So what?
I am not a politician, so I don’t have any political aspirations. And I’m not entitled to anything.

“I discuss the topics I want to here that I believe to be relevant to the discussion, I don’t wait for your invitation to do so, no matter how much you demand that.”

It wasn’t an invitation or a demand. It was simple request out of respect for Warren and the time he took out of his personal life to create this post about the Iranian agreement.

Posted by: kctim at July 16, 2015 5:20 PM
Comment #396622

kct, you are correct you are not entitled to anything and especially not the respect you so ardently desire on this blog. You would be attributed that respect if you displayed something other than what you normally do.

I believe you have been informed by others here that by all accounts this is probably the best deal that could have been reached given the circumstances that have evolved. The sanctions were meant to get the Iranians to the agreement table not to use against them once the agreement started to be discussed. This would be true along with the bargaining of prisoners being held by Iran, this distorts the discussion that is attempted in the agreement and only lends itself to the rabid insistence that “President Obama gave it all away” nonsense.

The sanctions are contained in the “snap back” clause and will be implemented if Iran “cheats”.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 16, 2015 5:35 PM
Comment #396623

“The sanctions are contained in the “snap back” clause and will be implemented if Iran “cheats”.
Posted by: Speak4all at July 16, 2015 5:35 PM

MY God man…how gullible can one person be.

We are told by liberals here that China and Russia were going to trade with Iran despite sanctions if an agreement wasn’t reached. Now, this goofy guy says the sanctions will snap back “if” Iran cheats. HO Hum.

Iran never revealed the work they have already done at secret sites and these fools talk about cheating in the future.

obama and Kerry are first class fools. Some would call them worse.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 16, 2015 6:17 PM
Comment #396624

During the Bush administration, Iran went from several dozen to 19,000 centrifuges. The Obama administration (and Israel) destroyed most of those centrifuges with the Stuxnet virus. In addition, there was a sustained campaign of assassination of top Iranian scientists by an unnamed country.

Anyone remember Snowden and what we learned about US surveillance capabilities? The idea that that Iran can secretly break the treaty and develop nukes is ludicrous.

The only reason- the ONLY reason- conservatives oppose this treaty is gross partisanship. It is more important to them to harm Obama and deny him a victory than to do what is right for the country, even to the point of risking war nuclear proliferation.

Posted by: phx8 at July 16, 2015 6:37 PM
Comment #396625

“The idea that that Iran can secretly break the treaty and develop nukes is ludicrous.”

The idea that anyone would believe that is extremely foolish considering the secret facilities discovered and what we still don’t know about their program.

obama told Americans in public what he would demand and in reality he got nothing but a piece of worthless paper. This man is a consummate liar, and worse, believes his own lies.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 16, 2015 7:07 PM
Comment #396626

Perhaps some lib can help us understand the rationale behind the Iran agreement.

The obama/Kerry position was that without a deal the Iranians would rush to make a nuclear weapon.

Now that Iran has a deal they won’t rush to make a nuclear weapon.

If all this is true, then the treaty was simply Iran blackmailing us or a good bluff by Iran. Either way, the fools in Washington fell for it.

My question is simple. Does anyone believe that Iran will now stop work on nuclear weapons?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 16, 2015 7:34 PM
Comment #396627

Would those who use the words “bad behavior” to describe terrorism, murder, and worse by Iran, please wake up to reality.

Must we be politically correct and not offend our Iranian friends while they call for our annihilation?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 16, 2015 7:44 PM
Comment #396628

We routinely have conservatives calling for attacks on Iran, bombing. It is safe to say relations are not good. This treaty may be a way to improve them. And it is worth pointing out the Iranians and the US cooperate when their interests coincide, such as fighting ISIS.

Posted by: phx8 at July 16, 2015 8:53 PM
Comment #396629

Wasn’t it a Democratic president that gave the nukes to North Korea? How is this any different?

In the long run the results are going to be the same.

Iran will eventually get a bomb just like North Korea eventually got a bomb.

We made out like a fat rat, really. We had to give North Korea a nuclear reactor. Iran already has theirs.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 16, 2015 10:03 PM
Comment #396630

Royal you are quick to call others fools but slow to realize your own foolishness.
First you tell us-
“If Iran cheats we can reimpose sanctions. Big f*cking deal. The sanctions have been in place for years and the result is that we have insured that Iran will sooner or later have nuclear weapons.”

But then you say-
“Iran’s Ayatollah and his party came to the bargaining table primarily because the sanctions were so effective they were losing control of the country. A few more years of sanctions and they would have capitulated completely or be overthrown.”

Brings to mind another of your hateful blatherings-
“Like the snake he is, he sheds his skin to fit the politics currently in vogue.”

You guys are special, this Obama derangement syndrome you suffer from has clouded your ability to think and reason. To hear you talk one would have to forget the other players in the game. Russia, China, UK, Germany and France went to the bargaining table. You focus on Kerry and Obama spewing hatred and vitriol as if you had cause.

Then there is history, BO- before Obama, remember that? Your boys sent us into Iraq and we took up residence trashed the place then spent big money to rebuild it. What kind of message does that send Iran when it comes time to sit down at the table? Yet you forget it was your team that screwed the pooch with the empire building scheme. But that isn’t bad enough you then have the audacity to spew this garbage as if you had a solution, what a joke you conservatives have become.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 16, 2015 11:08 PM
Comment #396631

Royal Flush

“It will take some years before we know for certain that his legacy is actually a noose around our necks.”

I think most of us with any critical thinking skills are pretty sure of that already. It’s just a matter of how long until the executioner pulls the handle.

This president is either a complete moron, or a communist who is purposefully destroying this country. Maybe both.

Posted by: dbs at July 17, 2015 4:47 AM
Comment #396633

Speaks

Dude, you REALLY need to learn how to better understand what you read. The respect I was referring to was for the work Warren does here on WatchBlog, not myself.

“I believe you have been informed by others here that by all accounts this is probably the best deal that could have been reached given the circumstances that have evolved.”

FINALLY!

Yes, I have read where others believe this was as good as it was gonna get and I agree that from the negotiation position we took, it was.
I however, would have preferred for us to have taken a position of power with the sanctions and in the negotiations. Appeasing North Korea and Iraq did not work, so why think it would with Iran? I would have liked to have seen us strengthening our relations with the other countries so that the sanctions would have had Iran crawling to us for relief, rather than dictating the terms.

“The sanctions are contained in the “snap back” clause and will be implemented if Iran “cheats””

Let’s think about that for a minute.
We are being told that the other countries are tired of the current sanctions.
We are being told that this deal is great because “without a deal there are zero protocols in place to keep track of Iran’s activities or limit its research.” That without this deal, Iran is guaranteed to get the bomb.

And now we are being told that is what we will “snap-back” to if Iran fails to comply?

Posted by: kctim at July 17, 2015 10:15 AM
Comment #396635

And now we are being told that is what we will “snap-back” to if Iran fails to comply?
Posted by: kctim at July 17, 2015 10:15 AM

I believe the Libs refer to that as “having their cake and eating it too.”

My guess is that few Libs believe North Korea and its nuclear weapons are a threat. Projecting that faulty thinking, they believe a nuclear armed Iran will be peaceful.

Our president is the poster-boy for “rosy-glasses” thinking.

Could our Liberal friends share with us the obama plan when Iran is found to be violating the “deal”. This “snap-back” provision means nothing. Does anyone really believe we could achieve another UN sanction round on Iran? That horse was shot in the head by obama/kerry.

The world has always been a dangerous place for liberty and freedom. We, and others, have defended both with arms and conviction numerous times. I can’t recall the free world ever willingly giving our enemies the weapons with which to destroy us.

But Hell…we have a new thinking in Washington. Temporary Peace at any price.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 17, 2015 3:44 PM
Comment #396636

“Could our Liberal friends share with us the obama plan when Iran is found to be violating the “deal”.”

Blame Bush?

LOL!!!

Posted by: kctim at July 17, 2015 5:00 PM
Comment #396637

“Could our Liberal friends share with us the obama plan when Iran is found to be violating the “deal”.”

Blame Bush?

LOL!!!
Posted by: kctim at July 17, 2015 5:00 PM

LOL…already confirmed by a true liberal in a post above.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 17, 2015 5:06 PM
Comment #396642

“Years from now, perhaps historians will point out the irony that Obama, who loudly proclaims his goal of making the world free of nuclear weapons, has ushered in an era of mass nuclear proliferation and chaos.”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/07/17/obamas_age_of_nuclear_chaos_127423.html

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 18, 2015 3:49 PM
Comment #396644

RF,
Please be more careful with your sources. The author of that article, Caroline Glick, is a right wing Neocon writer for the Jerusalem Post who has dual US/Israeli citizenship. She literally has divided loyalties. Do you?

Do you really think we should listen to a person who is literally a propaganda mouthpiece for the right wing Israeli government? She advocates for war. She thinks the US should forget diplomacy and bomb Iran. This would separate Israel and the US from our good allies, such as France, Britain, and other members of the EU, as well as other negotiating partners sharing our common goal and commitment to nuclear non-proliferation.

That is not in the best interests of the United States. War is a last resort, and it is possible negotiations and agreements can work. Caroline Glick is a voice for aggression and violence, a Jewish Supremacist who exercises a double standard whenever it comes to Gentiles- that is, anyone who is not Jewish. This is a person who spreads evil in the world.

You’d do well to avoid her.

Posted by: phx8 at July 18, 2015 5:43 PM
Comment #396646

It appears that the right has the mistaken belief that along with being “The Super Power” in the world, America must also posses “Super Powers” such as the ability to bend the will of other countries to an American agenda.

Is it just possible that this treaty is exactly what it seems?

