Let’s Make a Deal

The Obama administration’s deal with Iran is not only looking worse and worse with every Iranian pronouncement, it’s looking less and less like a deal at all. On Thursday the Ayatollah Khamenei delivered a speech and some official “tweets” saying that the White House is lying with “devilish intent” about what has been agreed upon, and insisted that no foreigners will ever be allowed in his country’s military sites to verify that it isn’t building a nuclear weapon, which suggests that the negotiations aren’t going so well as the administration has claimed.
Khamenei is the undisputed “Supreme Leader” of Iran, and the Obama administration’s lengthy correspondence with him shows that it also doesn’t dispute the fact, so his words can be taken as the official Iranian position. The official American position is still that the Iranians have graciously consented to international inspections to verify that the oil-rich country is only spinning its centrifuges and enriching its uranium and continuing its intercontinental ballistic missile systems strictly for peaceful energy purposes, and although we hate to think that an American president might be lying, much less with “devilish intent,” the speech and the “tweets” at least suggest a significant degree of misunderstanding between the two sides.
Perhaps the administration will concede to these latest demands, just as it has conceded to almost everything else Iran has demanded, and we don’t expect that even Iran’s insistence that “Israel’s destruction is non-negotiable” will prove much of a sticking point for the administration, but any deal on these terms will be a hard sell even to Democrats who are worried about their future electoral prospects. Some congressmen in the administration’s party are already balking about the relatively favorable terms the administration has described, and we’d like to think it’s also because they’re also genuinely worried about how such a deal might endanger the chances of world peace, and there’s already speculation that the administration is claiming they Iranians have made more concessions than they’re admitting to in order to stave off veto-proof sanctions bill, but we’d hate to be so cynical as to suggest that.
Still, Khamenei’s supreme leadership is so undisputed that he doesn’t have to worry about any pesky congressmen or public opinion, and even though we’re not convinced of his honesty he doesn’t seem to have any reason to lie about his position. We’re quite convinced he’s lying about what will be going on in those military sites he won’t inspectors to visit, as otherwise he wouldn’t have any reason to bar the inspectors, so our best guess is that Iran winds up with nuclear weapons with or without a deal. The official American administration position remains that the only alternative to any deal it might come up with is war, a prospect we do not relish, but we’re more and more inclined to think it might be better done with before Iran gets it nuclear weapon rather than after. Sometimes a lousy deal is the best deal that can be had, and when dealing with the likes of the Iranians and their devilish intentions it’s best to prepare for the worst.

— Bud Norman

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