There is a perverse sense of relief among the most fierce defenders of Israel and administration critics: Had the Iran deal been remotely reasonable, it would be hard to defeat. Now, it is not only possible but likely.
Full examination of the deal will unfold in the next few days. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put it succinctly: “I would like to say here and now – when you are willing to make an agreement at any cost, this is the result.” And it is not pretty.
First, while Secretary of State John Kerry denies it, the deal acquiesces to Iran becoming a nuclear power: “At the heart of the agreement between Iran and the six powers—the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, Germany and France—is Tehran’s acceptance of strict limits on its nuclear activities for 10 years. These are supposed to ensure that the country remains a minimum of 12 months away from amassing enough nuclear fuel for a bomb. After the 10-year period, those constraints will ease in the subsequent five years.”
Despite warnings from members of their own party that a deal containing lifting of a conventional arms embargo would be a non-starter, the deal reportedly does just that in five years, according to the Russians. Other news reports suggest that the embargo on Iran’s illicit missile program will lift in eight years.
As for phased sanctions relief, Iran got its windfall. According to news reports, “The moment Tehran receives sanctions relief— including access to an estimated $100 billion in frozen assets overseas— will be on ‘implementation day,’ as one senior administration official put it on Tuesday morning in Vienna. That date is not set, and is entirely reliant on the pace of Iran’s initial haste in preparing for life under the deal.” That will put money in Tehran’s pockets to increase support for Syria (which understandably celebrated the deal), Hezbollah and Hamas.
As we knew from the framework, Iran gets to keep 6,000 centrifuges and its enrichment plant in a mountain (Fordow).
And on it goes.
SOURCE: Jennifer Rubin
The Washington Post