Cliff May

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani last weektweeted a declaration of diplomatic victory: “In #Geneva agreement world powers surrendered to Iran’s national will.” In response, White House press secretary Jay Carney said not to worry: “It doesn’t matter what they say. It matters what they do.” - See more at:

Okay, so what are they doing? Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s chief negotiator, has provided the answer. “No facility will be closed; enrichment will continue, and qualitative nuclear research will be expanded,” he said. “All research into a new generation of centrifuges will continue.” Iran also is sending warships into the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in history — a not-so-subtle message, perhaps?

The Geneva agreement does slow Iran’s timeline for the development of nuclear weapons — by a month. Yes, that’s right: If Iran’s rulers faithfully comply with every commitment they have so far made, at the end of this six-month period, they will be about three months — instead of two months — away from breakout capacity.

In exchange, the U.S. and other “world powers” have given the revolutionary regime, long the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, additional time — perhaps as much as a year — to continue developing nuclear warheads, triggers, and ballistic missiles. Plus there is sanctions relief sufficient to remove the threat of an impending Iranian economic crisis. Iran’s economy already is recovering.

If such “doing,” in addition to “saying,” does not justify Rouhani’s claim of a “surrender” to Iran, what would? Perhaps this: The same day Rouhani was using social media to announce Iran’s defeat of the West, Reuters was publishing photos of Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, laying a wreath at the Beirut grave of Imad Mughniyeh.

Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.