Moments after the treaty was announced Rouhani tweeted this;

“Many people prayed for the negotiating team during the holy month of Ramadan; I’m privileged to announce their prayers have been answered.”

http://www.salon.com/2015/07/18/what_war_hungry_conservatives_completely_ignore_about_iran/

“Given America’s 1953 overthrow in Iran, its support of Iraq’s 1980 invasion, its brutal economic sanctions and its quiet support for Israel’s nuclear arsenal, conventional wisdom dictates that Iran has no reason to trust America. But this is why President Rouhani’s tweet is so critical. It indicates that Iran is adamant on upholding the unparalleled rules of engagement and negotiation that Prophet Muhammad established—for the sake of regional and international peace.”

Y’all out there on the fringes are welcome to believe anything you damn well please, however I choose to keep an open mind and hope for the best.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 19, 2015 12:32 PM
Comment #396647

I choose to keep an open mind and hope for the best.

Rocky
Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 19, 2015 12:32 PM

Do we have any other choice Rocky?

My fear is not for me Rocky, my life is nearing the end. I fear for all the young people and next generation who will grow up during nuclear weapons proliferation and much greater danger of nuclear war.

As scary as it was during the Cold War, we believed in MAD. The Soviets and Chinese didn’t appear to be, and in fact weren’t, insane terrorists seeking heavenly rewards by killing others.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 19, 2015 2:16 PM
Comment #396648

Royal,

“As scary as it was during the Cold War, we believed in MAD. The Soviets and Chinese didn’t appear to be, and in fact weren’t, insane terrorists seeking heavenly rewards by killing others.”

I was in grade school and remember fallout shelters in people’s back yards, as if they were really going to be useful.
I remember vividly “duck and cover”. I was in 5th grade during the Cuban missile crisis. The point at the end was the Russians loved their children as much as we love ours.

After reading the article I linked to I can only hope the Iranians actually do feel the same way.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 19, 2015 4:50 PM
Comment #396649
Comment #396610 “China & Russia are desperate to trade with Iran and this has emboldened Iran when interacting with 5+1, severely weakening Obama & Kerry’s ability to extract concessions from Iran.”

Please cite source.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/china/2011-02-20/getting-china-sanction-iran

http://iranprimer.usip.org/blog/2014/jan/29/iran-and-asia-1-china-quiet-giant

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/08/iran-piles-pressure-on-us-with-china-oil-talks.html

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 19, 2015 5:32 PM
Comment #396651

RF + kctim,

Does anyone believe that Iran will now stop work on nuclear weapons?

Iran will always do what Khamenei believes is in its best interest. I think it is reasonable to believe there is a good chance Iran will cease its nuclear weapons research given the incentives contained in the recent deal.

Let’s think about that for a minute. We are being told that the other countries are tired of the current sanctions. We are being told that this deal is great because “without a deal there are zero protocols in place to keep track of Iran’s activities or limit its research.” That without this deal, Iran is guaranteed to get the bomb.

And now we are being told that is what we will “snap-back” to if Iran fails to comply?

Yes, it means that in the worst case scenario, the treaty reverts to the status quo. The status quo sucks, so it would suck if we had to return to it. However, it means we did not lose much by going through this exercise. The treaty has no downsides, and it still has a chance of bringing real positive change to the region.
This “snap-back” provision means nothing. Does anyone really believe we could achieve another UN sanction round on Iran? That horse was shot in the head by obama/kerry.

If Jeffery Lewis is to be believed, the US is permitted to unilaterally install another round of UN sanctions without getting the support of Russia or China if the US believes Iran has violated the deal.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 19, 2015 6:20 PM
Comment #396652
As scary as it was during the Cold War, we believed in MAD. The Soviets and Chinese didn’t appear to be, and in fact weren’t, insane terrorists seeking heavenly rewards by killing others.
The same is true of Khamenei and his bretheren. Nonetheless, a MAD situation needs to be avoided at all costs. Especially considering the fact that the US nuclear umbrella does not necessarily protect the Sunni Arab states which will undoubtedly seek deterrents against an Iranian nuke. Posted by: Warren Porter at July 19, 2015 6:27 PM
Comment #396653

Warren,

As the article I linked states Iran hasn’t invaded any country in centuries.

Why now?

Or even tomorrow?

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 19, 2015 6:45 PM
Comment #396654

I think Iran’s docility is a bit exaggerated in Qasim Rashid’s piece in Salon. Under the Qajars, Iran invaded nearly all its neighbors at one point or another.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 19, 2015 7:00 PM
Comment #396655

Rocky, with nuclear weapons and a delivery system there is no need for invasion.

Iran is not seeking peace with its neighbors…isn’t that obvious to everyone?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 19, 2015 7:41 PM
Comment #396656

RF,

Do we assume Iran is so stupid as to first strike it’s neighbors?
Do we assume Iran is so stupid as not to know it cannot occupy any land that has been nuked?

Do we assume Iran is so stupid as not to know that any strike against Israel will be retaliated against with so much greater force that Iran itself will probably be wiped off the map?

These are educated people. What exactly would be the point?

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 19, 2015 8:40 PM
Comment #396657

Iran wants nukes to use as a deterrent and to bolster their influence in the region, not to instigate nuclear war against their neighbors. While it is preferable to avoid the MAD scenario, it is the likely outcome of a successful Iranian nuclear weapon. It would be bad for peace in the region, but it wouldn’t be armageddon.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 19, 2015 8:44 PM
Comment #396658

Warren, you give Iran much more credit than it deserves. It’s obvious why you guys are bending over backwards to make it seem as if this is some great thing, but after listening to Obama and Kerry these past few days, even you should be able to admit it’s not so great.

The US is permitted to unilaterally install another round of UN sanctions without getting the support of Russia or China? The status quo sucks, Warren, and it would suck if we had to return to it.
Or, so we have been told.

Posted by: kctim at July 20, 2015 9:59 AM
Comment #396660
The US is permitted to unilaterally install another round of UN sanctions without getting the support of Russia or China

That is what Jeffery Lewis said. I have not taken the time to look at the actual agreement.

The status quo sucks, Warren, and it would suck if we had to return to it.
This is what I believe. I value the chance to achieve something better than the status quo that the recent agreement offers.
to make it seem as if this is some great thing,
Last week, I characterized the deal as “truly excellent” based solely on the fact that the chance of this deal worsening the situation with respect to Iran is essentially nil. The reason it is essentially nil is because the US can unilaterally return to the status quo anytime it wishes. This is a huge concession from Russia & China and I am very surprised Obama & Kerry were able to prod them to obtain it.

Is this a “great deal” in the sense that it guarantees that Iran won’t pursue nuclear weapons? No, it isn’t. Nothing short of military occupation or nuclear annihilation will prevent Iran from cheating and producing a prohibited weapon. Nuclear annihilation was never in the cards and military occupation was taken off the table when we invaded Iraq. That being said, this deal is our best chance for preventing an Iranian nuke. Royal Flush is wrong when he says that a few more years of sanctions will do the trick. George W. Bush tried that with North Korea and the result was an atomic bomb tested in 2006. Obama isn’t going to make the same mistake.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 20, 2015 11:00 AM
Comment #396662

“Royal Flush is wrong when he says that a few more years of sanctions will do the trick.”

Warren, Iran is not North Korea. The citizens are much different. We have seen unrest in the past in Iran that threatened to topple the regime. keeping sanctions intact might have produced a successful rebellion to replace the hard-line and terrorist powers that govern them at present.

Appeasement and rewarding the “bad behavior” of the rulers in Iran will signal that more of the same will be tolerated by the world.

We may expect an even more aggressive Iran to emerge from this “deal”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 20, 2015 2:32 PM
Comment #396663

Warren, what I am trying to say is that we should not be content with just a “chance for preventing an Iranian nuke.” We are the worlds leader and there is no reason we should not have at least tried to work with the other countries to bring Iran to its knees with severe, but effective sanctions.

Great agreements are not based on a hope and a prayer. Heck, not even good agreements are.

“Obama isn’t going to make the same mistake.”

Unfortunately, we probably won’t know that until it’s too late.

Posted by: kctim at July 20, 2015 3:37 PM
Comment #396664
keeping sanctions intact might have produced a successful rebellion to replace the hard-line and terrorist powers that govern them at present.

The key word there is might. Although not impossible, the chance of that occurring is dwarfed by the chance that Iran obeys the agreement and behaves responsibly.

Are you seriously saying you want a ragtag movement of students upset about an election 6 years ago to be our sole hope for a nuclear-free Iran? I thought I was supposed to be the starry-eyed young man brimming with naivete and inexperience.

Appeasement and rewarding the “bad behavior” of the rulers in Iran will signal that more of the same will be tolerated by the world.

We may expect an even more aggressive Iran to emerge from this “deal”.


This is empty rhetoric. Regardless of what we do, Iran can be counted upon doing the same exact thing: whatever best serves its own national interest. With no deal and continued sanctions, conducting nuclear weapon research full-throttle would be a no-brainer for Iran. Our goal right now is to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon, not prevent an “agressive Iran”. Posted by: Warren Porter at July 20, 2015 3:39 PM
Comment #396665
there is no reason we should not have at least tried to work with the other countries to bring Iran to its knees with severe, but effective sanctions.

Do you have any evidence that suggests that other nations (Russia, France, UK, Germany & China) could be convinced to do this? I have repeatedly provided evidence that indicates that all of these countries have grown wary of sanctioning Iran now that Ahmadinejad is out of power.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 20, 2015 3:43 PM
Comment #396666

“This is empty rhetoric. Regardless of what we do, Iran can be counted upon doing the same exact thing:”

With billions more in their treasury Warren, it makes it much easier for them to fund terrorism around the world.

Money is the life-blood of terrorism.

Money brought Iran to the table. We caved.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 20, 2015 3:50 PM
Comment #396667
With billions more in their treasury Warren, it makes it much easier for them to fund terrorism around the world.

Money is the life-blood of terrorism.

What was the goal of the agreement? Preventing an Iranian nuclear weapons or reducing Iranian funding of terrorism?

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 20, 2015 4:08 PM
Comment #396668

Sorry Warren, the U.S. goal kept changing as the Iranians stood firm. Change the goal and declare victory. What a sham.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 20, 2015 4:18 PM
Comment #396669

Both sides made concessions in order to reach a consensus. I remain optimistic.

If Europe, China & Russia had been less keen on trading with Iran, perhaps a better deal could have been made, but we don’t live in such a world.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 20, 2015 4:26 PM
Comment #396670

“If Europe, China & Russia had been less keen on trading with Iran, perhaps a better deal could have been made, but we don’t live in such a world.”

Warren, whose trade is more important to the countries you listed…US or Iran?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 20, 2015 4:41 PM
Comment #396671

Warren and others continue to argue the administration position…”this deal is better than no deal”.

Are we really that weak? Are we really that desperate? Was this the only choice we had?

I can envision many alternatives to that policy of capitulation.

We have many more economic benefits to offer the other great powers than Iran does. Had our leaders been really convinced of the danger of an nuclear armed Iran they would have found a way to sway and entice our allies to demand much more in any deal with the Devil.

We have weakness in our leadership. A great opportunity was lost forever. The next time, it truly will be a question of war on their soil or ours.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 20, 2015 4:50 PM
Comment #396672

“We have weakness in our leadership.”

The sad thing Royal, is that I’m not even making that argument, but it’s all that’s behind what I am getting back.

Posted by: kctim at July 20, 2015 5:03 PM
Comment #396673
Warren, whose trade is more important to the countries you listed…US or Iran?

You must be insane if you think the US could impose economic sanctions against China or Europe without consequence.

I can envision many alternatives to that policy of capitulation.

I can imagine an army of unicorns marshaled by the tooth fair herself swooping down to topple the Iranian regime, but that doesn’t mean it is a likely outcome in the absence of a deal.

We have many more economic benefits to offer the other great powers than Iran does. Had our leaders been really convinced of the danger of an nuclear armed Iran they would have found a way to sway and entice our allies to demand much more in any deal with the Devil.

The US cannot credibly threaten cutting off trade with these nations. The economic benefits of trading with the US could not be used as a bargaining chip.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 20, 2015 5:10 PM
Comment #396674

The economic benefits of trading with the US could not be used as a bargaining chip.
Posted by: Warren Porter at July 20, 2015 5:10 PM

Your thinking is just as mundane and useless as our administration. Warren appears to have a healthy imagination but can’t think outside the box others have built for him.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 20, 2015 5:20 PM
Comment #396676

Warren, obama is all “carrot” and no “stick”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 20, 2015 5:22 PM
Comment #396677

“It’s the cruelest of ironies that Iran is reaping huge rewards for giving up something it wasn’t supposed to be doing in the first place.

Having stood in violation of at least six UN Security Council resolutions over the past decade, it’s a testament to the skills of Iranian negotiators that the agreement they produced wasn’t about ending the Iranian nuclear program but restricting it. And these restrictions aren’t permanent.

The Iranian leadership’s primary goal in this accord was to get rid of sanctions, alleviate public suffering and distress and manage popular expectations in order to preserve the 1979 revolution, not to undermine it. That revolution has changed in past decades as a younger generation of Iranians lose touch with its highly militant and fervent character. And the mullahs certainly understand that to retain control, they need at a minimum to offer economic relief and some hope of change.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/20/iran-s-win-win-win-win-win-nuke-deal.html

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 20, 2015 5:36 PM
Comment #396679

Thank you for sharing the Aaron David Miller piece. Do you agree with his conclusion that “Iran may well try to test the effectiveness of the inspections and monitoring regime with minor infractions. But there really is no reason to jeopardize Iran’s gains with big-time violations.”?

Like Miller, I am very worried that this agreement will lead to future violent confrontations with Iran rather than a new detente. Iran will likely abandon its nuclear program and use its newly energized economy to fund conventional military programs to dominate its region.

It is a tragedy that our hand has been forced by Iran, but this is yet another consequence of the fiasco in Iraq. By taking the option of occupying Iran with our military off the table, our ability to coerce Iran has been diminished greatly.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 20, 2015 6:22 PM
Comment #396680

“It is a tragedy that our hand has been forced by Iran…”

Warren, that is unadulterated bullshit. Poor obama/kerry, they had no choice. How can you swallow food Warren with all that crap in your mouth.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 20, 2015 6:25 PM
Comment #396681

Last time I checked, it wasn’t Obama who decided to invade Iraq, thereby elevating Iranian hegemony in the Middle East.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 20, 2015 8:12 PM
Comment #396683

In my opinion, rapprochement with Iran may not be a bad idea. It would signal to our Sunni “friends” that they had better get their act together before the ISIS ideology takes control of the majority of the Sunni states in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia has been sowing the seeds of Sunni fundamentalism for decades. al-Qaeda and ISIS are derivative of that theology. It is now coming back to bite them in the form of ISIS attacks in the Kingdom itself and declarations for removal of the Royal Family from power. If the royal families of Saudi Arabia lose control of that country, it will be a true nightmare. Saudi Arabia has one of the largest and best equipped military forces in the Middle East, dwarfing Iran. In the hands of ISIS, it would be a catastrophe.

It might be time for a little reality check in the Middle East. Do we prefer an ISIS Sunni Syria or an Assad Shia Syria? Do we really want an ISIS Syria incorporating half of Iraq? How long, if that happens, before Saudi Arabia is thrown in turmoil? What about Egypt?

While much is made about the nuclear ambitions of Iran, a much greater threat is emerging from within the Sunni states.

It seems to me that it is imperative for the US and the international community to bring Iran back into the international community before things get too out of hand. A weak Iran would be a disaster in the face of a united Sunni world as envisioned by ISIS. Remember, it was Sunni Iraq with enormous funding and help of Saudi Arabia, etc. that attacked Iran in the 80s.

Just look at who the terrorists are that are a threat to the US and the western world. They are all Sunni fundamentalists (ISIS, al-Qaeda, etc. Look at where they are getting funding (Saudi Arabia). Look at the source of the end of times fundamentalism.

As j2t2 pointed out in a post, we should remember the old adage that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. In this case, we have common cause with the Iranian Shia in their fight against ISIS.

Posted by: Rich at July 20, 2015 11:23 PM
Comment #396684

Honestly, I think ISIL is the lesser of the two evils when compared to Iran/Assad/Hezbollah. Namely because ISIL’s obsession with holding territory makes them easy to vanquish with conventional military means. Iran, on the other hand, has no qualms with asymmetric warfare.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 21, 2015 12:34 AM
Comment #396685

So it seems to me we have conservatives arguing the only solution is to go to war now, and as we know the cat has finally been let out of the bag by none other than Scott Walker for the conservative side. I have to admire him, although he is dangerous, he is at the least willing to tell the truth while the commentators here on WB have only the “we could have done better” coupled with the ODS meme of “Obama is weak”.

So conservatives what exactly are we to do. Instead of the humiliating blathering you guys have done to this point tell us- War or what? What is your plan that you have the audacity to attack the work of the 6 countries that have been working the issue for some time. Now lets get past vague and ambiguous and all the code words you guys use to get to the bottom of it. What could Romney or Trump have done that would solve the fears of conservatives.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 21, 2015 1:57 AM
Comment #396686

Well, it took longer than usual, but the tired old leftist talking point ‘disagreement equals the extreme’ finally popped up. Bonus for sliding ‘code words’ in there. A little disappointed to not see ‘dog whistle,’ though.

Hard to say what Romney or Trump would have done. Would also be a waste of time. Guess we could pretend like it would have never happened, but that would be silly, wouldn’t it. I mean, we’re not talking about 9-11 and it never happening if Gore had been President, lol.

What are we to do, J2? The only thing we can do NOW: Hope.

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2015 9:07 AM
Comment #396687

Kctim, War is the extreme I agree but it wasn’t me or my talking point as you contend. Rather it is the repubs, conservatives, that are debating whether it will be the first or second day of their administration that they will attack Iran. So why try to tell us it is a leftist thing.


Well I guess you are correct despite all the braying Trump, nor Romney for that mater, could have done anything different but go to war. So it appears your answer kctim, is hope and evidently complain about Obama and Kerry as if they were the only two involved. Yet your guys weren’t even able to do this much in the formative years of the Iranian nuclear expansion. Well I guess they did punt but is that really an answer? I mean the last time Iran had hostages the conservative response from the deity himself was to send them weapons!

I find it funny how you guys are afraid to mention the “extreme”, or war as we say, yet are quick to rebut the factual use of “code words”. Why is that?

I wonder if conservatives have any answer at all, anything other than bluster. I would venture the opinion they don’t, I would say they couldn’t have gotten as far as Obama and Kerry and in fact by now with Trump or Walker or another extreme ideologist at the helm the Iranians would have had the sanctions lifted and no agreement in place. I mean is “keep the sanctions, no the sanctions didn’t work” any kind of a plan?

So to all those Bibi lap dogs including Tehran Tom who want to rush to defend the extremist I would say be careful what you wish for.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 21, 2015 9:54 AM
Comment #396688

Seriously J2? It looks like you are having a little trouble comprehending what is actually said. Coming down with speaksitis or something?

You asked “what exactly are we to do,” and since we have an agreed upon agreement, the ONLY thing we can do NOW, is hope.

I have already said that I would have rather our government negotiate from a position of power, instead of from behind and for appeasement.
What I have not done is make some silly a$$ prediction that nobody but Obama could have gotten as far as Obama. You really don’t think any other politician couldn’t have said, “ok, we’ll do it your way?”

