Patterico's Pontifications


A Round-Up Of Tangible Commitments And A Pinky-Swear Agreement With Iran

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:44 pm

[guest post by Dana]

With the March 31 deadline looming for an agreement with Iran and with a comprehensive finalized version due June 30, the US is making concessions in order to reach an agreement.

Facing demands by President Rouhani to lift all sanctions in order to reach a “final solution” as opposed to the gradual lifting of sanctions the West prefers, the Obama administration appears willing to make whatever concessions necessary to close the deal:

The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations.

U.S. negotiators are said to have given up ground on demands that Iran be forced to disclose the full range of its nuclear activities at the outset of a nuclear deal, a concession experts say would gut the verification the Obama administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran.

Concern from sources familiar with U.S. concessions in the talks comes amid reports that Iran could be permitted to continue running nuclear centrifuges at an underground site once suspected of housing illicit activities.

This type of concession would allow Iran to continue work related to its nuclear weapons program, even under the eye of international inspectors. If Iran removes inspectors—as it has in the past—it would be left with a nuclear infrastructure immune from a strike by Western forces.

The risk of such a concession:

“Once again, in the face of Iran’s intransigence, the U.S. is leading an effort to cave even more toward Iran—this time by whitewashing Tehran’s decades of lying about nuclear weapons work and current lack of cooperation with the [International Atomic Energy Agency],” said one Western source briefed on the talks but who was not permitted to speak on record.

With the White House pressing to finalize a deal, U.S. diplomats have moved further away from their demands that Iran be subjected to oversight over its nuclear infrastructure.

“Instead of ensuring that Iran answers all the outstanding questions about the past and current military dimensions of their nuclear work in order to obtain sanctions relief, the U.S. is now revising down what they need to do,” said the source. “That is a terrible mistake—if we don’t have a baseline to judge their past work, we can’t tell if they are cheating in the future, and if they won’t answer now, before getting rewarded, why would they come clean in the future?”

Further, as if ensuring Iran’s “nuclear privacy” wasn’t enough, Josh Earnest refused to confirm that there will be a written agreement signed by the Iranians. Three times White House news correspondent Jon Karl pressed Earnest for confirmation of a written deal, and three times Earnest offered non-answers:

Well, Jon, when the President was asked to talk about our ongoing efforts to reach a diplomatic political agreement with the Iranians before the end of March, the President made reference to the fact that we would see and that we, meaning the American people and Congress, would be able to take a close look at the terms of that agreement.

Now, the terms of that agreement are going to be — it’s a political agreement, right, so they’re making certain commitments to do certain things. The details of those commitments are extraordinarily important and there will be a process for hammering out those details. But the President was clear that the kinds of commitments that we seek from the Iranians are the kinds of things that we would be able to show to members of Congress and show publicly to share with our allies, including Israel, about what kind of commitments Iran has made.

So I don’t want to prejudge the process here at all, or to prejudge sort of the outcome of the talks because there’s the chance that a deal is not reached. But we certainly would want and expect that if a deal is completed, it will include tangible, specific commitments that have been made by the Iranians.

Pressing Earnest again:

Well, again, Jon, we’re going to seek very tangible commitments from the Iranians, and the President made a commitment to sharing those tangible commitments with members of Congress and with our allies.

When asked to clarify “tangible commitments”:

“And what I’m saying is that you can — that as we move through this process of negotiating with the Iranians and our P5+1 partners, we hope to be able to elicit tangible commitments that the Iranians have made that we can then share with our P5+1 partners, with our allies, and with the United States Congress, all of whom have a legitimate claim to understand exactly what kind of commitments Iran has made in this process, if they make them.”

Rush pointed out the obvious:

If there is a nuclear deal with Iran, it may not be committed to paper. It may not be written down. And if it isn’t written down, obviously there’s no way anybody can verify what it actually says. And if it isn’t written down, any signature that is said to accompany it is meaningless.

If a deal is reached, “the United States and its five negotiating partners may find themselves in the uncomfortable position of describing the accord as they understand it while the Iranians go home to offer their own version.”

