Waltzing with the Mullahs to a Nuclear Bomb
By Benjamin Weinthal
November 24, 2013 3:42 PM
It is a topsy-turvy world when the United Nations Security Council is stricter than the Obama administration. Secretary of State John Kerry helped solidify a nuclear agreement in Geneva that permits the Islamic Republic of Iran to violate six UNSC resolutions demanding that it cease enrichment of uranium. (Iran has been enriching weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear device.)
Iran’s fanatically anti-American Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei appears to have codified his country’s right to enrich uranium as part of an interim and final agreement.
“Practically the worst of all possible outcomes is what you have here, a nuclear-capable state,” said former CIA director Michael Hayden about the Obama administration’s solution for the nuclear crisis.
Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, said “numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions have called for the full suspension of Iran’s nuclear activities, so it is troubling that this agreement still permits the Iranians to continue to enriching. “
From a macro-level perspective, the nuclear agreement is the third major shift in modern Middle East relations. The first was the collapse of the Ottoman empire. The second profound shift was the Arab revolts or Arab Spring movements unfolding in 2011. Last — and probably the most dangerous — is the Obama administration’s strategy, wittingly or unwittingly, to shift the balance of Middle East power to Iran’s form of revolutionary Islamic expansionism.
That helps to explain why Iran’s strategic partner Hezbollah — a terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of more Americans than al-Qaeda prior to the 9/11 attacks – was wild about an expected accord.
This coincides with the U.S. State Department’s recently reaffirming that Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism. More disturbingly, the State report noted Iran has increased terrorist support to Hezbollah and Syria.
Iran’s subsidiary — the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria — praised the Geneva agreement. For such American allies as Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, the deal is a ludicrous failure. The current negotiating process will likely result in a pattern of new ephemeral paper-tiger agreements, ad infinitum.
While Iran enriches uranium, the Obama administrations appears to have punted the Iranian nuclear-weapons problem to election year 2016. It is a penny-wise, pound-foolish strategy. Obama’s legacy might very well end up being best remembered for allowing Iran to secure nuclear-weapons capability.
— Benjamin Weinthal is a Berlin-based fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow Benjamin on Twitter @BenWeinthal