Obama’s great deal with Iran: getting Iran’s “yes” was the easy part.

Summary: Obama takes a second step to greatness with his proposed deal with Iran. It’s a sensible step towards peace and hence arouses passionate opposition in America, largely on delusional grounds. How this plays out will reveal much about our future. If we cannot push back our extremists for something so obviously beneficial, then short-selling America looks like a good bet.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

Celebration in Tehran after nuke deal announced (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP).
Celebration in Tehran after nuke deal announced (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP).


  1. The big picture.
  2. First, the key thing to know.
  3. About the deal.
  4. Voices raised against the deal.
  5. Updating my prediction.
  6. For More Information.


(1)  The big picture

A deal with Iran might be a second major accomplishment by President Obama, ending four decades of struggle with Iran — a conflict that Obama has pushed to undeclared war, as the US and Israel have assassinated Iran’s scientists and staged the first “electronic Pearl Harbor” with Stuxnet. It’s an accomplishment only if Obama can overcome the hawks that dominate US foreign policy. That includes the war-now-war-forever militarists plus the Israel-first-America-second lobby.

America tends not to esteem its peacemakers, but perhaps Obama’s surge into Afghanistan, attempted surge into Syria, widespread bombing (7 nations so far!), assassination of US citizens, and expansion of Africom will provide sufficient cover so we can cherish this great deed. If he can pull it off…

(2)  First, the key thing to remember

Since 1984 we’ve been told that Iran is about to have nukes really soon. Sobered by their craven bow to VP Cheney’s desires for fake certainty about Saddam’s nukes — and the resulting public humiliation — the US intel agencies have been clear about the lack of evidence that Iran has an illegal bomb program. Since this is America, our leaders just make stuff up — since we inflict no punishment (and even cheer if they’re in our tribe).

Defense One: “When a politician, analyst or pundit mentions an Iranian ‘nuclear weapons program’ they are referring to a program that the intelligence community is not aware of.”


New York Times: “U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb” — Excerpt:

Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.

… There is no dispute among American, Israeli and European intelligence officials that Iran has been enriching nuclear fuel and developing some necessary infrastructure to become a nuclear power. But the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies believe that Iran has yet to decide whether to resume a parallel program to design a nuclear warhead — a program they believe was essentially halted in 2003 and which would be necessary for Iran to build a nuclear bomb. Iranian officials maintain that their nuclear program is for civilian purposes.

In Senate testimony on Jan. 31, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, stated explicitly that American officials believe that Iran is preserving its options for a nuclear weapon, but said there was no evidence that it had made a decision on making a concerted push to build a weapon. David H. Petraeus, the C.I.A. director, concurred with that view at the same hearing. Other senior United States officials, including Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have made similar statements in recent television appearances.

As usual this soft-petads the fact that the arms control treaties allow Iran to have a civilian nuclear program to produce medical isotopes and energy. There are no special provisions to restrain rivals of the US or those that might frustrate its ambitions.

World Peace

(3)  About the deal

Only light review should be needed to see that this is a good deal. For a clear picture see Fred Kaplan (journalist covering geopolitics): “The Deal of a Lifetime“. “There are still questions to be answered, but the nuclear agreement with Iran is very good news.”

For a more detailed analysis see “This is an astonishingly good Iran deal” by Aaron Stein at VOX. He is a PhD candidate at King’s College London and a Middle East and nuclear proliferation expert with the Royal United Services Institute.

War is Peace

(4)  Voices raised against the deal

The Right and pro-Israel voices opposed any kind of deal with Iran, as the only solution they seek is war. That’s been obvious for years, but as a deal became more likely their delusions and lust for war fully emerged into view. For example, see this Politico interview of Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL):

“Neville Chamberlain got a lot of more out of Hitler than Wendy Sherman got out of Iran.” {Sherman is a top State Department negotiator} … {It} dooms the Middle East to yet another war. … We {Congress} should be a reviewing presence to see how this unfolds. … Which we all know is going to end with a mushroom cloud somewhere near Tehran. … There’s nothing for Iranians to do but go at breakneck speed to a nuclear weapon. … We’re moving straight to forcing Israel to clean up this mess … when the West does nothing, Israel over and over has done something. {It} commits Israel on a path to war with Iran. And we shouldn’t force our best ally in the region to clean up the mess.”

Politico provides additional color on the interview.

Asked if he could find anything to like in the deal, Kirk responded: “No.” He said now Iran could speed its production of nuclear weapons, which he fears could end up in the hands of Iranian-backed rebels throughout the Middle East, including Yemen.  Kirk’s office called to clarify that {“the mushroom cloud somewhere near Tehran”} Kirk was referring to a nuclear test in Iran.

Literally every line is some combination of illogical or wild speculation. Especially that Iran would pass out nukes to regional insurgents. It’s logical that he would believe such a thing, as people subject to delusions often imagine that others are equally so.

