Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Iran deal: a recipe for war?

Frankly, I'm disgusted with the deal 'negotiated' by the US and other powers with Iran over the latter country's nuclear program.  It's not so much a deal as an abject surrender.  There is no possibility of effective verification of its terms, since Iran can object to any inspection and close its facilities under a variety of excuses.  For that matter, Iran still hasn't disclosed the nature and location of all its nuclear research facilities.  It's all very well to know that the country has an underground research facility at a given place;  but how can anyone know how big the facility is?  Inspectors can be led down this corridor, then that one, and never realize that they're being shown only a tenth of what's actually there.

Israel, predictably, is furious.

“Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday. “Many of the restrictions that were supposed to prevent it from getting there will be lifted.”

With the lifting of economic sanctions, Netanyahu warned, “Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror.”

Netanyahu’s hardline coalition partner, education minister Naftali Bennett said, “Today a terrorist nuclear superpower is born, and it will go down as one of the darkest days in world history.”

Netanyahu’s fellow Likud member, the Science Minister Danny Danon, said the Iran pact “is like providing a pyromaniac with matches.”

There's more at the link.

Saudi Arabia's not exactly happy, either.

Riyadh regards Iran's support for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, Iraq's Shi'ite militias, Lebanon's Hezbollah and Yemen's Houthis as evidence that Iran wants to gain hegemony across the Middle East for itself and Shi'ite Muslim allies.

It fears this would come at the expense of the interests of Saudi Arabia, the richest Sunni power and birthplace of Islam, and its Sunni-ruled Gulf partners.

While acknowledging that the Vienna deal would mean "a happy day" for the Middle East if it stopped Iran gaining a nuclear arsenal, the Saudi official told Reuters through a social network that he feared it would instead allow Iran "to wreak havoc in the region".

"We have learned as Iran's neighbors in the last 40 years that goodwill only led us to harvest sour grapes," he said.

Again, more at the link.  Riyadh's reaction is even more ominous in the light of threats that Saudi Arabia might go ahead with developing or purchasing its own nuclear deterrent in response to Iran.  (That possibility dates back several years, ever since the threat from Iran became palpable.)

I predict three short-term outcomes of this 'deal':

  1. Israel will ramp up its preparations for a nuclear strike on Iran if necessary, including training its pilots and sailors for the mission, and possibly exercising it in cooperation with Saudi Arabia, which will likely support it if it becomes necessary.
  2. Israel will continue to urgently develop its defenses against ballistic and cruise missiles.  If the warheads can't make it through to Israeli cities, that will help to offset the threat:  but given Israel's very small size, only one has to get through to cause a national catastrophe.
  3. Saudi Arabia already has nuclear-capable missiles and launch facilities.  It will now actively pursue obtaining nuclear warheads for them, whether overtly or covertly.  It may even approach Israel for improved targeting and guidance input, since they both now face the same potentially nuclear-armed enemy.

This agreement has made the world a much more dangerous place, because the Iranian leadership isn't motivated by normal political or diplomatic objectives.  It's dominated by religious fanatics, many of whom believe that by bringing about a nuclear Armageddon, they will precipitate the return of the 12th Imam.  That's a nightmarish prospect.



August said...

I don't think Iran is run by a bunch of crazies. I think that's propaganda. I remember Ahmadinejad: the talking heads on TV would make him out to be saying evil things, but the straight translations of his speech would be reasonable. It is similar to what I see them doing with Putin. I am not saying these guys are great or anything- just that they are a lot more reasonable than the media/gov. makes them out to be.
In any case, the anti-proliferation policies don't work, and tend to encourage small countries that don't want to be interfered with to begin nuclear research. We tend not to invade nuclear countries.
Additionally, Iran has a much better defensive position, beginning with geography and moving on to a people more likely to maintain their coherence, unlike Iraq & Syria.

Peter said...

August, you're entitled to your opinion. However, it ignores what Iran has actually done over the past forty years or so. "Actions speak louder than words" - and Iran's actions leave no room for optimism, IMHO.

I suspect we'll find out the hard way who's right. I just hope we survive the experience. With fanatics armed with nukes, there's no telling . . .

August said...

