We are on the cusp of the latest deadline for a final agreement over Iran's nuclear weapons program. In the next few days, we may see a signed deal that reflects the framework announced by the Obama administration and Iranian negotiators back in April. It is an emerging agreement that almost no one, including former advisers to President Obama, believes would be a strong deal that sufficiently advances U.S. interests and bolsters our national security.
Indeed, the ayatollahs would have good reason to celebrate. They will likely be able to trumpet an internationally recognized right to enrich nuclear material, Iran's reentry into the global economy, the right to maintain a hardened underground research facility, the ability to stiff-arm international inspections and a 10 to 15-year glide path toward an unfettered nuclear program.
Such a deal would satisfy the ayatollahs' dual strategic goals of eliminating the international sanctions regime that has hampered Iran's economy and maintaining nuclear weapons breakout capability. The achievement of both goals would significantly enhance Iran's regional influence, insulate it from outside pressure and more deeply entrench the revolutionary regime of the ayatollahs.
But what would the United States — and our friends and allies around the world — have to show for it? In the end, close to nothing. The deal as currently envisioned would represent a near-complete strategic defeat for the United States. In short, it would be a "we give, the ayatollahs get" scenario.
The Emergency Committee for Israel has released an ad urging voters to hold Senator Chuck Schumer to his Iran deal red line:
"Today the Emergency Committee for Israel released 'Anytime, Anywhere,' a 30-second ad that will air this week on New York City cable news programs and appear on social media platforms in a targeted, six-figure digital buy," ECI says in a statement.
Vienna With Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif’s one-day trip back to Tehran for consultations with supreme leader Ali Khamenei, it was a slow day for the nuclear talks here in the Austrian capital. Journalists are shuttling back and forth between the press tent and the lobby of the adjacent Marriott where Iranian intelligence officers, many of them posing as journalists, unabashedly photograph and film anyone that catches their attention. I opted out and spent the morning wandering around the city.
Vienna Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif is heading back to Tehran for consultations. Perhaps he’s relaying the Western reaction to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s remarks earlier in the week when he seemed to trash the key points of the deal the two sides came to in April.
Growing cooperation between Iran and North Korea suggests that Tehran may develop a nuclear weapon with support from Pyongyang despite ongoing negotiations with the P5+1. Accordingly, the United States must seek to prohibit any form of nuclear cooperation between the two regimes as part of a final nuclear agreement, and challenge their broader goal of undermining U.S. global leadership.
John Kerry is hoping to offer North Korea "a more legitimate entry road to the global community and to the norms of international behavior." The example the secretary of state has for the rogue regime? Iran.
Speaking at a press conference at Camp David, President Obama said that he'd "welcome an Iran that plays a responsible role in the region." Watch here:
"We welcome an Iran that plays a responsible role in the region," said Obama. "One that takes concrete practical steps to build trust and resolve its differences with its neighbors by peaceful means and abides by international rules and norms."
Obama has been meeting with Arab leaders at Camp David.
In an editorial for the new issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Bill Kristol notes the "ludicrous" "guarantee" Secretary of State John Kerry made last week regarding Iran's so-called breakout capacity towards nuclear weapons. Kerry told Israelis: