Buzzfeed reported on Wednesday that “the White House has asked senior congressional committee staff to come to a briefing tomorrow in which staffers expect they will be asked to delay a new Iran sanctions bill, according to a source familiar with the meeting.”
Why is the Obama administration so eager to dole out preemptive concessions by delaying additional sanctions? It is not as if Iran has rolled back its uranium enrichment program. Every week that passes, in fact, it produces more than 54 kilograms of additional reactor-grade (<5% enriched) uranium gas. This material is roughly three-quarters of the way to weapons-grade uranium. It is also producing more than 3 kilograms of near-weapons-grade (~20% enriched) uranium gas every week. Rumors that Iran had suspended production of the latter, a step that would fall well short of what it needs to do, have already been quashed in Iranian media.
The reported request of Congress and various other signals, like characterizing the demand that Iran fulfill its obligations as our “maximalist” position, make no sense if the administration’s objective is to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons capability. These positions only fit a policy that sees securing a deal with Tehran as its principal objective – that is both short-sighted and dangerous.