Some say it was a clandestine arrangement. Israel says it’s a dangerous move. Iran says it’s a lie. Congress says it’s a mistake. Even France warned it was feeble.
The only way the Obama administration’s policy toward the Iranian nuclear program could be more of a mess is if it came with a Washington-run website.
When dealing with such a monumental issue – whether the terrorist, West-hating regime in Tehran gets to have nuclear weapons – clarity is essential. Clarity might just be the line between peace and cataclysm.
Clarity is not a word one would reasonably use to describe this situation.
After what some say was a secret deal with the rulers of Iran, the Obama administration has actually agreed to relax economic sanctions against the nation – even though Iran has taken zero steps to back away from its lust for nuclear weaponry.
The world has only now managed to hurt the Iranian economy enough to get the cantankerous, combative Iranian rulers to the negotiating table – and we’re about to let them off the hook.
And for very little in return. Few outside the White House think easing sanctions now will help deter the Iranians from nuclear proliferation. Most believe it will embolden them. Even leading Democrats in Congress such as Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York say tougher sanctions are needed, not lighter ones.
“The disproportionality of this agreement makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will join together and pass additional sanctions when we return in December,” Schumer said. “It was strong sanctions, not the goodness of the hearts of the Iranian leaders, that brought Iran to the table. And any reduction relieves the pressure of sanctions and gives them the hope that they will be able to obtain a nuclear weapon.”
Fellow Democrat Rep. Eliot Engel called the agreement “very disappointing.”
“What was achieved last night in Geneva is not an historic agreement. It is an historic mistake,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned. “If you do a bad deal, you may get to the point where your only option is a military option.”
Nor could Washington and Tehran even agree last week on what they agreed on. Iranian officials said the Obama administration was lying about the details.
Whatever the case, Tehran comes out looking like a clear winner – managing to ease sanctions without giving up its enrichment of uranium.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “has won a major domestic victory,” a London-based analyst concluded.
Iran’s terrorist subsidiary Hezbollah declared the deal “a model victory and world class achievement” for Iran.
Of Mr. Obama’s claim that the deal has “halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program,” the Wall Street Journal wrote, “we devoutly wish this were true.”
Remarkably, the newspaper warned that congressional action “is the only way now to stop the President from accommodating a nuclear Iran.”
It’s a complete mess, and one that casts a pall over world peace and an existential shadow over our friends in Israel.