I imagine if I find myself in serious trouble, it will be because of some military intervention the U.S. initiated. Iran's primary concern is in the Middle East.
Our current boogeyman- ISIS, is more of a threat to them than America. ISIS are Sunni and generally disposed to kill Shia as heretics.

What is most likely to threaten actual Americans is internal conflict, as it becomes increasingly obvious we have an illegitimate government that voting doesn't fix. I doubt Kerry got anything decent out of Iran for America, precisely because he believes more of this propaganda like you do, and didn't know what sort of deals to cut.

Sam Hall said...

a recipe for war?


Uncle Lar said...

My best guess and greatest fear is there will be a nuclear strike somewhere in the world in from two to five years time. I figure it's a tossup whether the first target will be Tel Aviv or New York City.
And as long as it happens a minute after midnight on January 20, 2017 Barack Hussein Obama will deny any responsibility for the horror that action will unleash upon the world.

Bob said...

Well nuts.

I'm beginning to believe Obama really is a Muslim and is working hand in glove with Iran/Arabs/Muslims to create a new caliphate - in Iran. ISIS may be just a diversion to keep our eyes off all the pro-Muslim activity generated by this administration.

Just look at Obama's track record when it comes to doing any real damage to the Arab/Muslim world. A few bomb runs here and there to keep up pretenses until it's too late to react, and nothing more than lip service to Israel.

Show me where I'm wrong.

trailbee said...

Probably right, Bob. Muslim Brotherhood lives in the WH.

kamas716 said...

I keep seeing my liberal FB friends touting this deal as a being GREAT for the US, that it kept us out of a war (WTF?)and that it stabilizes the region. Another funny one was how Obama got this done over the objections of the '47 Republican traitors'.

Well, it might have kept us out of a shooting war, but I wasn't aware we had any plans to invade Iran. And considering the track record we've had negotiating with other nuclear ambitious countries I believe Iran will have a functional bomb in 5 years or less. Considering that the other major players in the region aren't happy about it, I think this is more likely to push us into a conflict. Only this time things could get very hot, very quickly.

Anonymous said...

All of the folks who think the deal with Iran is great (At last! Peace in our time!) have obviously never studied any history, particularly the pre-World War II period where Britain and France were appeasing Hitler. Have any of those folks ever seen the famous picture of Neville Chamberlain (a real douchebag if there ever was one) holding up the "peace treaty" he had made with Hitler?

You can now put Zerobama in place of Chamberlain. The dupe has been duped, and we will definitely see the nuking of some large cities in the not too distant future.


Anonymous said...

The folks at NPR were saying we made a peace with the USSR and it held, the treaty with Iran is the same.

I disagree.

The old Soviets understood the MAD doctrine and did not want to see their country destroyed.

Iran's religious leaders believe the confrontation needs to take place to fulfill a destiny.


Inconsiderate Bastard said...

Iran now has the time to build, and hide, nukes in multiple western countries to hold them hostage when it goes after Israel. Would the US take action if it meant potentially losing a large portion of LA, NYC, Dallas or Tampa?

Not to mention developing an EMP weapon. The higher tech a country the worse it will fair without electronic infrastructure. Much of the Middle East lives pretty close to Bronze Age conditions now, driving them back to the Stone Age wouldn't have a large impact. It would for Western Civ, though, about which we're doing zip to prepare.

There aren't very many countries with nuclear delivery capability in opposition to Iran, so a half dozen hidden 50 kiloton nukes would do it. And, there's no reason for them to stop building at six.

Anonymous said...

You can not negotiate with evil. You must rebuke it. Jim

Duke of URL said...

Uncle Lar and Bob: Sadly, I suspect you're both correct.

Will said...

The major nuclear power that Iran has to worry about is Israel itself. The fact that they are willing to attack the country that is unofficially ranked as #4 in nuclear warheads shows how mentally unbalanced they are.

Iran is a surprisingly urban country, with over 60% of it's population so located. Iran as a nation will most likely cease to exist after attacking Israel. I'm thinking that that pretty much defines insanity.

I guess we'll get to see what a couple dozen, or more, nukes does to the environment of the M.E. And, that is without any other players getting involved.

I imagine that China would be upset to lose access to oil from that region, which could happen. "May you live in interesting times". Hooo boy! You betcha!