Iran

The Dumb Calls to Kill the Iran Deal

The hawks have no better alternatives for stopping Iran's march toward a nuclear bomb

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Zoolcar9 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Conservative foreign policy hawks are blasting the Obama administration's preliminary nuclear deal with Iran as nothing more than a "series of cascading concessions" that have sold America and its allies in the Middle East short. These conservatives are probably right that the administration could have negotiated a better deal. Still, contrary to their claims, a bad deal is better than no deal. That's because all the other options—maintaining sanctions or launching military strikes—would be less effective in curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions.

There are many details of the deal that have yet to be finalized, and there is a non-trivial chance that the whole thing will collapse. The White House has been forced to accept Congressional oversight over the final deal it hammers out with the Iranians, which means that Congress will now be able to delay or refuse sanctions relief. But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has declared that he won't go for a deal that lifts the sanctions gradually rather than fully and right off the bat, producing a potential impasse.

There is a chance that the prospect of continued sanctions might convince Iranian leaders to offer better terms than they already have. But if the impasse derails what is already on the table that would be a lost opportunity.

As the deal currently stands, for the next 10 to 15 years, Iran will have to give up 14,000 of its 20,000 centrifuges, keeping only the first generation kind that can't be used to enrich weapons grade material. Iran will have to abandon 97 percent of its enriched uranium stockpile by either shipping it out or neutralizing it to its natural state (as opposed to simply oxidizing it, a process that's easily reversed). Iran will have to fit its Arak heavy reactor, a major proliferation threat, with a central vessel or calandria capable of holding only 1 kilogram of plutonium rather than the current 10 kilograms. Iran will have to use its Fordo facility, built in secrecy, only for peaceful nuclear purposes. Iran will also have to ratify the Additional Protocol, an intrusive inspections regime that will allow inspectors unfettered access at a day's notice to any site they deem suspicious.

All of this is expected to increase Iran's "breakout time"—the time needed to acquire enough fissile material for a bomb—from about a few months to a year. The idea is that a year is long enough for the international community to do something.

Saudi Arabia and Israel argue that the Obama administration did not drive a hard enough bargain. Even France, America's negotiating partner, is backing their claims.

They point out that U.S. negotiators led by Secretary of State John Kerry confused Iranian posturing for sincere concern. The American team accepted Iran's claim that the nuclear program was its "shot at the moon" and conceded Tehran's "right" to maintain its nuclear facilities—instead of pushing for their dismemberment. "The haggling had scarcely begun and already the merchant profited," laments Michael Oren, Israel's former ambassador to America.

That Kerry behaved like an innocent abroad is hardly implausible. However, does this mean that Congress should now "kill the deal" and redouble its efforts to keep in place the current sanctions regime as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, The Weekly Standard, and other hawks are demanding?

No, because that's not even an option anymore. Regardless of whether the deal stands or falls, the sanctions are not long for this world.

The sanctions have already succeeded in bringing Iran to the table by triggering a major recession, shortages, and inflation. (The sanctions included a boycott of Iran's oil exports and also limited Iran's access to refined oil, while barring international banks from doing business with Iran.)

However, because the sanctions were not exactly costless for the countries imposing them, they were a tough sell that required years of diplomacy. Particularly reluctant to hop on board were Russia and China, who had to give up lucrative deals to build Iran's refinery capacity and infrastructure. Indeed, this duo was only shamed into committing to the sanctions regime after 2006, when the U.N. Security Council issued six resolutions condemning Iran's nuclear activity in violation of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Given this backdrop, there was never any chance that the international will for a foolproof sanctions regime would last indefinitely. The sanctions were meant to create a window for negotiations and, regardless of what America does now, that window will slam shut soon. In fact, Russia, as if to suggest that it was running out of patience, this week lifted its self-imposed ban and announced that it would deliver an S-300 missile defense system to Tehran. This means that if America walks away from the deal, Iran will slowly resume normal trade ties with much of the world—but without having to accept any curbs on its nuclear program.

And if a renewed sanctions regime is unrealistic, Sen. Tom Cotton's (R-Ark.) call for military strikes is downright daft.

Cotton insists that degrading Iran's nuclear capacity won't require a prolonged military operation—just a few days of sustained aerial strikes of the kind that President Bill Clinton used in the 1999 Desert Fox Operation against Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

However, what Cotton is forgetting is that Iraq's WMD facilities weren't buried under 200 feet of rock—Iran's Fordo facility is. Indeed, Tehran has gone to great lengths to shield its facilities against precisely such an attack. At the very minimum, notes James Kitfield of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, any significant erosion of Iran's nuclear infrastructure would require weeks, not days, of bombardment. Even if a war-weary American public resigned itself to such a campaign, it would at best set Iran's nuclear program back by four years, according to a 2012 report signed by multiple generals.

Military strikes might also generate negative unintended consequences. Iran could lash out against Israel or American facilities in the area—either directly or through proxies like Hezbollah, the report warns, destabilizing an already unstable region even further. The strikes could even trigger an all-out war—hardly what a region that is already dealing with multiple civil wars and the rise of barbaric outfits such as ISIS needs.

More to the point, military strikes might increase Iran's resolve for a nuclear weapon on the theory that America is far less inclined to mess with countries that have one (think Pakistan and China).

The administration might have squandered precious leverage in its negotiations. However, even the deal that it has obtained through its ham-handed efforts is a far cleaner—and surer—way to slow Iran's march toward a nuclear bomb. Obama didn't get the moon—but the deal won't produce the end of the world either, which is more than one can say for the options foreign policy hawks have put on the table.

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  1. The author of this article is the same type of coward that wanted to appease the nazis.
    The mullas of iran are not rational people. They seek not only hegemony, but harbor a cult like belief that the MUST destroy Israel to conjure up their mythical “hidden imam”.
    Anybody who does not include that into their calculations is either naive or lying to themselves.
    It’s one thing to say that is absurd (because it is), but the mad dog mullas of iran believe it, and the Israelis take that threat as seriously as any sensible person would expect the nuclear armed children of holocaust survivors must take it.
    Pushing back the timeline for later is both cowardly and stupid. It will cause a holocaust later, where a much less lethal fight now will suffice. Just as Neville chamberlain allowed the nazis free reign in the 1930s, obama is doing now with iran.
    They must be confronted NOW in no uncertain terms, both because we are strong enough to do so, and because it’s the right thing to do.

    1. Oh hogwash. Israel has nukes right next door and yet “we must eradicate this threat.” If ISRAEL feels so strongly, then let ISRAEL do whatever it feels it needs.

      Time for the US to make this deal, try to secure peace, and get the hell out of MidEast affairs. If we ever fully broke our reliance on oil, we could start vacating right now and let the chips fall where they may.

      1. What deal? That will be honored just like our ‘deal’ with N Korea 20 years ago. How is that one working out? Is your need for isolationism so great it overpowers any common sense you may have?

    2. Oh, please. We heard the same shit about North Korea and Pakistan. Now both have nukes, and yet strangely, neither has used them.

      1. Equally strange is the fact that the World Cop hasn’t tried to arrest either of them for sponsoring terrorism.

    3. This argument can be used against pretty much any diplomacy anywhere any time against any authoritarian power. How did the 50 years of negotiation and “appeasement” of the Soviet Union work out? We drew a line in the sand but it was pretty far back.

      Iran is not Nazi Germany. They do not have the economy or population to do the kinds of things they did. They are a regional power, and in the grand scheme of things not our problem. They are also 12 time zones away.

    4. I stopped reading it after “a bad deal is better than no deal.” Moronic.

      1. You know, there are often times where I think Reason throws in an article just to make sure the lefties keep coming back. Between Iran and illegal immigration, they keep the lefties interested.

        I wonder if the authors actually believe a worthless deal with Iran will matter in the long run whether it was perceived as a good or bad deal overall. In the end it is all talk in a world run by the aggressive use of force. You don’t have to like or accept it. Americans make a living on rejecting reality because it offends our sensibilities but reality doesn’t really care.

        So, in the end you have to conclude Reason writers are probably smart enough to know this and articles like this are merely written to keep lefties clicking on the site while simultaneously giving Reason some lefty street cred.

    5. The mullas of iran are not rational people. They seek not only hegemony, but harbor a cult like belief that the MUST destroy Israel to conjure up their mythical “hidden imam”.