Geez J2, this negotiation was specific to nuclear bombs, how hard is that to understand? Why are you bringing up what happened 30 some years ago?

“I mean is “keep the sanctions, no the sanctions didn’t work” any kind of a plan?”

But yet, it’s still the plan, J2.
If Iran, a self avowed enemy of the US, a sponsor of terrorism worldwide, and who is on the brink of having nuclear weapons, doesn’t honor the agreement, the US can go and whine to the UN. After a month or two or whatever later of that not working, the sanctions that didn’t work and which have not support from those other nations, are reimposed automatically.
If the current sanctions suck so bad, why is ‘snapping back’ to them a triumph of the negotiations?

Meh! MAYBE the country will get lucky and a Republican will be our next President and you guys will start caring again.

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2015 10:40 AM
Comment #396689
I have already said that I would have rather our government negotiate from a position of power, instead of from behind and for appeasement.

Reminds me of a question posed to David Frum by Peter Beinart:

The critics just vaguely suggest that if Obama had been more steadfast and less conciliatory, we could have bent Iran—and the other world powers—to our will and made Tehran capitulate entirely. You, like Jeff and I, have been writing about foreign policy since 9/11. My core question is: What has happened in the last decade and a half that gives you reason to think the U.S. has the power to do that? It seems to me the lessons of our era cut sharply the other way: From Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya to North Korea to Russia, we’ve been reminded again and again that we cannot successfully impose our will on other countries through economic and military pressure. We’ve paid a terrible, terrible price for that delusion. I wonder what you’ve seen that leads you to a different conclusion.

Unfortunately, we are still dealing with the legacy of the Bush administration’s flawed foreign policy.

If the current sanctions suck so bad, why is ‘snapping back’ to them a triumph of the negotiations?
A key critique of the agreement has been this: What if Iran cheats on the agreement? If Iran cheats, the US will have negotiated away the whole sanctions regime and gained nothing, which would be a disaster. Now with the “snap-back” provision the US has the option of restoring the status quo if the agreement goes terribly awry. This means the agreement carries an upside, but no downside, which is really good for US interests. Posted by: Warren Porter at July 21, 2015 11:10 AM
Comment #396692

j2t writes; “So conservatives what exactly are we to do…”

You mean now that our government has capitulated to our sworn enemy?

I posted numerous times what I would have done. You didn’t acknowledge that, so why expect you to acknowledge any new ideas regarding how to proceed?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 21, 2015 12:53 PM
Comment #396694

Royal Flush,

Do you have an answer to Peter Beinart’s question?

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 21, 2015 12:57 PM
Comment #396693

The UN Security Council UNANAMOUSLY approved the Iran agreement. It seems the only people in the world who are opposed to it are political opponents of Obama.

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2015 12:57 PM
Comment #396695

Warren, I didn’t say Obama, I said “our government.” IF this wasn’t about defending Obama at all costs for you guys, maybe you wouldn’t see things that aren’t there.

Yeah yeah, Bush did 9-11, Bush let 9-11 happen, Bush screwed up the entire world. Blah blah blah.

We didn’t need to ‘impose our will on other countries through economic and military pressure,’ we only needed to work with other nations to prevent Iran from getting nukes. NOT work with Iran and other nations to delay it. To pretend that should not have even been tried, is just further proof of the defending Obama at all costs.

“This means the agreement carries an upside, but no downside, which is really good for US interests.”

No, it does not. It means that if this agreement does not appease Iran enough and they are not true to their word, we will go back to a status-quo that was not working.
Depending on how you view it, there are only two upsides to this agreement:
1. You are Iranian and you get your money back, and more time to play games with.
2. The slight possibility that Iran will not break the agreement.

Posted by: kctim at July 21, 2015 1:11 PM
Comment #396696

“There really are only two alternatives here,” he (obama) said in an address from the White House. “Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation or it’s resolved through force, through war. Those are — those are the options.”

It is quite clear with this obama quote why some of the libs on WB can’t think outside the box on the Iran issue.

Our beloved president can only fathom two options. What a sorry excuse for leadership.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 21, 2015 1:20 PM
Comment #396697
Yeah yeah, Bush did 9-11, Bush let 9-11 happen, Bush screwed up the entire world. Blah blah blah.

You obviously did not read Beinart’s question. He was speaking explicitly about the post-9/11 era. What has America done in the last 14 years to bend other nations to our will?

we only needed to work with other nations to prevent Iran from getting nukes.

Is this not exactly what was done? No agreement is going to be a 100% guarantee, but this one is as close as one can get. Iran has enormous economic incentives not to cheat and if it obeys the agreement, their stockpile of enriched uranium will not be sufficient for medical research, let alone a bomb. Would it have been nice to have fewer limitations on inspections? Sure, but the US demonstrated in Iraq that we cannot be trusted not abuse weapons inspections for espionage purposes.

To pretend that should not have even been tried, is just further proof of the defending Obama at all costs.
This is just my opinion, but I am certain Obama & Kerry pushed for stricter restrictions on Iran only to recieve pushback from Russia, China and possibly Europe.
No, it does not. It means that if this agreement does not appease Iran enough and they are not true to their word, we will go back to a status-quo that was not working.
Last time I checked, returning to the status quo is by definition no worse than the current status quo. This means there are two possibilities: 1. Iran abides by the agreement (Big win for US interests) 2. Iran breaks the agreement and the sanctions return (This would suck because the aforementioned sanctions will not hinder the Iranian nuclear program, but it is no worse than the current situation.

So, there we have it: Either the US wins big or wins nothing while simultaneously losing nothing. In other words, there is an upside with hardly a chance of a downside.

Now, Aaron David Miller (thank you to Royal Flush for the link) does make an effective critique saying that preventing a buildup of Iran’s conventional military might be a better priority than preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon. But that is alters the original premise that preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon is our top priority.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 21, 2015 1:33 PM
Comment #396698
It is quite clear with this obama quote why some of the libs on WB can’t think outside the box on the Iran issue.

Our beloved president can only fathom two options. What a sorry excuse for leadership.

It is quite telling that you have yet to offer a third option that has any more basis in reality than my suggestion that we wait for the Tooth Fairy and her unicorn army to bail us out.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 21, 2015 1:36 PM
Comment #396699

“Let it be entered into the record that the United States government has agreed to release monies that it believes will be used to fund Iran’s terrorist proxies. It has done so on the intriguing rationale that, in order to prevent the Middle East from becoming a very dangerous place in the future, it is necessary to allow it to become a very dangerous place now. To adapt a phrase, the administration believes that it has to destroy a region in order to save it.

Iran will get its money. It will redouble its bad behavior. And sooner or later it will probably get its bomb.”

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-iran-deals-collapsing-rationale-1437436211

Warren writes; “No agreement is going to be a 100% guarantee, but this one is as close as one can get.”

Pure speculation Warren. The sanctions were working and the proof is they came to the table. We will not see the same UN Security Council sanctions again regardless of what Iran does.

Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

Our government betrayed the American people and gave Iran the 30 pieces of silver in the bargain.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 21, 2015 1:45 PM
Comment #396700

The UN Security Council UNANAMOUSLY approved the Iran agreement; in other words, the world thinks it is a good idea. Only right wing conservatives and right wing Israelis think otherwise.

You know these people. These are the same ones who made up all those lies to get the US to invade Iraq. Right wing conservatives and right wing Israelis, and Senators owned by AIPAC. You know these people.

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2015 1:52 PM
Comment #396701
We will not see the same UN Security Council sanctions again regardless of what Iran does.

Now, you are disputing Jeffery Lewis’ interpretation of the “snap-back” procedure. Do you have any evidence to support this?

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 21, 2015 1:57 PM
Comment #396702

Warren, the key word in your question for me is “interpretation”.

Good Grief Warren, our interpretation of the “deal” is even different from Iran’s.

The left has given their reasons for why the sanctions wouldn’t hold without a deal. What has changed in your mine Warren?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 21, 2015 2:06 PM
Comment #396703

Today, Russia & China trust Iran not to develop nuclear weapons. If Iran violates that trust it will be eroded.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 21, 2015 2:31 PM
Comment #396705

Warren, I don’t believe that either of us knows the thinking of China or Russia.

If, as the left maintained, both China and Russia were willing to ignore the UNSC sanctions to trade with Iran, is it not reasonable to believe that trading will remain more important even if Iran cheats?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 21, 2015 2:46 PM
Comment #396706


Who Lost Iraq?

Thomas Sowell | Jun 09, 2015

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2015/06/09/who-lost-iraq-n2009736

An interesting read for those who care.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 21, 2015 3:12 PM
Comment #396707
I don’t believe that either of us knows the thinking of China or Russia
True, but we try our best.
qIf, as the left maintained, both China and Russia were willing to ignore the UNSC sanctions to trade with Iran, is it not reasonable to believe that trading will remain more important even if Iran cheats?

This has been my understanding: China & Russia opposed the UNSC sanctions during the 2000s because it curtailed their economic interests. However, China & Russia both oppose Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. The result has been the two of them playing a dangerous game of trading with Iran while simultaneously using diplomacy to shut down Iran’s nuclear weapon.

In 2009, Iran shocked Russia and China when it rigged its elections to reelect Ahmadinejad, who has been the most pro-nuclear Iranian President to date. Soon thereafter, Russia & China acquiesced to UNSC resolution 1929 which imposed severe sanctions upon Iran. Russia & China maintained their support for resolution 1929 as long as Iran’s president continued a bellicose posture.

