Foreign and Defense Policy, Middle East and North Africa

An Iran deal that looks like capitulation

Image Credit: ChameleonsEye /

Image Credit: ChameleonsEye /

There is at least one reason why the Obama administration has been trying hard to keep the details of its negotiations with Iran under wraps: it is engaged in an effort to craft a deal that looks and smells like capitulation.

The administration has been signaling that it is no longer interested in rolling back and dismantling Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The proposal reportedly being discussed in Geneva is a half-measure that cedes to Tehran core elements of a robust nuclear weapons capability and breathing room to continue refining key elements of that capability. According to a senior administration official, “what we’re looking for now is a first phase, a first step, an initial understanding that stops Iran’s nuclear program from moving forward for the first time in decades and that potentially rolls part of it back.” According to the outlines of what the “initial understanding” would entail, it appears that the full cessation of uranium enrichment, the dismantling of its nuclear weapons fuel production capability, full cooperation with the IAEA regarding its covert weaponization program, or any of the other steps Iran needs to take fall outside the bounds of the objective laid out by the senior official.

The administration has also given Iran pre-emptive sanctions relief even before negotiators sat down yesterday in Geneva. Senior officials, including Vice President Biden, spent last week persuading members of the Senate to delay passage of new sanctions legislation. This unilateral concession supposedly gives negotiations “a chance to succeed” (the Iranians provided nothing in return). It is the act of an overeager party desperate for a deal.

The Obama administration may be on the verge of formally accepting and living with a nuclear weapons-capable Iran. If it forges ahead with the bad deal that has been emerging over the last few months, no amount of spin will be able to disguise it.

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5 thoughts on “An Iran deal that looks like capitulation

  1. While I certainly don’t like Iran’s having nuclear weapons capability, how is that worse than the existence of actual weapons in the hands of a number of other counties, including Israel and Pakistan? Or are these weapons only the invention of the devil when possessed by people we don’t like?

    • Well Israel and Pakistan are not every day filmed saying
      “Death to Americans” any doubts get a plane ticket
      walk in Israel and then Pakistan enjoy good food etc. Be
      sure to put on lots of weight! Then go walking around in
      Iran once arrested say hello to Pastor Saeed Abedini he
      is being held on false charges tell him I am praying for
      him, Enough stupid questions for today!

  2. We let Iran gain Nuclear Weapons with their hate for
    the US they say they do not have shame on US! If
    they do not have hate let our Pastor illegally held
    go tomorrow. Allow immediately access to inspect and
    verify any time zero delay! Then maybe. We are a
    super power should we not act like one! No deals!

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