So, in other words, folks, the Iranians might tell their people that they’re still gonna continue to pursue nuclear weapons, but the Regime, the Obama Regime will probably explain that they’re only saying that for domestic consumption. It isn’t gonna be written down. The Iranians can go home and tell their people whatever they want.

[W]e’re gonna have two different characterizations of the deal, or we likely could. Nothing’s gonna be written down. So we’re gonna have to take somebody’s word for what it is. The Obama administration, do they really think they can make a gentleman’s agreement with these lunatics in Iran? Do they really think they can take the mullahs at their word? I think Obama does.

And although there is not yet a deal secured, the White House already has their strategy in place on how to sell one to Congress and the American people:

The White House is gearing up to unleash an unprecedented campaign to sell a nuclear deal with Iran, should President Obama secure it, in a bid to win over divided Americans, skeptical lawmakers and wary Middle Eastern allies.

The blueprint for defending the legacy-defining agreement was described to Yahoo News by current and former officials from the administration and Congress.

Obama and his top national security and foreign policy aides will defend the deal forcefully to the public and in private talks with wavering senators and representatives. They will emphasize the deal’s intrusive monitoring and verification of Iranian nuclear facilities, an approach national security adviser Susan Rice recently summarized in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as “distrust and verify.” They will defend the easing of crippling economic sanctions in return for steps Iran is taking to assure the world that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.

We’re in good hands.


26 Responses to “A Round-Up Of Tangible Commitments And A Pinky-Swear Agreement With Iran”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (86e864)

  2. some might even say jazz hands,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  3. Heh.

    Dana (86e864)

  4. the absurdity of the moment, suggests itself,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  5. Distrust and verify.
    A good idea for how Congress should treat the White House.

    kishnevi (9c4b9c)

  6. I want to go on record that I suggested impeachment in August 2009. Things have not changed for the better since then.

    When this idiotic plan is signed on Sunday and then presented to the UN, the House should hold a snap vote on impeachment of John Kerry and Susan Rice. For conspiring with foreign powers against the Constitution of the United States.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  7. So it’s not worth the paper it’s not written on?

    You just can’t make this stuff up!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  8. team r could not handle the challenge of impeachment. all sack no balls.

    mg (31009b)

  9. …The blueprint for defending the legacy-defining agreement was described to Yahoo News by current and former officials from the administration and Congress.

    Obama and his top national security and foreign policy aides will defend the deal forcefully to the public and in private talks with wavering senators and representatives. They will emphasize the deal’s intrusive monitoring and verification of Iranian nuclear facilities…

    So the strategy is to lie. It has the virtue of consistency as lying about his M.E. and south Asia policy has been Obama’s strategy all along, but then consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. The cat has been out of the bag for a long time now.

    One of Obama’s problems is that his new allies in M.E./sough Asia don’t play along with Obama’s conniving. In November 2013 Obama declared victory when Iran agreed to an interim agreement (the Joint Plan Of Action or JPOA) he refused to publish the actual text of the document. Instead he published a lie-filled fact sheet.

    The actual agreement he had to hide from the American public and Congress. He made several concessions in order to purchase Iran’s agreement. Most notably that he would lift sanctions immediately upon achieving an agreement, that Iran could keep their stockpiles of 5% enriched uranium, continue enriching to 5% despite the fact that six UN Security Council Resolutions are quite clear that Iran can’t enrich uranium at all. Most importantly, he agreed to Iran’s demand that they had the natural right to enrich uranium.

    The “fact sheet” if full of the exact opposite of the facts. You would be forgiven for thinking the JPOA halted Irans nuclear program, even rolled it back, and that the JPOA put Iran on the path to dismantling their nuclear program.

    Iran’s leadership lost no time in loudly and publicly saying the Obama administration was lying through its teeth. That they had not agreed to halt their nuclear program and they would never dismantle their program. As is unfortunately the case in this surreal time in America the US President was lying and the Iranian thugocracy was telling the truth.

    …Zarif told CNN Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto that terminology used by the White House to describe the agreement differed from the text agreed to by Iran and the other countries in the talks — the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany.