      They are quite rational; their rationality is simply directed towards keeping themselves in power. Part of that consists of demonizing Israel.

      They must be confronted NOW in no uncertain terms, both because we are strong enough to do so, and because it’s the right thing to do.

      Both Iran and Israel are irrelevant to the US. And it isn’t the job of the US to “do the right thing” halfway around the world.

  2. “Obama didn’t get the moon?but the deal won’t produce the end of the world either, which is more than one can say for the options foreign policy hawks have put on the table.”

    I love the smell of strawman in the morning. It smells like bullshit.

  3. Forget about this specific issue–why wouldn’t the Senate have the ability to ratify or not ratify something like this?

    1. Because rule of law doesn’t matter as long as you think you’ll get the outcome you want.

      1. Sounds like a scam to me.

        1. I dunno – seems legit

      2. I want my PONY! And nice to see Shikha is keeping her streak of technical ignorance intact. I don’t have a problem with negotiations, but there’s way too much end justifing means here.

        Speaking of which I liked the finale of Justified up to the point where Boyd and Raylin got married.

        1. Justified ending was good, but just a little gai in that last scene as you note. NTTAWWT

  4. “a bad deal is better than no deal” Citation needed.

    Like the Congress, I’m going reserve judgement on that until I see the actual final deal. A deal so bad that it actually accelerates the Iranian nuclear program compared to the status quo really isn’t better than no deal at all.

    1. This was my thought. How can we know if the deal is good or bad when we don’t know what it will be?

      1. We have to pass it to find out what’s in it.

        1. Just like a turd.

      2. Hyperion|4.15.15 @ 9:50AM|#
        “This was my thought. How can we know if the deal is good or bad when we don’t know what it will be?”

        Exactly. This is being discussed as if we gain something by agreeing; damned if I’ve seen anything that says so.
        The facts that Kerry was involved and Obo is dying for strokes sorta suggests otherwise.

    2. So if I buy a car that’s on fire, that’s better than buying no car at all? I don’t get that logic.

      1. Can you still find Renault Fuegos? Or, prolly it’s the “En Fuego” you’re looking for…

    3. to add no deal does not mean automatic war where a bad that is backed up by force often does lead to no other choice but war.

    4. Sometimes no stamp of approval is the best you can do.

      1. No deal now does not mean one cannot be reached in the future. Otherwise, you could have used the same argument in the past at any time. You always need to reach a “deal” NOW, because there will never again be another opportunity to do so.

  5. ham-handed efforts

    Never miss a chance to offend Muslims, eh?

    1. Mmmmmm – ham….

      /MOOZLIM HATER

      1. #punchingdown

  6. More to the point, military strikes might increase Iran’s resolve for a nuclear weapon on the theory that America is far less inclined to mess with countries that have one (think Pakistan and China)

    Yeah, I’m guessing that they already have that part figured out.

    1. think Pakistan and China

      I must have missed where Amerikkka caused Pakistan and China to build nukes by striking militarily. What if I think Libya?

      1. Um, China developed its program largely in response to the First Taiwan Strait Crisis.

        1. Which involved 0 American military strikes. Try again. You might as well say every country wants nukes because any country has nukes. Simple and free minds

          1. This was the comment you were responding to:

            More to the point, military strikes might increase Iran’s resolve for a nuclear weapon on the theory that America is far less inclined to mess with countries that have one (think Pakistan and China)

            The First Taiwan Strait Crisis involved a great deal of American meddling, up to and including the signing of the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, nuclear threats, and the passage of the Formosa Resolution. “Messing with” a country does not require military strikes. Threats will certainly suffice to motivate someone to acquire the means to defend themselves.

            1. Gotta agree with Jordan on this one, in terms of US “meddling”

              1. What point is that? That the US doesn’t meddle with the NORKS because they have a nuke? Seems like an absurd point.

                1. Is it? We’ve given them quite a few concessions of the years. Whether any of that had anything to do with their possession of nuclear weapons, I can’t say. But, I’d be willing to bet that the North Koreans probably view it that way.

                  What’s more, they can launch missiles over Japan and attack South Korean naval vessels with relative impunity now. Maybe that would have also been the case even if they did not possess nuclear weapons, but again, I’ll bet they feel a lot more secure in doing so than they otherwise would.

                  Given their extreme paranoia with respect to us, they probably believe that their nukes are the only thing that have staved off a U.S. attack.

            2. this actually proves my earlier point sometimes deals do lead to worse results.

        2. If only the US hadn’t meddled in China after the Japanese invaded them.

    2. If I was supreme leader of Iran, my number 1 priority would be getting nukes because of the reason you mention. I would go to the negotiating table every day until my weapons were complete and then flip the table on my way out with my middle finger up once they were deployed.

      1. If you were the supreme leader of Iran

        1) that would be teh AWSUM and
        2) the mullet would become the Persians hairstyle of choice

        Plus – Toyota pickups on cinder blocks in front of every hovel…

        1. You know it brotha!!!
          /fires shotgun in air while hollerin’

      2. Two of Iran’s neighbors have been invaded by the US. Neither had nukes. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to see why Iran wants nukes.

        1. If I were a warhawk, I’d say that we offer to give them nukes by invading and establishing an Air Force base there with planes equipped with nukes. Win-win!

          1. *notes ProL as #1 candidate for Def Sec in Almanian! 2016 administration*

      3. This is why it was totally credible that Saddam Hussein was seeking nukes. After all, what crazed dictator with billions of dollars in oil money wouldn’t?

  7. “The deal” the Obama administration obtained looks pretty worthless. But then, on the other hand, it isn’t America’s job to protect Iran’s neighbors anyway. So, on the merits, I really don’t care either way whether the deal stands or falls. So, arguing about the merits of this “deal” is pretty pointless either way.

    What I do care is having the president’s power reigned in so that future presidents aren’t encouraged to engage in the same kind of behavior for things that actually matter.

    1. “But then, on the other hand, it isn’t America’s job to protect Iran’s neighbors anyway.”

      Iran has already launched multistage rockets to launch satellites.

      Their ICBM capability is a few years away. The estimate used to be 2015, but their long range missile program has been frustrated like their nuclear program–especially with targeted assassinations.

      This isn’t about Iran’s neighbors.

      This is about American security.

      The United States will be decidedly less secure if nuclear weapons proliferate to Iran and throughout the Middle East.

      1. Ken,
        Do you really believe Iranians want their country turned into a radioactive crater. This is like banning zip guns because someone might attack a SWAT team with it.

        1. Yeah, we heard all this same fearmongering with respect to North Korea and Pakistan. And it came to nothing.

          1. “Yeah, we heard all this same fearmongering with respect to North Korea and Pakistan. And it came to nothing.”

            Just because it hasn’t come to anything yet doesn’t mean it won’t.

            Are you saying that if we had North Korea in such a bind, because they were enriching their own uranium, that they came to the negotiating table begging us to lift sanctions against them–that we should just let them go on enriching their uranium and not insist that they stop?

            If we were in that position, why would we do that?

            So that Obama could have a foreign policy legacy?

            What’s the advantage in doing that for American security?

            No one can tell me.

            Some of them seem to think that insisting that Iran no longer enrich their own uranium is tantamount to war. I don’t know why.

            1. Just because it hasn’t come to anything yet doesn’t mean it won’t.

              Yeah, nothing makes it easier to play World Cop than justifying your actions with pre-crime.

              1. “Yeah, we heard all this same fearmongering with respect to North Korea and Pakistan. And it came to nothing.”

                My comment was an honest assessment in response to your comment.

                Just because the house didn’t burn down after we left the stove on the last time we went on vacation doesn’t mean nothing bad will happen if we leave the stove on this time.

                And ‘Because North Korea hasn’t hit us with a nuke yet’ certainly is not a good reason to capitulate to Iran, lift the sanctions, and let them enrich their own uranium.

                And why is Obama capitulating to Iran anyway?

                Is the price of oil too high?

                1. You’re wasting your breath. Some people just don’t get that the present is not the future, but the past usually is. They’ll be pissing themselves under their desks when some serious shit hits the fan – which is HIGHLY likely considering the ample examples in history and the nature of human beings.

          2. And it came to nothing.

            They haven’t actually nuked anybody, but I seriously doubt that their possession of nukes has been beneficial for their region or for US interests.

            I’m not saying we should be bombing Iran, or even sanctionizing it, but let’s not pretend that getting nukes makes a dictatorship better, rather than worse.

