The current Administration entered the just-concluded round of negotiations from a position of strength – the economic sanctions against Iran were actually working. However, this tactical advantage was frittered away from the start when Kerry allowed himself to be pushed by our European allies into making it obvious to everyone – including Iran – that in the end a “deal,” even if only in appearance, was our side’s most important take-away. Teheran was more than happy to oblige.
Once again, the United States has been bested at the negotiating table by an adversarial regime in a part of the world that remains – as Winston Churchill once described the Soviet regime – “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” Yet we persist in the folly of convincing ourselves that such regimes will honor and abide by the words on a piece of paper, even if those words are, as in the accord with Iran, vague and ambiguous to begin with. That Teheran has no intent to abide by this latest agreement as the price it promised to pay in return for the billions of dollars in unfrozen assets it already has secured from the West, was apparent in the very words President Rouhani used in describing the agreement. The Iranian President immediately declared his country’s “right” to continue to enrich uranium was recognized in the accord and would in fact continue.
Sadly, even if the Geneva agreement clearly and unequivocally prohibited Iran from continuing its uranium enrichment program, the manner in which the very same accord weakened the West’s ability to monitor and verify Iran’s actions would render such provisions meaningless. This is a “deal” that is ill-conceived, ill-timed, and unnecessary; and one that ultimately will prove to be ill-fated and reckless.