In 2013, Iran elected Hassan Rouhani. This was enough to convince Russia & China that Iran would not pursue nuclear weapons if it could freely trade with other nations. With our leverage over Russia & China weakened, it became clear that a negotiated agreement was the best way to save the hard-won gains of UNSC resolution 1929.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 21, 2015 3:21 PM
Comment #396709

Thanks for your comments and link Warren. It strongly suggests that even if Iran violates the “deal” Russia and China will not help reinstate sanctions.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 21, 2015 3:40 PM
Comment #396711

A Simple Solution to the Islamic State Problem

“The Islamic State is getting foreign aid from somewhere. The West needs to connect the dots and trace the proxies or moneymen back to their nations so we can force them to be accountable for financing terrorism. Why are we so quick to do so with Russian businessmen over the conflict in Ukraine for far lesser offenses? So far, the sanctions against the Islamic State have targeted commanders. They’re not the ones who have the deep pockets and are keeping the party going.”

http://townhall.com/columnists/townhallcomstaff/2015/07/21/a-simple-ssolution-to-the-islamic-state-problem-n2028433/page/2

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 21, 2015 3:58 PM
Comment #396712

Thomas Sowell is a Neocon who was wrong about invading Iraq in the first place, and now he tries to justify his bad judgment with revisionist history.

Here he is in 2003:

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2003/07/24/weapons_of_political_destruction/page/full

Sorry about the incoherence of his article.

Here he is in 2009:

“Despite the swift military defeat of the Iraqi armed forces, peace was not restored because of a reign of terror directed in part against American troops, but primarily against Iraq civilians, by both domestic and foreign terrorists, determined to prevent a very different kind of government from being established in the Middle East under American auspices.”

The real reasons the US lost in Iraq are the same as they were in 1992, and they are still the same today. Most of the same reasons also apply to Afghanistan. It is just a matter of time. Forcibly overthrowing an ethnic/religious group and replacing it with a bitter rival in the name of democracy is doomed to failure. Attempting to occupy the usurped group’s land with American soldiers is not going to make it work. Never has. Never will.

And the Townhall columnist fundamentally fails to understand ISIS. Neocons see ISIS as a bunch of terrorists. But terrorism is only a tactic. They became the main governing entity of the Syrian Sunnis and then the Iraqi Sunnis for a reason. The Sunnis want to govern their own land, and not belong to a largely imaginary country created by the West called ‘Iraq,’ or ‘Syria’ for that matter; and certainly not a nation governed by the Shias or Kurds. 17,000 Iraqi army soldiers deserted when faced with about 1700 ISIS troops in Mosul, and a poorly equipped minor league team instantly became a very large, very well-equipped Sunni army, thanks to the Iraqi Sunni generals and tribal leaders. The same thing happened recently in Ramadi, where about 200 ISIS fighters “drove out” 6,000 thousand Iraqi soldiers.

ISIS literally came about as the result of the Invasion of Iraq. Its founders were “The King of Clubs” from that Iraqi card deck, along with an Iraqi Air Force intelligence Colonel, and a religious fundamentalist named Al-Baghdadi. They fled Iraq in 2004 and went to Syria, and created the toxic mix of ruthless Iraqi military methods, organization, and Islamic fundamentalism.

We can bomb ISIS out of existence, but another identical organization will take its place. We have to address the fundamental problem. We have to find a way of de-radicalizing and empowering the Sunnis. So far, no one is willing to say what needs to be done, because it requires partitioning Iraq and Syria, and giving power to “terrorists.”

Posted by: phx8 at July 21, 2015 4:36 PM
Comment #396713
It strongly suggests that even if Iran violates the “deal” Russia and China will not help reinstate sanctions.

It is difficult to guess what Russia & China would do in such a hypothetical. It would likely come down to the exact nature of Iran’s violation of the most recent deal. Russia & China both oppose the Iranian nuclear program, they just happen to be naive enough (or desperate enough) to think they can have their cake and eat it too. This is why Russia & China place so much trust in Iran; when Rouhani promises to limit Iran’s nuclear program they take him at his word because his rhetoric is far less incendiary than his predecessor. I believe that if Rouhani violates that trust, we will return to the same situation as in 2012 when UNSC 1929 passed. This means, Russia & China would support future sanctions in the event of Iranian cheating even if they don’t support those sanctions today. I believe this is evidenced by the “snap-back” provision in the deal as described by Jeffrey Lewis. The provision effectively gives any permanent member of the UNSC (such as the US) to unilaterally reimpose sanctions. Russia & China would never agree to that if they anticipated there would be a situation where Iran violated the deal, but that Russia & China still wished to trade with Iran.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 21, 2015 5:46 PM
Comment #396714

Some additional context as to why Iran negotiated with the P5+1 in the first place.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 21, 2015 6:10 PM
Comment #396717

Royal,

Let’s stop with the revisionist history of the Iraq debacle.

George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential campaign railed against the “nation building” efforts of the US during the Clinton years.

In 2003, George W. Bush promptly forgot about his aversion to “nation building” and engaged in the largest such effort since the Marshall Plan in Iraq. In sports lingo, he made an unforced error. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1710.htm

After the invasion, he had every opportunity to establish a governance structure that respected the diverse ethnic and sectarian makeup of Iraq. He chose a form that resulted in domination by Shiites aligned with Iran. Another unforced error.

At the end of his administration, he could have negotiated a Status of Force agreement that maintained US troop strength in Iraq for an extended or indefinite period. Instead, he signed an agreement that required withdrawal of all US troops by the end of 2011.

Barack Obama didn’t just unilaterally decide to withdraw all US troops from Iraq in 2011. He was just honoring the agreement negotiated and signed by Bush. Obama tried to renegotiate the agreement with the Shiite Maliki government but they adamantly declined the opportunity.

The invasion of Iraq and the subsequent occupation were foreign policy disasters of historical proportions. Claiming that anyone other than the Bush administration “lost” Iraq is nonsensical, defies common sense and is factually incorrect.


Posted by: Rich at July 21, 2015 8:43 PM
Comment #396736

Two bits of housekeeping:

My original link to the full text of the agreement is broken. Here is a new link. Once again, it is from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I prefer primary sources over secondary ones and it is this document that the media is citing (none of the other participants of the deal have released any text):
http://en.mid.ru/ru/web/guest/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/1571070

Secondly, I have taken the time to track down Lewis’ claim regarding the snap-back provision. Here it is:

DISPUTE RESOLUTION MECHANISM

If Iran believed that any or all of the E3/EU+3 were not meeting their commitments under this JCPOA, Iran could refer the issue to the Joint Commission for resolution; similarly, if any of the E3/EU+3 believed that Iran was not meeting its commitments under this JCPOA, any of the E3/EU+3 could do the same. The Joint Commission would have 15 days to resolve the issue, unless the time period was extended by consensus. After Joint Commission consideration, any participant could refer the issue to Ministers of Foreign Affairs, if it believed the compliance issue had not been resolved. Ministers would have 15 days to resolve the issue, unless the time period was extended by consensus. After Joint Commission consideration – in parallel with (or in lieu of) review at the Ministerial level - either the complaining participant or the participant whose performance is in question could request that the issue be considered by an Advisory Board, which would consist of three members (one each appointed by the participants in the dispute and a third independent member). The Advisory Board should provide a non-binding opinion on the compliance issue within 15 days. If, after this 30-day process the issue is not resolved, the Joint Commission would consider the opinion of the Advisory Board for no more than 5 days in order to resolve the issue. If the issue still has not been resolved to the satisfaction of the complaining participant, and if the complaining participant deems the issue to constitute significant non-performance, then that participant could treat the unresolved issue as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part and/or notify the UN Security Council that it believes the issue constitutes significant non-performance.
Upon receipt of the notification from the complaining participant, as described above, including a description of the good-faith efforts the participant made to exhaust the dispute resolution process specified in this JCPOA, the UN Security Council, in accordance with its procedures, shall vote on a resolution to continue the sanctions lifting. If the resolution described above has not been adopted within 30 days of the notification, then the provisions of the old UN Security Council resolutions would be re-imposed, unless the UN Security Council decides otherwise. In such event, these provisions would not apply with retroactive effect to contracts signed between any party and Iran or Iranian individuals and entities prior to the date of application, provided that the activities contemplated under and execution of such contracts are consistent with this JCPOA and the previous and current UN Security Council resolutions. The UN Security Council, expressing its intention to prevent the reapplication of the provisions if the issue giving rise to the notification is resolved within this period, intends to take into account the views of the States involved in the issue and any opinion on the issue of the Advisory Board. Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.

I think it is quite straightforward that reading these paragraphs tells us that any participant can reimpose the status-quo unilaterally after a certain time delay. The only way to stop the reimposition of UN sanctions is to pass a new UNSC resolution, which can be vetoed by any permanent UNSC member. I guess this means Germany is unable to unilaterally reimpose the sanctions, but nobody is terribly concerned about that. It is a bit worrisome that reimposed sanctions will not prevent trade from ocurring on contracts signed before the prior to the date of complaint, but it isn’t the end of the world.

For anyone too impatient to read the whole two paragraphs, here is the money quote:

If the resolution described above has not been adopted within 30 days of the notification, then the provisions of the old UN Security Council resolutions would be re-imposed, unless the UN Security Council decides otherwise.

In summary, if the US files a formal complaint with Iran there is a 1 to 2 month process of resolving the complaint within the confines of the JCPOA. If that process doesn’t lead to a mutually acceptable resolution, then the sanctions are reimposed unless the UNSC passes a resolution stating otherwise. The JCPOA forces the UNSC to vote upon a resolution stopping the reimposition of sanctions, but it does nothing to eliminate the threat of an American veto of such a resolution.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 23, 2015 1:21 PM
Comment #396737

Looks like my html code for formatting the blockquote was wrong and led to the two paragraphs being appended together. Sorry about that, but I am too lazy to fix it.