    “The White House version both underplays the concessions and overplays Iranian commitments” under the agreement that took effect Monday, Zarif said in Davos, Switzerland, where he was attending the World Economic Forum.

    …”The White House tries to portray it as basically a dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program. That is the word they use time and again,” he said, urging Sciutto to read the actual text of the agreement. “If you find a single, a single word, that even closely resembles dismantling or could be defined as dismantling in the entire text, then I would take back my comment.”

    He repeated that “we are not dismantling any centrifuges, we’re not dismantling any equipment, we’re simply not producing, not enriching over 5%.”

    …Iranian officials have called the interim pact a victory and said it failed to halt the nation’s nuclear development program, while U.S. officials say the agreement essentially froze Iran’s nuclear program and rolled back some capabilities.

    The JPOA was a victory for Iran, and a complete debacle for the five permanent security council members and Germany (the P5+1) and it was all due to Obama’s desperate need for a deal.

    The Iranians had only agreed to temporary inconveniences that would be easily reversed. In fact, they proved that point as before the ink was dry on the JPOA the Iranians started reneged on their commitments and started violating the agreement. But even had the Iranians kept their end of the agreement it would still be ridiculous to believe that the JPOA with its minor and time-limited provisions would be any sort of barrier to Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. On the other hand the concessions made are serious and most likely irreversible. Especially now that it’s no longer US policy that Iran can’t enrich uranium at all, because of Obama it’s no longer UN policy. That was the concession the Iranians wanted most of all.

    Any final agreement will be an even worse capitulation. Obama has reversed decades of US policy toward Iran (and elsewhere) and against all fact and reason he is convinced his foreign policy of embracing our enemies, dismantling American military power, and turning his backs on our allies is actually working out. He thinks we, and our belligerent allies, are the problem and if Iran has any animosity toward us it’s our fault for causing it. So if we’re just nice to Iran and accommodate their interests at the expense of our own then, based on nothing more than blind hope and faith in his juvenile leftist ideology, at some point in the distant future Iran will turn into a nice, normal country.

    The arrogant, thin-skinned, petty and petulant narcissistic Prom Queen thinks he’s a super genius and a visionary who has Foreign Policy all figured out, and everyone else has been getting it all wrong since FDR’s administration because we’re all just too stupid and short-sighted to play the long game. In fact, we’re all so stupid we don’t even see that there is a long game.

    In short, he’s an arrogant, over-educated idiot who isn’t even smart enough to get away with his lies. He thinks he’s turning Iran into our partner in the Middle East when nothing could be further from the truth. The Iranians have nothing but contempt for the wimp, and they enjoy showing it whenever they can by publicly humiliating him. Yet the idiot keeps sticking to his plan (he does have a plan, and it’s worse than no plan at all) and lying to us since he knows we can’t appreciate his transformative visionary greatness, and he’s too stupid to realize we notice when other people expose his lies.

    Steve57 (011eda)

  10. * On the other hand the concessions the US made are serious and most likely irreversible…

    Steve57 (011eda)

  11. Obama and his top national security and foreign policy aides will defend the deal forcefully to the public and in private talks with wavering senators and representatives.

    Because as we saw with the stimulus and health care, whenever the Obama Administration takes to the airwaves to advocate for their agenda they unleash a massive groundswell of support. That’s why today everyone is so satisfied with the grand accomplishments of the past six-plus years.

    JVW (a1146f)

  12. The pilot has shoved the flight stick fully forward hollering ‘Allahu akbar’.

    DNF (8028c5)

  13. “Peace in our time.” — Neville Chamberlain

    “What he said.” — Barack Obama

    navyvet (c33501)

  14. 8. team r could not handle the challenge of impeachment. all sack no balls.

    mg (31009b) — 3/27/2015 @ 12:39 am

    True. But if the Democrats hold their hands they might just go along. And I’m thinking it could happen.

