Saturday, April 04, 2015

American And Iranian Extremists Are United... In Hatred


Rightwing crackpots Ahmad Tavakkoli and Tom Cotton 

Normal Iranians and normal Americans seemed pretty optimistic about the deal announcement Thursday. In fact, in Iran, "ecstatic" is probably a better description than optimistic-- at least among Tehran's middle class. For Americans, far more subjected to a ceaseless barrage of extremist propaganda, optimism was as far as it could be expected to go. And in the most backward parts of the U.S., particularly the old slave-holding states of the Confederacy, there is no optimism at all-- just another reason, among so many, to be perpetually aggrieved. 

Many people see it as a really good dealAnd it looks pretty good-- better than anyone could have expected in the context of all the ranting and raving by Netanyahu, Tom Cotton and the "Bomb Iran" coalition.
If this deal is fully implemented, Iran will be unable to build a nuclear bomb by enriching uranium or by reprocessing plutonium for at least 10 years. Some of the restrictions imposed by this deal would last 15 years. The international inspections of certain aspects of Iran’s nuclear program would stay in place for 25 years.

As for the economic sanctions against Iran, they would be lifted not upon the deal’s signing, as the Iranians initially demanded, but only after the inspectors have verified that Iran has fulfilled all of its commitments in the deal.

These commitments include reducing the number of Iran’s installed centrifuges by two-thirds (from about 19,000 to 6,104, with only 5,060 allowed to enrich uranium); reducing its stockpile of enriched uranium by 97 percent (from 10,000 kilograms to 300 kilograms); to remove all advanced centrifuges (those that can enrich uranium at a much faster rate) and to place them in internationally monitored storage; to destroy the core of the Arak heavy-water reactor (which could produce a plutonium bomb), ship all its spent fuel out of the country, and forgo additional reprocessing; among other things.

...[I]it is a profoundly good deal; there has never been a nuclear deal, with any country, that is so comprehensively restrictive. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the U.S. Congress to demand “a better deal,” but his definition of such a deal-- one that bans uranium enrichment, dismantles all its facilities, and insists on a drastic change in Iran’s foreign policy-- is unattainable, and, more to the point, he knows it.

Yes, this deal wouldn’t keep Iran from being a menace in Middle East politics, or from repressing its own people. But no arms control deal can aspire to do that. The U.S.-Soviet strategic arms treaties, signed throughout the Cold War, didn’t require the Soviet Union to disavow communism, end its support of Third World insurgencies, or institute Jeffersonian democracy-- but the deals were still very useful. They capped, and in the later years reversed, the nuclear arms race; and they provided a forum for diplomacy, a cooling-off of the distrust and hatred, at a time when no other issues could have done so.
But that isn't what American extremists like Cotton, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are looking for. In their childish fantasy world, "negotiations" equals America dictating terms to smaller, weaker countries... period. Virtually all of the GOP would-be presidential candidates immediately condemned the framework that emerged Thursday. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that Scott Walker is already vowing to dismantle the deal if he's elected president.
“Nothing in the deal described by the administration this afternoon would justify lifting U.S. and international sanctions,” said former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, one of the leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination. “I cannot stand behind such a flawed agreement.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the fiercest critics of the deal and also expected to announce a White House bid, vowed to work with his colleagues on Capitol Hill to review the deal and perhaps seek additional sanctions to ensure Iran doesn’t obtain a nuclear weapon. Mr. Rubio is one of four Senate Republicans considering a White House run who signed a letter last month warning Iranian leaders that Congress might try to unravel the deal.

“The initial details appear to be very troubling,” Mr. Rubio said after the deal was announced. “Tehran is gaining international acceptance of its nuclear ambitions and will receive significant sanctions relief without making serious concessions.”

Mr. Walker went a step further when he told a Wisconsin radio host on Thursday that one of his first acts as president would be to dismantle the deal.
Minor characters with immature concepts of foreign policy like Huckabee, Perry and Fiorina are trying to get attention for their non-starter campaigns by raging against the deal as well.

Over in Iran, the extremists there are just as hysterical over the idea of a deal, calling it "a bargain for the West and a disaster for Iran." One of these Iranian right-wing radicals, Ahmad Tavakkoli, sounds exactly like Tom Cotton.
Hossein Shariatmadari, an adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and editor of the hard-line Kayhan daily, told the semi-official Fars news agency on Friday that Iran exchanged its “ready-to-race horse with a broken bridle.”

Another conservative analyst, Mahdi Mohammad, referred to the Fordo underground uranium enrichment facility and told the news outlet that under the deal, “A disaster happened in Fordo.”

As part of the deal, Iran agreed to stop enrichment at Fordo, changing the facility to a nuclear research center. The preliminary agreement places various limits on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for an end to crippling economic sanctions.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who signed the agreement, received a hero’s welcome upon his arrival back to Tehran on Friday from the latest round of talks in Lausanne, Switzerland. Crowds of cheering supporters surrounded Zarif’s vehicle and chanted slogans supporting him and President Hassan Rouhani. One of the chants also offered sarcastic “condolences” to both Israel and to the Kayhan newspaper — which has opposed the negotiations from the start.

Zarif tried to reassure Iranians that the country’s nuclear program will continue but said any negotiation requires give and take. “It is not supposed to be one party receiving all the concessions and the other party surrendering,” he said.