Rich,

Thank you for reminding us about Iraq. As you are quite aware, the aftermath of the Bush administration’s failure to handle the Iraq issue in a proper manner is the specter that haunts all our discussions regarding Iran.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 23, 2015 1:35 PM
Comment #396740

The Left seems to want its “sanctions” argument to swing both ways.

Prior to the deal they were arguing that Russia and China were both ready and willing to defy the sanctions should there be no deal.

Now, the Left is arguing that both Russia and China will be bound by and abide by the sanctions if they are reimposed.

The Left is suffering from a “memory of convenience”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 23, 2015 3:27 PM
Comment #396742

I want to keep this thread devoted solely to issues related to foreign policy. Therefore, I have elected to remove a comment from Royal Flush sharing a news item regarding a recent murder spree crime in which 5 people were murdered by two men wielding knives. I hope Royal Flush still maintains his editor’s account on WatchBlog, which would enable him to create his own threads discussing issues related to the 2nd Amendment. Feel free to email me at warpedreality89 [at] gmail [dot] com with any questions or concerns.

~Warren Porter

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 23, 2015 3:51 PM
Comment #396744
the Left is arguing that both Russia and China will be bound by and abide by the sanctions if they are reimposed.

Royal Flush, you are claiming that Russia & China have one position regarding Iran and that position never changes.

Let’s summarize what we know about Russia & China:

They did not support sanctions against Iran during the 2000s
They did support sanctions against Iran in 2010.

Oh my gosh! Russian & China changed their position regarding Iran. That’s impossible!

However, it is quite possible for a nation to change its position on an issue given changing geopolitics. The rigged Iranian election of 2009 soured Iran’s relationship with Russia & China, leading to a reversal in their positions on sanctions.

Likewise, the election of Hasan Rouhani in 2013 in elections that were relatively free seems to have changed Russia & China’s position once again.

I wonder how China & Russia would react if Iran was caught cheating in an egregious manner?

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 23, 2015 4:04 PM
Comment #396747

The concerns that Russia and China would not support re-imposition of sanctions seems solely grounded in the historical antagonism between those countries and the US.

It dismisses the idea that there may be a common concern with the US about an additional nuclear power in the highly volatile Middle East. We should remember that both Russia and China have experienced very significant internal problems from Islamic fundamentalism. They are not insensitive nor immune from a spill over effect from the conflicts in that region.

Posted by: Rich at July 23, 2015 7:41 PM
Comment #396749
The concerns that Russia and China would not support re-imposition of sanctions seems solely grounded in the historical antagonism between those countries and the US.

Do Russia & China oppose an Iranian nuclear weapon program? Yes, but that doesn’t mean their commitment to the sanctions is at strong as our own. Russia & China have powerful economic incentives to trade with Iran. They are playing a dangerous game, trying to trade as much as they can without enabling the Iranian nuclear program.

Moscow & Beijing will continue to weigh the economic incentives of Iranian trade with the costs of political instability on their doorsteps caused by Iran.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 23, 2015 7:48 PM
Comment #396750

“Royal Flush, you are claiming that Russia & China have one position regarding Iran and that position never changes.”

Sorry you misunderstood me Warren. Some on the left have insisted that both China and Russia valued trade with Iran more than preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Then, these same folks argue that if Iran violates the “deal” both Russia and China will agree to reinstate sanctions to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power as that is more important to them than trade with Iran.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 23, 2015 7:53 PM
Comment #396751

In fact Warren, that was the argument some made for us signing the “deal”. If we didn’t sign, Russia and China would abandon the sanctions.

If we did sign, we would lead the effort to abandon the sanctions.

We were played by Iran, Russia and China. obama/kerry were either duped or duplicitous.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 23, 2015 8:00 PM
Comment #396753
Some on the left have insisted that both China and Russia valued trade with Iran more than preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

If Iran & China valued trading with Iran more than preventing Iran’s nuclear program, they would never have agreed with UNSC resolution 1929. However, this was never been claimed.

Rather, the claim is this: China & Russia’s desire for trade with Iran causes them to interpret Iran’s nuclear ambitious through rose colored glasses. This explains why Russia & China abandoned trade with Iran in 2010, but were eager to resume once Iran had a change in leadership. It also means that an egregious violation of the agreement on Iran’s part will be bright enough shine through the rose-colored tint and prompt Russia & China to resume the stances they took in 2010.

I am sorry that this isn’t a black or white situation, but the real world is messy and full of nuance.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 23, 2015 9:59 PM
Comment #396762

I am sorry that this isn’t a black or white situation, but the real world is messy and full of nuance.
Posted by: Warren Porter at July 23, 2015 9:59 PM

I agree Warren, and I thank you for our discussion on the “deal”.

Trust for Iran, China or Russia is a mistaken position.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 24, 2015 12:29 PM
Comment #396766

“Changing the goal after the fact is just one of the ways the left has portrayed its failures as successes.”

http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2015/07/21/the-factfree-left-n2028479/page/2

The “deal” with Iran also changes the goal of the UNSC resolutions.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 24, 2015 2:05 PM
Comment #396770
Trust for Iran, China or Russia is a mistaken position.
Something Kerry & Obama already know all too well. If the US elects to “snap back” the sanctions of resolution 1929, there is risk that Russia & China don’t cooperate. Whomever takes the oath of office in January 2017 ought to have a plan of what to do in that event. Hopefully, the military will have its options. Unlike today, there might be support from Europe for an intervention in response to Iranian violation of the agreement.

However, I think Aaron David Miller has the right idea. Iran won’t violate this agreement; it has too much to lose.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 24, 2015 3:36 PM
Comment #396771

Or maybe Iran has to much to gain? Why should they endanger their very existence by attempting to develop and use a nuclear weapon? They seem to do just fine fomenting the problems that they do in the Middle East right now using any conventional weapons and propaganda and money that they have to bring about that unrest. Although I firmly believe that this Iran deal was the best thing to do right now I am uncertain if it or anything else we try to do will stop their ability to cause problems in the Middle East, that they then exacerbate through proxies. We have few alternatives and none of them seem effective for either us or the population of the Middle Eastern countries.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 24, 2015 3:45 PM
Comment #396772

Iran won’t violate this agreement; it has too much to lose.
Posted by: Warren Porter at July 24, 2015 3:36 PM


Warren, that would be the “sane” position by Iran. We know however that Iran is not risk averse. Since the overthrow of the Shah, Iran has pursued many risky adventures and succeeds quite often.

Since we don’t share their mentality regarding peace and most other things the West values, one can not predict what risky behavior they are capable of.

Hitler took many huge risks gambling that Europe would only threaten and then recant. Until his appetite for risk exceeded his ability to win, he did quite well.

Speak writes; ” Why should they endanger their very existence by attempting to develop and use a nuclear weapon??

Simply having a nuclear weapon with the ability to deliver it is their goal. If they can accomplish so much by threats to merely build one, imagine what they can accomplish by threatening to use one.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 24, 2015 4:07 PM
Comment #396773

RF, agreed but the incentives to develop nuclear capability are outweighed by the eventual ostracization by the global community, not that they really care. They seem much more adept at using the methods that they use now to obtain their desired goals and don’t seem to exhibit a wont to be ostracized, if their recent negotiations are any type of indicator. We don’t seem to be as good as they are at playing the game of looking like they want to be good fellow world neighbors but secretly using that game to foment the problems that they have given rise to and exacerbate. Perhaps that is our problem, we are unable to use our ability to outsmart them with diplomatic solutions and our only recourse is to use the force of our military and in that event we could look a lot like we did when we decided to try to solve the Afghanistan and Iraq unrest. There is more afoot to this game then we are aware of or even capable of playing at this point, I hope that can somehow change.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 24, 2015 4:23 PM
Comment #396774

Speak writes; “There is more afoot to this game then we are aware of…”

I can only agree with this portion of your comment Speak, and then…only if the “we” refers to our citizens. I refuse to believe that this administration is so befuddled.

We have become sluggish at negotiating from a position of strength. I really can’t explain why that is. Iran has become adept at negotiating from a position of relative weakness. I can’t really explain why that is either.

Should the reason for our lack of success in negotiations fall on the shoulders our leadership?

We held all the cards at the outset of the negotiations with Iran. We held a Royal Flush and Iran had a pair. They extended the game, bluffed and bet big, and we lost.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 24, 2015 4:42 PM
Comment #396775

RF, I don’t want to single out Iran as the only contributor to the unrest, there are several players that are involved. Saudi Arabia, Israel, ISIL to name just a few. We don’t seem to understand what they want or how to stop their march towards the oblivion of unrest that they have seemed to put themselves on. They seem to be possessed of a religious zeal that outweighs any rational thought to improve the quality of life for the general population. We need a better realization of what they are really wanting to do but our ability to rationalize seems to keep us from seeing that. They want unrest and divisiveness, we have a hard time understanding that.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 24, 2015 4:48 PM
Comment #396776

RF, to use your analogy the river card came up and now it’s real Texas Hold’em. Our stack is deep but you know what happens when you overplay a bluff?

Posted by: Speak4all at July 24, 2015 4:50 PM
Comment #396778

LOL, yes Speak, I have been caught bluffing on numerous occasions.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 24, 2015 4:55 PM
Comment #396779

RF, let’s hope our card playing (diplomacy) is able to do the same to them then, we can hope. You have a good weekend. Signing off for now.

Posted by: Speak4all at July 24, 2015 4:58 PM
Comment #396785

There seems to be an assumption that Iran has been an aggressor in the Middle East. I don’t think that the facts fully support that assumption.

It was Iran that was attacked by the Sunnis and the West in the long Iraq-Iran war (1980-1988). Iraq received substantial financial aid from the Sunni Gulf states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE) of over 40 billion dollars as well as an equal amount of loan guarantees from the West. In that war, it was Iraq, with the complicit awareness of the other Sunni states and the West including the US, that initiated the use of large scale chemical weapons on the battlefield to blunt the counter offensives of the Iranians.

