Friday, November 08, 2013
Kerry Gives Netanyahu The News - 'Peace In Our Time, And You're On Your Own'
Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday night to discuss various issues. Based on Kerry and Netanyahu's subsequent remarks, reports that the meeting dealt almost entirely with Iran are likely correct.
Contrary to what the Secretary of State said previously about no deal being better than a bad deal, Kerry informed Netanyahu that the Obama Administration is eager to accept a Russian backed agreement coming out of Geneva that features a significant loosening of sanctions, including the freeing up as much as $50 billion in oil export revenue that has been frozen in Asian and European banks by the sanctions, a major carrot.
In exchange, all the Iranians have reportedly agreed to is not to enrich uranium beyond the 20% level (perhaps a week to 10 days from weaponization level), and to slow, not halt construction on the Arak heavy water plant for plutonium production, a facility that has no peaceful application. If reports are correct about a major explosion that occurred at Arak last week,this second point represents no concession on Iran's part at all.
The Iranians are allowed to keep all of the stocks they have of uranium enriched to the 20% level and enrich all the uranium they want to, but only up to that 20% level. The deal is murky when it comes to verification.
Since the Iranians are allowed to keep their existing stockpiles and their centrifuges, they can easily accumulate enough weapons-grade uranium to build several nuclear warheads within ten days. In fact, since the verification process is so murky and given the clandestine nature of the Iranian nuclear program, there's nothing stopping them from creating a stockpile of weapons-grade uranium even while the 'agreement' is supposedly being observed. The IAEA and the West wouldn't find out about it until it was already far too late.
The deal is expected to be announced tomorrow, November 8.
Netanyahu in his remarks today called this "a mistake of historic proportions".
"Israel understands that there are proposals on the table in Geneva today that would ease the pressure on Iran for concessions that are not concessions at all. This proposal would allow Iran to retain the capabilities to make nuclear weapons."
"This proposal will allow Iran to preserve its ability to build a nuclear weapon. Israel is completely opposed to these proposals. I believe that adopting them would be a mistake of historic proportions and they should be completely rejected," he said.
He also made the point that Israel reserves the right to defend itself, a clear indication that Kerry's response to Netanyahu's concerns was along these lines:
Netanyahu's observation that this is a mistake was underline by a report by the official Iranian government mouthpiece Fars News on what Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had to say about the proposed deal and about what the Iranian governments own red lines are when it comes to it's nuclear weapons program.
According to Fars, the Ayatollah Khamenei,in contrast to the horse manure being peddled in Geneva made it quite plain that Iran is not giving up its nuclear program, and that The Great Satan and the Little Satan remain Iran's hated enemies no matter what. He referred to Israel as "an illegitimate and bastard regime” which should be removed from the region. In Farsi,of course so that plausible deniabilty due to 'mistranslation' remains to whitewash the regime's genocidal rhetoric.
The Fars report also states plainly the minimum Iran is demanding from the West as part of any deal. They want a formal recognition of Iran's right to nuclear energy and its need to expand its nuclear program when it feels it desires to, the right to unlimited uranium enrichment, the right to expand its nuclear facilities, to build them anywhere in the country and to increase the number of centrifuges as much as they want, and the right to export nuclear fuel and other nuclear technology if it so desires.
In other words, they want the IAEA to ignore Iran's previous serial violations of the NPT Treaty it signed, to be able to build whatever nuclear facilities it wants where it wants, to enrich uranium to weapons grade if it so desires and to be able to sell nuclear materials and technology to anyone it wants to.
In other words, not only is what's coming out of Geneva a bad deal, it's pretty much no deal at all. Which will, of course, allow President Obama, Secretary Kerry and the other Western leaders involved to react with the appropriate astonishment on the day Iran announces a successful nuclear bomb test. Sort of how the Clintons and former Secretary of State Madeline Albright reacted when the firm agreement they thought they had with the North Koreans proved not to be quite what they thought it was.
Actually, President Obama has been sending signals to the Ayatollahs since he became president that he was willing to appease them with exactly this kind of arrangement.
If the West, and particularly President Obama remain clueless and unconcerned, one interesting result is that others in the region are not, and are paying attention. For instance the Saudis, who have pretty much written off the Obama/Kerry team are taking steps of their own.
The Saudis and the other GCE countries financed much of Pakistan's nuclear program, and the Pakistanis have signaled they are more than willing to see to it that the Saudis get nuclear warheads to attach to the Chinese-made CSS-2 missiles the Saudis already own.The other GCE countries would probably follow the Saudis lead fairly quickly, as would Egypt, which has a nascent nuclear program of its own.
President Obama and Secretary Kerry have made the Middle East a far more dangerous neighborhood than it was before, for us as well as for our allies in the region.
And the Israelis? They now understand that they have two choices...to take the risk of a unilateral attack on Iran's nuclear facilities or to attempt a policy of containment with a regime that has already said quite plainly it intends to destroy them.
Munich, as Obama abandons Israel. There will be a price to pay for that.
UPDATE: What'd I tell you? Here's Netanyahu commenting on his meeting with Kerry:
Netanyahu also said that Israel "was not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself and the security of its people."