The Washington Post’s editorial is, as usual, quite belligerent (they’re in the war-now-war-forever camp). But they point out how Obama’s feckless rhetoric, pandering to the moment, comes back to bite him:

That’s a long way from the standard set by President Obama in 2012 when he declared that “the deal we’ll accept” with Iran “is that they end their nuclear program” and “abide by the U.N. resolutions that have been in place.” Those resolutions call for Iran to suspend the enrichment of uranium. Instead, under the agreement announced Thursday, enrichment will continue with 5,000 centrifuges for a decade, and all restraints on it will end in 15 years.

The State Department was apparently not consulted by Obama’s Hallmark Greeting Card speech-writers, since the treaty creating the nuclear regulatory regime allows Iran to have a nuclear program. Negotiations to a sovereign state must ask for something other than bow down before us — unless we wish to become the militaristic rogue state that our enemies accuse us of being.

The Washington Post’s editors are commendably honest that we’re exploiting the IAEA treaty to wage economic war against our rivals: “The proposed accord will provide Iran a huge economic boost that will allow it to wage more aggressively the wars it is already fighting or sponsoring across the region.” Our foes have long accused us of covertly exploiting our leadership role in the major international agencies to enforce US hegemony. Hence China’s long effort to create a new structure; a program getting increasing support from other nations.

If you like your madness straight-up, see the National Review editorial “Surrender to Tehran“. It’s an amazing accomplishment of the Left and Right in America that they’ve conditioned their followers to accept anything they say.

Crystal Ball

(5)  Updating my prediction

Since 2007 the US press has seen repeated bouts of confident predictions that the US or Israel will attack Iran real soon. I have responded to each with a counter-prediction of “no”. These have proven correct, and the window for such a war will be pushed out for several years if Obama gets this deal through.  See my record of past predictions here.

(6)  For More Information.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about our conflict with Iran. Of special interest are these about the reasons for our conflict with Iran:

  1. The hidden objective of our alliance against Iran.
  2. Threats to attack Iran are smoke. Sanctions on Iran are our tool. Weakening Iran is our goal.
  3. Hegemon at work on Iran, doing what hegemonic powers do. No war needed – or likely.
  4. Our crusade slowly crushes Iran, and reveals much about us, 8 October 2012.

Also see these about Iran’s nuclear program:

  1. What do we know about Iran’s nuclear ambitions?, 6 January 2012 — US intelligence officials are clear:  not as much as the news media implies.
  2. What does the IAEA know about Iran’s nuclear program?, 9 January 2012 — Their reports bear little resemblance to reports in the news media.
  3. What happens when a nation gets nukes?  Sixty years of history suggests an answer.
  4. What happens if Iran gets nukes? Not what we’ve been told.



4 thoughts on “Obama’s great deal with Iran: getting Iran’s “yes” was the easy part.”

  1. In your view is the current thinking that Shia Islam (represented by Iran) is at war with Sunni Islam true of is this more propaganda designed to create a smokescreen around the nuclear deal?

    1. John.

      Americans love war! War with Iran, war on terror. War on Drugs. War on cancer. Sadly, we’re not so hot on words and logic.

      What is war in the context of sects of Islam? They’re not nation-states, so the standard western rules used since Westphalia don’t apply. None of the Islamic and Islamic-dominated states are at war with each other in any meaningful sense. There are no armies rolling across the desert.

      More frequent than wars are conflicts, sometimes violent. That was the case in Europe from the fall of Rome until 1945 (and even longer in Eastern Europe). The world was locked into the Cold War from soon after WWII until 1991, but that was not war in any meaningful sense.

      So the major sects of Islam are in conflict, as they have been since Islam fragmented so long ago. It might even be heating up in the Middle East, although I doubt the Saudi-Israel-Egypt-US alliance — that seeks to dominate the region — fits well in that model. The people, cool and unsympathetic, who rule these nations imo use religion as a means to manipulate people — but I doubt that God figures in their thinking in any other meaningful way.

    2. Conflicts in the Near East are complex entanglements that invalidate simple dichotomies — such as Shias against Sunnis. Three examples:

      1) Kurds are predominantly Sunnis; they are also among the most tenacious enemies of the extremist Sunni ISIL.

      2) ISIL is currently battling a Hamas offshoot in Palestinian camps around Damas — which is a Sunni organization derived from the Muslim Brotherhood. They are helped in their fight by the Hezbollah, a Shia organization.

      3) Yemeni ex-president Saleh is a Shia and had, when in office, violently repressed the Houthis — themselves Shias. Now that Saudi Arabia is attacking Yemen, his supporters are joining the Houthis in opposition against Saudi Arabia.

  2. Americans love war! War with Iran, war on terror. War on Drugs. War on cancer. Sadly, we’re not so hot on words and logic.

    Classic. All too true.

    Alas, these kinds of statements explain why FM’s posts don’t get mega-numbers of views. Americans just don’t want to hear this sort of blunt unvarnished truth about themselves.

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