The Iranians Will Do Their Best To Circumvent Any Nuclear Deal The US Government tells us that this will be a tough, verifiable agreement. This is a fantasy

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration would like all of us to believe that they went over time in their nuclear talks with Iran because they really, really want an airtight, strong and enforceable deal.

A fantasy

This is unfortunately a fantasy. The reality is that the Iranians never negotiated in good faith. Please remember that they have always claimed to have absolutely no intention to develop nuclear weapons. And yet the history of their mostly secret activities carried out in bomb proof laboratories inside mountains indicates exactly the opposite.

Secretary of State John Kerry and his team tell us that speculations about Iranian intentions are not material. What is material is that the Iranians, thanks to this tough deal, will commit to observe clear restrictions that will make it impossible for them to obtain nuclear weapons.

Do not count on Iranian real cooperation

In theory this may be true. But you can bet that the Iranians will do their very best to circumvent this agreement, while of course publicly denying any such thing. The fact is that, at the very best, this agreement will delay the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

However, the political price of this delay will be high. By signing a deal with the ayatollahs Washington will implicitly legitimize them. This agreement, with the concurrence of all the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council, plus the entire European Union, will tell the world that, after a long exile, Iran is back. From now on, with Washington as an implicit guarantor, Iran is alright. It will tell the world that it is OK to do business with Iran.

Iran will be legitimized

And rest assured that once we have passed this critical threshold it is almost inconceivable to back track. In theory, assuming Iranian future misbehavior, the international community could reimpose sanctions and all the misery that they would entail. In practice, once they are lifted, the sanctions will never be reimposed. It is simply too difficult to recreate the necessary political agreement among the major powers.

And there will be plenty of “valid” excuses for overlooking breaches of the agreement. “The Iranians claim that they are not in violation”. “The evidence is inconclusive”. “This is all about a minor technical issue”. “Let’s send another team of inspectors”. “We need more data”. “They just forgot to report this modification”.

There is no better alternative

Sadly, realistically there is no practical alternative to this botched nuclear deal. America no longer has the military capabilities to obliterate –for good– all Iranian nuclear facilities via massive and decisive bombing strikes. We simply lack the means to achieve this most desirable outcome.

Of course, in theory we could just say no to any deal with Tehran and ratchet up the economic sanctions until the theocratic regime will be suffocated. But this strategy would entail a robust, united anti-Iran front. And this is just not going to happen.

The fact is that the world wants peace, and this means a deal. And if signing a deal means that we have to trust Iran’s mendacious declarations about its peaceful nuclear program, so be it. Savvy and cynical European leaders know extremely well that the Iranians are lying. They must know. But a confrontation with Iran is a most unpleasant prospect.

Europe and the US are both exhausted

In the end, here is the thing. For different reasons, both Europe and the US are exhausted. There is too much debt. There is no money to fund basic services. The economic growth prospects are not encouraging.

Given all this, the notion of gearing up for another major international crisis with a nasty customer is just unbearable. Therefore, let’s pretend that the nasty customer has changed his attitude.

Yes, let’s pretend that the Iranians, after all, are just like us.


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