The ongoing animosity and war with Israel had its genesis in the Israeli 80s invasion and occupation of Lebanon which threatened the Shiite minority in Lebanon and led to the formation of Hezbollah to drive the Israelis from Lebanon. Iran certainly supported the Hezbollah and continues to do so. However, it should be noted as to what actions initiated the development of Hezbollah.

In Iraq, while Iran has provided support for the Shiite majority in Iraq, it did not initiate the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. That was entirely the doings of the US. The Iranian influence in Iraq is neither surprising nor sinister. Shiites are the majority in Iraq and were suppressed by the minority Sunni Baathists under Hussein. They gained power by free elections not by force of arms. The Iraqi Sunnis may have a case that the Shiites have abused their power. However, it was the Sunnis that led the insurgency in Iraq. They opted out of the democratic process in favor of militant opposition.

We should remember that the Shiites of Iran are a minority religious sect and are ethnically different than the Sunni majority states in the region. The military spending and hardware of Saudi Arabia dwarf that of Iran. ISIS is a progeny of Sunni fundamentalism and has the Shiites of Iraq and Iran as its main enemies.

We should also remember that the Islamic fundamentalist terrorism directed toward the US and the West comes from the Sunnis not the Shiites of Iran. ISIS is a Sunni phenomenon not a Shiite phenomenon.


Posted by: Rich at July 24, 2015 7:55 PM
Comment #396788

I need to correct a statement that I made in the above post. Iran is not and has never been at war with Israel. It was not a participant in any of the Arab states’ wars with Israel. Granted, it has supported proxy anti-Israeli efforts related to the Lebanon and Palestinian problems (Hezbollah, Hamas, etc).

Posted by: Rich at July 24, 2015 9:00 PM
Comment #396789

Nor does Iran recognize Israeli statehood…

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 24, 2015 9:02 PM
Comment #396790

Nor do most of the Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, etc. recognize Israeli statehood.

Posted by: Rich at July 24, 2015 9:44 PM
Comment #396791
We have become sluggish at negotiating from a position of strength. I really can’t explain why that is.

Royal, your boys screwed the pooch in Iraq. How hard is that to understand. Are you really so naive as to believe Obama and Kerry along with 5 other countries intentionally
“became sluggish” to appease Iran! Your poker analogy is wrong your sources are more intent on political gain than they are for the good of the country and it was used against us. There was no bluff, Tehran Tom gave up the game when he told Iran we couldn’t be trusted.

Seems to me Kerry and his team did miracles after that treacherous backstabbing. Yet you wonder… seriously?

Posted by: j2t2 at July 24, 2015 10:50 PM
Comment #396792

None of those Arab states enrich uranium.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 24, 2015 11:18 PM
Comment #396803

What a fun read. Some may laugh, some may fume, and some will undoubtedly attack the author…but all will learn something.

Madness and Skill

“Just because we denizens of the postmodern West think someone in some other time or clime is mad does not mean he is innocuous. So Hitler was mad, they say—self-driven by a combination of obsessive Jew-hatred and a particularly virile form of paranoid idealism. But putting a stop to his madness took years and vast amounts of blood and treasure. Was Stalin mad, too? Mao? Pol Pot? The tag team duo of Tojo and Hirohito? If you are the cause of the death of millions of innocents among your own people are you by definition mad, or merely evil? Mustn’t forget the ladies—say, Elisabeth Bathory and Lucretia Borgia? Were they all more modern versions of a fiddling Nero or a paranoid Caligula? What about the most recent set of North Korean Kims or even Vladimir Putin? Apprentice madmen, perhaps, not yet graduated into full lunacy?”

http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/07/24/madness-and-skill/

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 25, 2015 4:20 PM
Comment #396804

Royal Flush,

Thank you for sharing Adam Garfinkle’s essay. It’s mostly speculative, but poignant nonetheless. I didn’t like the cheap shots taken at John Kerry, but what else should I expect from Condoleezza Rice’s former speechwriter? Only time will tell if Garfinkel’s predictions come to pass. The fact that Ali Khamenei hasn’t formally endorsed the JCPOA might prove important. We’ll see. In other news, Khamenei has once again revealed his foolishness for all the world to see: https://twitter.com/khamenei_ir/status/624909057573408768

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 25, 2015 6:30 PM
Comment #396808

Warren

” Khamenei has once again revealed his foolishness for all the world to see”

Who is the truly foolish one? We have given up all leverage thru sanctions, and gotten nothing of substance in return. It is my understanding that Iran will monitor its own compliance, and should we be dis satisfied we can push for inspections, which we most likely will never be allowed to do, and any they do agree to will be of little substance. We saw how well inspections worked with Saddam. We were denied access to many sites, and he agreed to random UN inspections.

This agreement has no doubt left us with our pants down around our ankles, and will show John Kerry and the other negotiators to be the morons they truly are. Another Lord Chamberlain moment if there ever was one.

Oh, and aren’t we also giving them money as well ? Yep sounds like a great deal. I feel sorry for Israel.

Posted by: dbs at July 26, 2015 8:59 AM
Comment #396809

Russia & China are only eager to lift sanctions because Rouhani has taken a moderate stance compared with Ahmadinejad. Khamenei would be best off laying low instead of making stupid pronouncements on twitter. A US-Iranian war is the last thing Russia & China want to see.

It is my understanding that Iran will monitor its own compliance
I heard that Iran will be providing its own soil samples to inspectors. I don’t think this is as important as the monitoring and tracking of every ounce of uranium ever mined or processed in Iran.
We saw how well inspections worked with Saddam.
They were a smashing success. We even gathered valuable espionage regarding Iraq (oops, we weren’t supposed to do that). Posted by: Warren Porter at July 26, 2015 9:54 AM
Comment #396811

Warren

Russia wants to sell arms, that is why they want the sanctions lifted. It’s about money. Once they are lifted there’s is not a snowballs chance in hell they will ever be re imposed in any meaningful way. We get absolutely nothing of value out of this, and the world will sooner rather than later become an even more dangerous place.

On Iraq the inspections were an abysmal failure we were never granted access to sites that would have implicated them breaking the cease fire. Our pilots were fired on , on a regular basis in the no fly zones. The UN is worthless, nothing more than a waste of US taxpayer money.

What no one seems to understand is that these people view us as weak, which at this time we are. You don’t negotiate with your enemies, because it will never bring lasting peace. The only thing that will, is for them to believe we will destroy if they screw with us. To do this they also must believe we have the real ability to carry it out. At this time we have neither. All they see is weakness.

Posted by: dbs at July 26, 2015 11:40 AM
Comment #396813

It is all about Obama’s legacy. Russia wants to sell weapons and China wants access to Iranian oil. I know the left will go nuts, but what we are seeing is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39 deal specifically with these events. Obama’s legacy will be the fulfillment of God’s destruction of Persia and Russia, and Israel’s salvation.

Posted by: Blaine at July 26, 2015 2:58 PM
Comment #396814

“On Iraq the inspections were an abysmal failure…”

Except, as it turns out, they were a resounding success. The weapon stocks had been destroyed. The capabilities for producing weapons destroyed. The capabilities for delivering weapons across any meaningful distance non-existent. There was not even a rudimentary nuclear program weapon grade production capability let alone an active program.

Posted by: Rich at July 26, 2015 8:19 PM
Comment #396817
Russia wants to sell arms, that is why they want the sanctions lifted. It’s about money.

Thank you captain obvious. Now, what can the US do to persuade Russia not to trade with Iran? Surely, blowing up this agreement is not the best idea here. We need to drive a wedge between Iran & Russia and in order to do that we need to demonstrate Iran’s untrustworthiness to Putin. Between you and me, we already know Rouhani’s Iran is not terribly different from Ahmadinejad’s Iran, but Putin thinks otherwise. Until we catch Iran red-handed (again), Russia will not cooperate with our interests. As I said before, if the US was ever responsible for the lack of an agreement, Russia & China would likely abandon the sanctions in a heartbeat and begin trading with Iran anyway in violation of the UNSC.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 26, 2015 11:32 PM
Comment #396818

Warren

So again what do we gain? With the sanctions lifted Iran will be able to build a nuclear weapon faster. Russia and China can trade freely with the worlds blessing. Oh and let’s not forget the money.

Posted by: dbs at July 27, 2015 5:36 AM
Comment #396819
With the sanctions lifted Iran will be able to build a nuclear weapon faster.

What are you smoking? With the sanctions, Iran has nearly 20,000 centrifuges spinning day and night enriching uranium. With the deal, Iran will surrender roughly 2/3 of those centrifuges. With the sanctions, there is no monitoring of any Iranian facilities. With the deal, IAEA inspectors will be crawling all over the place at Iran’s uranium mines, the factories that manufacture centrifuges and at the enrichment sites at Fodow and Natanz. With the sanctions, Iran produced medium grade uranium, enriched to 20%. With the deal, Iran will be limited to low grade uranium enriched to less than 4%. With the sanctions, Iran produced plutonium in a heavy water reactor in Arak, with the deal the Arak facility will be converted to process radioactive isotopes that have no use in nuclear weaponry.

Will Iran cheat? Absolutely, but even if they do cheat, their progress towards a nuclear weapon will proceed much slower than it did when they were sanctioned by the UNSC.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 27, 2015 8:03 AM
Comment #396820

Laddy buck if you believe for a second that Iran can be effectively monitored, and will ever allow any meaningful verification I could ask you “what have you been smoking ?” as well. The UNSC is a paper tiger, and Iran knows it, and has no fear of any real reprocussions for not co operating when they try to force inspections. And when they refuse and tell the UN to go pound sand, what do you suppose the consequences will be ? I’ll tell you, a nasty letter.

