(Left) Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underlined on Tuesday (Feb.9) that the nuclear talks between Tehran and the world powers will end in a final agreement if the western powers stop seeking excuses and reciprocate Iran’s goodwill measures.TEHRAN (FNA)-
The US looks set to present its allies with a dangerous fait accompli on Iran’s nuclear program:
The joint statement by Secretary of State Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif that there will be no extension of the talks between the six powers and Iran past the most recent deadline of March 24th means only one thing: a deal has been reached between the U.S. and Iran, which will be announced to the other five participants when the Obama Administration decides it is convenient to do so.
This is the way this Administration operates. It will be recalled that prior to the first agreement for the six to negotiate with Iran concerning its program to develop nuclear weapons, Administration officials met with the Iranians secretly five times in Oman. When the French foreign minister stormed out of the initial meeting of the two sides proclaiming “This is a fool’s deal”, he was subsequently informed that the deal was already sealed by the U.S. with Iran and the French gave in.
The Obama administration’s foreign policy record is abysmal, and a recent panel of foreign policy experts asked to rank all the American secretaries of state for the last fifty years placed Kerry dead last. Obama came to office declaring that one of his priorities was to repair relations with Iran and cooperate with it in stabilizing the Middle East. It is reported that the incipient deal will leave Iran with most of its nuclear infrastructure intact and with a greatly reduced sanctions regime in return for Iran’s collaboration in confronting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
A fool’s agreement indeed, the equivalent of inviting the fox into the chicken coop in return for the fox’s promise to help protect the chickens.
There can be no doubt that the Israeli government is apprised of the outlines of this “deal” and as a result the debate over whether Prime Minister Netanyahu should or should not address a joint session of Congress in early March at the invitation of the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, to discuss the Iranian threat, should now be laid to rest. He really has no choice but to do what he can to assure that the U.S. Congress is fully apprised of the likely results of the most recent example of violently dangerous appeasement.
Congress will be outraged at the deal in the works, if it is announced during the final negotiating session of the six and Iran on March 24th, and reports are that the bipartisan sponsors of the bill maintaining and strengthening Iranian sanctions are within five or six votes in the Senate of being able to override an Obama veto.
The president is desperate to be able to claim some sort of foreign policy “victory” to embellish an otherwise dismal record. He should not be given the opportunity to mimic Chamberlain in 1938, this time at the expense of Israel and half the Middle East besides, instead of merely Czechoslovakia.
* Norman A. Bailey, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor of Economic Statecraft at The Institute of World Politics, Washington, DC, and teaches at the Center for National Security Studies and Geostrategy, University of Haifa
* This commentary was published by GLOBES