    Richard Engel: US Allies in Gulf Won’t Tell Obama Anything Because They Believe That Obama Is Leaking Secret Information to Iran to Kiss Up To Them

    The story is mostly about how Saudi Arabia didn’t inform the US because the Kingdom thought this administration would betray them to Iran. Which is a wise move on their part. But several other countries are also participating. The UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, and Sudan. None of them told the USG. None of them trust us.

    Egypt is also going to send air and naval forces. The current regime has stupidly trashed our relations with the Egyptians, so no surprise their. We’ve demonstrated they can’t trust us. The others merely suspect it.

    The USG, particularly the morons at the State Dept., operate under several delusions. One of those is that solving the Arab-Israeli conflict is the key to peace in the M.E.; indeed, the key to good relations between the US and the entire Muslim world. It’s not true. Indonesians don’t blow up night clubs and Thai Muslims don’t behead Buddhists because they’re upset about the Palestinians. In addition to having a long list of grievances against their immediate neighbors, they have plenty of reasons to hate the US that have nothing to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict. And the Saudis and other Arab states see Israel as a defacto ally against Iran. The plight of the Palestinians is way down on their list of concerns compared to Iran.

    Another delusion is that the Mullahs would moderate if only the US wasn’t so consistently belligerent toward them. That the US and Iran are natural allies, and if we changed our policy toward Iran we’d see some sort of new golden age of cooperation and peace in the M.E.

    This is frankly insane, and I know the Saudis at least have told this administration that. But they are articles of religious faith at the DoS. These delusions also align perfectly with Prom Queen’s anti-American leftist ideology. All the problems in the world have been caused by a swaggering, overpowerful US. We are allied too closely to Israel and so naturally the Arabs hate us for that (indeed, the very creation of Israel was a historic blunder and the guy in the WH who believes he’s a visionary is doing his best to correct it). Our swaggering, belligerent policy against the Mullahs is the cause of our problem with the Iranians.

    It’s all entirely our fault. Well, and also that of our traditional allies who were stupid enough to go along with us.

    The situation has become untenable in my opinion. We are breaking faith with our allies in so many ways its impossible to count. And it’s so stupid and infantile. This administration just exposed its own spying operations in order to falsely accuse Israel of spying. Then it declassified a report on Israel’s nuclear program. Did he think other countries would cheer because they share his same blind hatred for Israel? No, their first reaction is to wonder what this klown kar administration is leaking about them. When Obama feels personally slighted he throws a tantrum and leaks information. That’s not someone anyone can trust. Especially since Tiger Beat’s administration is actively working against our former allies’ interests. Not just in the M.E. where he’s cozying up to Iran, but world wide countries that had security agreements with the US have concluded Obama won’t live up to them.

    I think many Democrats in Congress are tired of it, too, and know it can’t go on for another two years.

    Steve57 (f61e37)

  15. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Friday: “The challenge is: as soon as you write anything down, you’ve got to write everything down.”

    Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has said he sees no need for a written document describing an interim agreement in advance of the June 30 deadline for a comprehensive deal.

    Hammond said no one should expect that kind of formal document.

    Hey, what could go wrong? Everybody trusts members of that mostly peaceful Holocaust denying terror exporting medieval death cult ruling Iran which has been at war with the U.S. since 1979, don’t they?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  16. 6- Agree. Lurch and Ms.Talk-show are embarrassments that should not be further tolerated.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  17. I don’t see this thing going through. Obama is pissing too many people off.

    LAUSANNE, Switzerland—Efforts by the Obama administration to stem criticism of its diplomacy with Iran have included threats to nations involved in the talks, including U.S. allies, according to Western sources familiar with White House efforts to quell fears it will permit Iran to retain aspects of its nuclear weapons program.

    Nothing soothes the fears of our allies like threatening them.

    …Benjamin Haddad, who has advised senior French political figures on foreign policy issues, said leaders in Paris have not been shy about highlighting disagreements they have with the White House.

    “France, like other European countries, has negotiated for more than 10 years and endured most of the sanctions’ burden,” said Haddad, a research fellow at the Hudson Institute.

    “The French want a deal, but they see no rush and repeat that Iranians need a deal more than we do, and that we shouldn’t fix artificial deadlines that put more pressure on us than Iran.”

    One source in Europe close to the ongoing diplomacy said the United States has begun to adopt a “harsh” stance toward its allies in Paris.

    “There have been very harsh expressions of displeasure by the Americans toward French officials for raising substantive concerns about key elements of what the White House and State Department negotiators are willing to concede to Iran,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “That is because the clarifications expose just how weak the Americans’ deal is shaping up to be…”

    Our most transparent administration EVAH knows that any transparency will queer the deal. But I don’t see any way he can make the French stop talking about how bad the deal Obama wants is turning out.

    Also, Tehran is now making it one of their red lines that the Saudis stop their airstrikes against their Shiite proxies in Yemen. The Saudis have long had no problem giving Prom Queen the bird. I don’t see them sacrificing their national security so Obama can give Iranian nukes his blessing.

    Congress may just find it within themselves to stop this guy.

    …“Clearly these are the differences that must be discussed. I don’t see France suddenly deciding that America is right and French objections to weakness are wrong, nor that silence is preferable to transparency.”

    …Another Western source familiar with the talks said the White House is sacrificing longstanding alliances to cement a contentious deal with Iran before Obama’s term in office ends.

    “The President could be hammering out the best deal in the history of diplomacy, and it still wouldn’t be worth sacrificing our alliances with France, Israel, and Saudi Arabia—key partners in Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, and the Gulf,” the source said. “But he’s blowing up our alliances to secure a deal that paves Iran’s way to a bomb…”

    I suspect that in addition to being stupid and evil, Prom Queen may also be insane. And even the Democrats may decide he needs to be stopped. The Senate just voted 100-0 to reimpose sanctions if the Iranians fail to sign a deal that convinces them their nuclear program is unable to be weaponized. The language in their non-binding resolution was a bit different than the letter 367 House members signed and sent to Mean Girl about what they’ll need to see from Iran before they lift sanctions. But those are solid veto proof majorities, which is how they forced Obama’s hand when they passed the 2010 sanctions legislation over his whining and complaining.

    Steve57 (f61e37)

  18. what difference does it make:

    narciso (ee1f88)

  19. I wonder what the vote will be to strip-out any UN funding if he goes forward with this as a UN Agreement?

    askeptic (efcf22)

  20. Ace cuts to the chase on why the president is bullying and cajoling and pushing hard to secure a deal.

    So: Obama doesn’t want to lead or even act in Syria and Iraq, and doesn’t know what to do there.

    So he’s counting on Iran to fix these problems for him, and Iran is telling him the price of that is giving them their nukes.

    And Obama, who never met a cop-out or “Present” vote he didn’t like, is gung-ho to take that deal.

    He will take any deal that gets him out to the golf-courses again.

    Dana (86e864)

  21. Dave Burge cuts to the chase.

    David Burge @iowahawkblog · 20h 20 hours ago

    When it comes to the world stage, Iran is now Dean Martin and the U.S. is Jerry Lewis.

    David Burge @iowahawkblog · Mar 26

    .@AceofSpadesHQ Obama is playing 3-D Chess; Iran is playing Pants The Guy Playing 3-D Chess.

    Steve57 (f61e37)

  22. Iowahawk insulted Jerry Lewis.
    Obama is the Keystone Kops.

    kishnevi (adea75)

  23. Not really, kishnevi. Everyone knew Martin and Lewis were just an act.

    Obama ain’t acting.

    Steve57 (f61e37)

  24. Point taken.

    kishnevi (adea75)

  25. Why would Obama care about Syria or Iraq? Granted, he doesn’t like to be criticized but he decided long ago to blame Bush for starting the Middle East war and “losing” Iraq, Syria, and the rest of the Middle East. Why would Obama care about “solving” that problem?

    Peace in Israel-Palestine and peace with Iran is what Obama thinks will cement his legacy. He probably can’t accomplish anything in Israel-Palestine but an agreement with Iran — no matter how big a sham — would give him his claim to fame. I think that’s what Obama’s goal is now.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  26. yes, about that, some of these were the groups we were assisting:

    narciso (ee1f88)

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