Pat Buchanan

If Barack Obama is sincere in his policy of "no nukes in Iran -- no war with Iran," he will halt this rude dismissal of the offer Tehran just made to ship half its stockpile of uranium to Turkey.

Consider what President Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah himself have just committed to do.

Iran will deliver 1,200 kilograms, well over a ton, of its 2-ton stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to Turkey. In return, Iran will receive, in a year, 120 kilograms of fuel rods for its U.S.-built reactor that produces medical isotopes for treating cancer patients.

Not only did Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and President Lula da Silva of Brazil put their prestige on the line by flying to Tehran, the deal they got is a near-exact replica of the deal Obama offered Iran eight months ago.

Why is President Obama slapping it away? Does he not want a deal? Has he already decided on the sanctions road that leads to war?

Has the War Party captured the Obama presidency?

If Iran ships the LEU to Turkey, she would be left with only enough low-enriched uranium for one test explosion. And as that LEU is under U.N. surveillance, America would have a long lead time to act if Iran began to convert the LEU to weapons grade.

How is the Iranian program then an "existential threat" to anyone?

Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons -- America thousands.

Critics say Iran still refuses to shut down the centrifuges turning out low-grade uranium. But if Iran stops the centrifuges, she surrenders her last bargaining chip to get sanctions lifted.

Critics say Iran is trying to abort Hillary Clinton's campaign to have the Security Council impose a fourth round of sanctions. Undeniably true.

But if the purpose of sanctions is to force Iran to negotiate its nuclear program, they are already working. Tehran's latest offer represents real movement.

Critics say Iran will weasel out if we take up the deal. Perhaps. Internal opposition caused Ahmadinejad to back away from Obama's original offer, after he had indicated initial acceptance.

But, if so, Iran will be seen as duplicitous by Turkey and Brazil.

To the world today, the United States appears enraged that Iran is responding to America's own offer, that it is we who do not want a peaceful resolution, that we and the Israelis are as hell-bent on war and "regime change" in Iran as George W. Bush was on war and regime change in Iraq.

While the Brazilians and Turks have surely complicated Hillary's diplomacy, their motives are not necessarily sinister or malevolent.


Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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