If you ask the White House, any effort to hold Iran accountable for its actions poses an unacceptable threat to the current, fragile nuclear negotiations. The regime violates the interim agreement? It was just an accident, move along. Congress asserts its authority by demanding a role in the process? Outrageous meddling. Increased sanctions are threatened if Tehran walks away from the table? A veto-worthy provocation. France warns against giving away the store? "Not constructive." Brand new demands from the mullahs? We'll deal with it. Will the Obama administration also chastise UN inspectors for attempting to do their jobs? Iran's evil, illegitimate, brutal regime is playing hardball because they know whom they're dealing with across the table. That's why they're evidently quite confident that they'll also get away with this:
An Iranian official on Tuesday rebuked the chief of the U.N. atomic agency for demanding snap inspections of Iran's nuclear sites, saying the request hindered efforts to reach an agreement with world powers, state TV reported. The United States and five other world powers face an end-of-the-month deadline to reach a framework agreement with Iran on its nuclear program. Western nations suspect Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability alongside the civilian program. Iran denies such allegations, insisting its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful. Earlier this month Yukiya Amano, the head of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, said Tehran should agree to snap inspections to reassure the international community. Iran's nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said Amano's comments harm the delicate negotiations. "It would be much better if Amano only talked about the IAEA's seasonal and monthly reports," he said, according to state TV. Last June, Kamalvandi said Iran may accept snap inspections as part of a final nuclear agreement.
Another detail in the Associated Press story:
Among the unresolved issues meant to be part of an agreement is a ruling by the atomic agency on whether Iran worked on nuclear arms in the past. Tehran denies that, but the agency says it has information suggesting otherwise. It has remained essentially stalemated for a decade, however, in attempts to follow up on its suspicions.
Iran cheats and lies. We know this for a fact. It's how they operate. The IAEA strongly suspects they've been working on an illegal nuclear weapons program (about which they've been lying and deceiving for years), a charge the regime of course denies. But that same regime won't allow international watchdogs unfettered access to investigate the matter and verify their assurances. Now Tehran is dressing up their stonewalling as a necessary condition for the "peace process" to move forward. Does the Obama administration agree? Reports and leaks have indicated that the West is already poised to make dramatic concessions in order to secure a deal; Iran's nuclear structure will stay in place (gaining international legitimacy in the process), thousands of centrifuges will keep spinning, and the West's restrictions will begin to expire after ten years, essentially regardless of Tehran's conduct and compliance. One of the few, thin fig leaves Iran will almost certainly extend in exchange is a commitment to allow more robust inspections and verification efforts. Whether they'll faithfully follow through is an entirely separate matter, but they'll make a big show out of making the promise. And American negotiators will trumpet it as a big deal. In other words, one of Tehran's big "gives" will probably involve submitting to the sort of scrutiny they've ostensibly been under for years. They're already not living up to their end of existing bargains. Some experts worry that Iran will put itself in a position to skirt the rules faster than the West can, or is willing to, respond. Can you picture Obama cheering a "historic" accord with Iran, then turning around and ordering a full-scale bombing campaign if and when the regime appears to be cheating? Does anyone believe that a nuclear-armed Iran is truly "unacceptable" to this administration? Its policy seems to be sliding towards a posture of containment, or at least delaying Iran's breakout capacity long enough for it to become another White House's problem. In the latest pro-Tehran apologia, the administration is shrugging off Ayatollah Khamenei's latest "death to America" pronouncement:
CNN: WH reax to Ayatollah's Death to America was that it was "intended for a domestic political audience."— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) March 23, 2015
Incredible. Allahpundit says it appears as though Team Obama "now so invested in a legacy-building detente with Iran that they’re willing to spin 'death to America' rhetoric from the mullahs to get it done." That basically sums up the state of play. The White House is simultaneously arguing that (a) Khamenei doesn't really mean it, and (b) his comments are all the more reason to strike a deal, in order to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. Except…even many Democrats are admitting this accord won't achieve that, which is why 367 members of the House fired off a letter to the White House insisting that the legislative branch be able to sign off on any agreement that emerges. That's in addition to the 47 GOP Senators who sent the Left into hysterics with a similar letter a few weeks ago. By the way, since when is Obama cool with foreign leaders saying things to play to a domestic political audience?
Were Bibi’s remarks not "intended for a domestic political audience”? Ayatollah gets benefit of the doubt tho https://t.co/b9NkJdOoLG— Michael Goldfarb (@thegoldfarb) March 23, 2015
Yep, O just went out of his way to scold Benjamin Netanyahu over comments regarding the implications of Arab voter turnout, as well an apparent rejection a two-state solution (at least under current conditions), during the final days of a contested election. That sort of electoral pandering is grounds for potential American abandonment at the United Nations, apparently, but a little "death to America" chanting from Iran's supreme leader is fine. Remember, if Netanyahu's domestic audience feels insufficiently listened to, they vote him out. If Khamenei's feels the same way, they stay quiet, or face imprisonment or death. Oh well. Full speed ahead with our new "peace partners."
UPDATE - They say it constantly, but they don't believe it: