Obama has doggedly pursued negotiations aimed at restricting Iran’s access to a nuclear weapon even though the mullahs in Tehran have done nothing to prove their peaceful intentions. They have continued and even expanded their proxy wars throughout the Middle East, while also refusing to answer questions about their presumed development of advanced weapons. In the talks, they have conceded almost nothing.
Notwithstanding Iran’s intransigence, the United States, which is orchestrating the talks, has apparently backtracked on demands that Iran shut down most of its centrifuges, ship its stockpile of enriched uranium out of the country, close or permanently disable its once-secret underground facility at Fordo and answer questions raised by the IAEA about its research on possible delivery systems.
Certain of these demands were considered non-negotiable, and critical to refusing Iran a nuclear weapon. Even though Iran’s economy has been crushed by international sanctions, it is clear that Obama is the more desperate party.
The self-imposed deadline of yesterday for a preliminary agreement has come and gone because Tehran has refused to comply with the demands of the P5+1 group. The good news is that the U.S.-led coalition did not settle for a meaningless deal, and the talks will continue. However, the damage already done by these one-sided negotiations is profound.
Relations between Israel and the United States have arguably never been worse. And, more alarming, the Obama White House may have ignited a nuclear arms race in the unstable Middle East – an outcome that decades of diplomacy had sought to prevent.
How on earth did we get here?