Zarif also expressed his gratitude for Khamenei’s support for his team and said Thursday’s agreement, will be a “base for drafting the final agreement,” in July.

Another member of the negotiating team-- Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s atomic agency-- said, “I see the future very bright and shining.”

The criticism from conservatives is part of a pattern of longstanding opposition by hard-liners against the policies of moderate President Hassan Rouhani, who has promised improved relations with the outside world.

Earlier on Thursday, Ahmad Tavakkoli, a prominent conservative lawmaker, wrote a letter to Rouhani saying the agreement needs ratification by the country’s conservative-dominated parliament. But supporters of the negotiations have claimed that the nuclear talks have been conducted under the direct supervision of Khamenei, and therefore don’t require parliamentary approval. Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, has not made any public comment on the deal.

It's worth remembering that there are deep strains of victimization and martyrdom embedded in being a Shia politician-- just like there are in being a Confederate Republican politician. But even though right-wing ideologues in both countries hate it, experts seem to like what they're seeing. David Corn wrote in Mother Jones about the nonproliferation community.
Anthony Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a former national security aide to Sen. John McCain, and a former director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense: "[T]he proposed parameters and framework in the Proposed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action has the potential to meet every test in creating a valid agreement over time…It can block both an Iranian nuclear threat and a nuclear arms race in the region, and it is a powerful beginning to creating a full agreement, and creating the prospect for broader stability in other areas. Verification will take at least several years, but some form of trust may come with time. This proposal should not be a subject for partisan wrangling or outside political exploitation. It should be the subject of objective analysis of the agreement, our intelligence and future capabilities to detect Iran's actions, the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) capabilities to verify, and enforcement provisions if Iran should cheat. No perfect agreement was ever possible and it is hard to believe a better option was negotiable. In fact, it may be a real victory for all sides: A better future for Iran, and greater security for the United States, its Arab partners, Israel, and all its other allies."

William Burns, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former deputy secretary of state, and former career ambassador in the Foreign Service: "In a perfect world, there would be no nuclear enrichment in Iran, and its existing enrichment facilities would be dismantled. But we don't live in a perfect world. We can't wish or bomb away the basic know-how and enrichment capability that Iran has developed. What we can do is sharply constrain it over a long duration, monitor it with unprecedented intrusiveness, and prevent the Iranian leadership from enriching material to weapons grade and building a bomb…The history of the Iranian nuclear issue is littered with missed opportunities. It is a history in which fixation on the perfect crowded out the good, and in whose rearview mirror we can see deals that look a lot better now than they seemed then. With all its inevitable imperfections, we can't afford to miss this one."

Matthew Bunn, professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and coprincipal investigator at the Project on Managing the Atom: In a PowerPoint presentation he notes, "The proposed deal is the best chance to stop an Iranian Bomb. Deal would impose technical barriers that would take overt breakout off the table as a plausible option, and make sneakout more difficult. Political effects of the deal would undermine Iranian bomb advocates, reduce the chance of an Iranian decision to build the bomb. The credible alternatives—a return to sanctions or military strikes--pose significantly higher risks to US and world security. The deal is highly imperfect-- but better [than] the other options realistically available."

Dan Joyner, University of Alabama School of Law professor, author of International Law and the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and contributor to "Overall I think the framework of agreement is a very good one. Iran definitely made some very significant concessions. In fact, one might be forgiven for thinking that, with all of the specificity placed on Iranian concessions, and really only fairly vague wording on the lifting of unilateral and multilateral sanctions (i.e., regarding timing) in the joint statement, Iran showed the most diplomatic courage in agreeing to this framework. I'm sure there is much that was agreed to that we don't know about, and I have no doubt that [Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif and his team reached a satisfactory understanding with their negotiating partners on the sanctions question from their perspective. But I suppose I just wanted to highlight that Iran is the party that made the most obvious significant concessions in this framework agreement."

Gary Samore and Olli Heinonen of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and members of a group called United Against Nuclear Iran: The New York Times reports, "Mr. Samore…said in an email that the deal was a 'very satisfactory resolution of Fordo [enrichment facility] and Arak [plutonium reactor] issues for the 15-year term' of the accord. He had more questions about operations at Natanz [enrichment facility] and said there was 'much detail to be negotiated, but I think it's enough to be called a political framework.' Mr. Heinonen, the former chief inspector of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said, 'It appears to be a fairly comprehensive deal with most important parameters.' But he cautioned that 'Iran maintains enrichment capacity which will be beyond its near-term needs.'"

Joseph Cirincione, president of of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, and former director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: "The agreement does three things. It blocks all of Iran's pathways to a nuclear bomb. It imposes tough inspections to catch Iran should it try to break out, sneak out, or creep out of the deal. And it keeps our coalition united to enforce the deal. Under this deal, Iran has agreed to rip out two-thirds of its centrifuges and cut its stockpile of uranium gas by 97 percent. It will not be able to make any uranium or plutonium for a bomb. Many of the restrictions in the agreement continue for 25 years and some-- like the inspections and the ban on building nuclear weapons-- last forever."
They know a lot more about it than Tom Cotton or Ted Cruz ever will.

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At 10:42 AM, Anonymous wjbill49 said...

Of course the conservatives are upset (and afraid). The reactions have become predictable and beg to be ignored.

Hope your health is improving and thank you and everyone else to continue educating and exposing through "DownWithTyranny". It has made a difference for me!


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