Posted by: dbs at July 27, 2015 10:54 AM
Comment #396822

You conservatives are trying to hold a conversation with Obama apologists. These liberals on WB have one purpose. To protect Obama.

Posted by: Blaine at July 27, 2015 12:28 PM
Comment #396824
Laddy buck if you believe for a second that Iran can be effectively monitored, and will ever allow any meaningful verification
The recent agreement provides for a constant IAEA presence at Fordow, Arak, Natanz, all of Iran’s uranium mines and all of Iran’s centrifuge manufacturing facilities. So it seems, Iran has allowed meaningful monitoring. Of course, they could violate the agreement and kick out the IAEA, but that would egregiously violate what Iran’s promised. As has already been established, such an egregious violation would enable the US to unilaterally reimpose the preexisting UNSC sanctions against Iran. It would suck if that happened, but it would suck no more than the status-quo does today.

More details regarding Iran’s inspections:

Iran only has 3 uranium mines. They cannot secretly build another.
Iran surrenders 2/3 of its centrifuges to the West. You can’t muddle that.

In order to proceed in its nuclear weapons program faster than it was before the interim agreement, Iran would need to do the following:

1. Obtain uranium from a new source (“off the books”). They would need to either import it or dig an entirely new mine without anyone noticing (we already know where the uranium ore is; we were the ones that did all the surveying for them back in the ’70s). The current mines will be crawling with IAEA inspectors who will document every ounce of uranium that is extracted. If even a tiny amount of uranium isn’t accounted for in Iran’s nascent nuclear power industry, then we will know.

2. Build more centrifuges, but without using any of the existing manufacturing facilities (Because the existing ones will be crawling with IAEA inspectors). This means building new secret factories from scratch.

3. Secretly build a new uranium enrichment facility. The existing facilities at Natanz and Fordow are no good because the IAEA will watch them like a hawk. The centrifuges at this facilities are likewise no good because they will either be surrendered to the West or remain in Natanz/Fordow under close scrutiny of the IAEA.

Accomplishing these things is a pretty tall order. Especially trying to obtain significant quantities of uranium that is “off the books”. Remember, none of the controversies regarding inspections have anything to do with Iran’s uranium mines or its enrichment facilities at Natanz or Fordow. These enrichment facilities are incredibly expensive for Iran to build. If a secret one were ever discovered by the West, it would represent a substantial loss for Iran. That facility would never be usable again. Also, the facility would undoubtedly be a fixed permanent structure; not something that could be cleaned up in a few weeks to be made presentable for inspectors.

These are all significant hurdles. The costs of overcoming them far outweighs the financial benefits Iran may reap from lifted sanctions.

The UNSC is a paper tiger
Then why are you relying on UNSC sanctions to force more Iranian concessions?
And when they refuse and tell the UN to go pound sand, what do you suppose the consequences will be ? I’ll tell you, a nasty letter.
As currently written, the agreement says all the existing sanctions (in particular, the most onerous ones in resolutions 1929) go back into effect as little as a month after any permanent UNSC member (such as the USA) claims that Iran has violated its promises. This was first suggested by Jeffrey Lewis in his interview with VOX, and later verified by myself (see Comment #396736) Posted by: Warren Porter at July 27, 2015 1:34 PM
Comment #396825

Explain something Mr. Porter, since Israel exists in the neighborhood of the events taking place; why are they so set against this “great deal”? Why doesn’t Israel support Obama’s “great deal”? Why do polls show an increase of Israeli citizens not only against the “great deal”, but increasingly believing that Obama is going to leave them high and dry?

Posted by: Blaine at July 27, 2015 5:14 PM
Comment #396826

Let’s go just a little further, and answer the question, why the Saudi’s, Yemen, and Egypt are against the deal? The Sunni’s and Kurds are against the deal; they live there…do they matter?

Posted by: Blaine at July 27, 2015 5:34 PM
Comment #396827

“The Sunni’s and Kurds are against the deal;..”

The kurds are Sunni for your information. The Kurds are split on the deal.

Posted by: Rich at July 27, 2015 6:39 PM
Comment #396831

Well aren’t we the smart one! According to the Pew Research Center; 98% of Kurds identify with Sunni Muslim and 2% identify with Shia Muslim. However, “Although recent conflicts in the region may have resulted in population shifts, our survey found that overall, Shia Arabs made up about half of Iraq’s population (49%), Sunni Arabs comprised about a quarter (24%) and Sunni Kurds were a somewhat smaller share (15%).”

Even the liberal Huff Po recognizes the difference between Kurds and Sunnis:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/10/kurdistan-sunni-arabs-yazidis_n_7548094.html

The left wing SocialistWorker.org site also recognizes three distinct groups in Iraq; Sunnis, Kurds, and Shia:

http://socialistworker.org/2014/08/28/obamas-new-war-in-iraq

But none of this information changes the fact that they don’t support Obama’s “great deal”.

The gatestoneinstitute.org quotes, concerning support of Obama’s policies, “they do not seem to have much confidence in the Obama Administration, which is perceived as weak and incompetent…”

Posted by: Blaine at July 27, 2015 7:45 PM
Comment #396873

Blaine,

Of course, Israel and the Sunni Arabs are eager for the US to spend blood and treasure to occupy Iran as they lift nary a finger.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 28, 2015 10:49 PM
Comment #396874

Blaine,

My apologies for neglecting this thread over the past day. I am a volunteer and I was busy with other things in my life. You submitted several comments that got caught in the snare of WatchBlog’s spam filter because they contained 3 or more links. It is lame that we have to censor comments like that, but the spam here was horrible a few years ago and the site’s owners had no choice. I have manually retrieved your comment from the filter. If you have any concerns, feel free to email me at warpedreality89 [at] gmail [dot] com.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 28, 2015 11:17 PM
Comment #396875

Warren Porter, I assumed the links had caused the problem and resubmitted using HTML formatting, but it didn’t seen to work.

The problem with Obama’s Iran deal is that the US appears to be in the position of defending Iran’s sites, if Israel launches an attack. It appears American blood and treasure could be spent as a result of the Obama “great deal”.

Posted by: Blaine at July 29, 2015 1:11 AM
Comment #396877
the US apears to be in the position of defending Iran’s sites

Uh, this claim has no basis in fact. The US has zero obligation to defend Iran if they are attacked.

Posted by: Warren Porter at July 29, 2015 7:04 AM
Comment #396878

The distinction between the Sunni Kurds and the Sunni Iraqis is ethnic. They are both members of the same Islamic religious sect (Sunni).

This is what the leader of the Iraqi Kurds had to say about the agreement.

“The Kurdistan Region Presidency hopes that the nuclear deal between Iran and the 5+1 group will bring stability and prosperity and reduce tensions in the area and serve world peace and security,” presidential spokesman Omed Sabah said in a statement.

Prime Minister Barzani, meanwhile, said separately he is confident that the agreement “will expand and develop multifaceted relations between the Kurdistan Region and the Islamic Republic in all fields.” http://rudaw.net/english/kurdistan/150720152

Posted by: Rich at July 29, 2015 8:03 AM
Comment #396879
The Kurdistan Region Presidency hopes that the nuclear deal between Iran and the 5+1 group will bring stability and prosperity and reduce tensions in the area and serve world peace and security

I’m sure that all of Iran’s neighbors would like to see stability and peace. However, that seems impossible. Whatever deals Kerry and Obama speak of are dwarfed by the side deals and the fine print. You and Warren base your analysis, no on actual written and signed documents , but on the statements made by Obama and his administration. They are liars and cannot be believed. If Obama’s lips are moving, he is lying. Regarding the Kurds trusting Iran; here is an article from your same ink, but dated 7/22/2015. You tell me if he Kurds can trust the Iranian religious leaders:

The so-called nuclear “peace” agreement negotiated with Iran has generated lots of diplomatic niceties—but little substance.

President Barzani of little Kurdistan hoped for “peace” in the region while his Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, a graduate of University of Tehran no less, envisioned “better economic ties” with Iran.

Diplomatic baloney aside, what do ordinary Kurds think of the deal?

What should they think?

They should certainly realize that this great “deal” missed by only one day the 26th anniversary of the ruthless assassination of a Kurdish diplomat by Iranian “peace” emissaries—only miles from the Palais Coburg, the Viennese hotel, where the “hopeful” nuclear pact was just inked.

Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou, head of Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI), thought he was negotiating a peace deal with his Persian interlocutors on July 13, 1989, in Vienna, Austria.

But his Iranian counterparts had murder on their minds.

After luring him to meet with them in an apartment of a turncoat Kurd, they viciously slaughtered him and his bodyguards along with the traitor Kurd—shot them all point-blank like sitting ducks.

http://rudaw.net/english/opinion/22072015

Posted by: Blaine at July 29, 2015 9:06 AM
Comment #396882
You and Warren base your analysis, no on actual written and signed documents

You cannot just will my comment #396736 out of existence just because it disagrees with your talking points. http://www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/009153.html#396736

but on the statements made by Obama and his administration

I’ve gotten most of my information from three journalists who I trust on these matters: Peter Beinart, Jeffrey Goldberg and Max Fisher. I have also used David Frum’s remarks to supply me with neoconservative critiques of the deal. I have never relied on anything said by an Obama administration official.

They are liars and cannot be believed. If Obama’s lips are moving, he is lying.
That is your opinion. However hyperbole such as this has no basis in fact. Yes, Obama and his subordinates are politicians. So they can be counted upon to be advocates for Obama’s policies rather than neutral, objective observers. However, being biased is not the same as lying. Posted by: Warren Porter at July 29, 2015 10:05 AM
Comment #398124

Senator Mikulski’s support for the Iran Deal means any Congressional attempt to stop the deal will not overcome Obama’s veto. Congratulations to the White House for yet another success for our Country’s future.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 2, 2015 5:11 PM
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