Appeased and victorious
Capitulation. Obama is saying that the deal blocks Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb. It doesn’t, any more than the Munich agreement blocked Hitler’s path to attempting to conquer Europe. And like the Munich agreement, this deal is much more likely to lead to a war than to prevent one.
“Six powers clinch breakthrough deal curbing Iran’s nuclear activity,” by Parisa Hafezi and Justyna Pawlak for Reuters, November 24:
GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran and six world powers clinched a deal on Sunday curbing the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for initial sanctions relief, signaling the start of a game-changing rapprochement that could ease the risk of a wider Middle East war.
Aimed at ending a long festering standoff, the interim pact between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia won the critical endorsement of Iranian clerical Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
U.S. President Barack Obama said the deal struck after marathon, tortuous and politically charged negotiations cut off Tehran’s potential path to a nuclear weapon. But Israel, Iran’s arch-enemy, denounced the agreement as an “historic mistake”.
Halting Iran’s most sensitive nuclear work, its higher-grade enrichment of uranium, it was tailored as a package of confidence-building steps towards reducing decades of tension and banish the specter of war over Iran’s nuclear aspirations.
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who has been coordinating diplomatic contacts with Iran on behalf of the major powers, said it created time and space for follow-up talks on a comprehensive solution to the dispute.
“This is only a first step,” said Iranian Foreign Minister and chief negotiator Mohammad Javad Zarif. “We need to start moving in the direction of restoring confidence, a direction which we have managed to move against in the past.”
Hard-pressed by sanctions, many Iranians were elated by the breakthrough and prospect of economic improvement. The Iranian rial currency, decimated earlier this year due to sanctions, jumped more than 3 percent on news of the deal on Sunday.
Obama said that if Iran did not meet its commitments during the six-month period covered by the interim deal, Washington would turn off the tap of sanctions relief and “ratchet up the pressure”.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the deal as it left the nuclear fuel-producing infrastructure of its arch-foe intact. “What was achieved last night in Geneva is not a historic agreement, it was a historic mistake,” he said.
“Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world took a significant step towards obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapon,” he said in public remarks to his cabinet….