          3. North Korea have a history of minor aggression with South Korea and Japan. They opened fire on DMZ zone and sunk a ROK battle ship a few years ago. Their missiles somehow fell on a South Korean island and killed a handful of people. Japan gets antsy whenever NK missile tests happen a too close to their island.

            I imagine Pakistan is a Muslim police state, but we’ve had meaningful relationship with them for years. No one’s concerned over Pakistan or India developing their own nuclear arsenal. They’re not rogue states.

            Sure, a nuclear holocaust is unlikely. But no one probably thought terrorists armed with box cutters could bring down the Twin towers. Makeshift nuclear bombs could fit inside a suitcase. Iran could also shoot themselves on the foot and suffer their own Chernobyl if they don’t have the right people working on their “nuclear energy” project.

            If Iran is responsible for some nuclear mishap, our middle east allies won’t be liking our “You take care of your own business there” policy.

          4. None of this would have ever happened if commies like you hadn’t been allowed to infiltrate the US government in such a penetrative manner that even the Manhattan Project was compromised.

        2. The current situation is that Iran is prohibited from enriching their own uranium because it has been in open violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty for more than a decade.

          The question isn’t whether we should ban something.

          The question is whether we should lift sanctions that were imposed because Iran would rather suffer sanctions than abandon the ability to enrich its own weapons grade uranium.

          “Iran is a party to the NPT but was found in non-compliance with its NPT safeguards agreement and the status of its nuclear program remains in dispute. In November 2003 IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei reported that Iran had repeatedly and over an extended period failed to meet its safeguards obligations, including by failing to declare its uranium enrichment program.[22] After about two years of EU3-led diplomatic efforts and Iran temporarily suspending its enrichment program,[69] the IAEA Board of Governors, acting under Article XII.C of the IAEA Statute, found in a rare non-consensus decision with 12 abstentions that these failures constituted non-compliance with the IAEA safeguards agreement.[23] This was reported to the UN Security Council in 2006,[70] after which the Security Council passed a resolution demanding that Iran suspend its enrichment.[71] Instead, Iran resumed its enrichment program.[72]”

          http://tinyurl.com/mr7l3gm

          1. I can’t say from a tactics stand point they are wrong. Sign the treaty to buy time and get what you want. It’s not like the UN has any real power.

            1. I don’t know what you mean about the UN not having any real power.

              The power to drive Iran to the negotiating table with sanctions is certainly real.

              We’re really using it. It really drove them to the negotiating table.

              The question is whether we should let them off the hook and still enrich their own weapons grade uranium.

              I see no good reason to do that from the standpoint of American security.

              Iran not being able to enrich their own uranium is better for American security than Iran being able to enrich their own uranium. And there is no good reason why we or some other country couldn’t supply Iran with all the non-weapons grade uranium they need.

              If Iran didn’t want to give up its right to enrich their own uranium by violating the NPT, then there was an easy way to avoid that. If Iran doesn’t want to suffer sanctions because it continues to violate the NPT, then there’s an easy way to stop the sanctions, too. It’s all up to Iran.

              At least it was all up to Iran until Obama decided to give them a get out of jail free card–just so that he can have a foreign policy legacy. Again, no one can even BEGIN to give me a good reason why Iran being free to enrich its own weapons grade uranium is in the best interests of American security. I’m beginning to suspect that is because there is no good reason.

              I think people have just been sold on the idea that this agreement is somehow the alternative to war.

              It isn’t.

              1. nd there is no good reason why we or some other country couldn’t supply Iran with all the non-weapons grade uranium they need.

                Because they are a sovereign nation and we don’t rule them?

                1. You mean a sovereign nation that signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty?

                  What we are doing is enforcing a contract.

                  They violated the contract.

                  Taking someone to court because they violated a contract is not unlibertarian in any way.

                  1. They don’t get that.

                    They will just point to Israel, who didn’t sign the NPT for a reason.

                    And they don’t remember that Assad didn’t sign the chemical treaty, which why he was okie dokie to have chemical weapons.

                    I think Iran mainly wants a ready-to-assemble bomb rather than an actual bomb, so they can play these games.

                  2. “You mean a sovereign nation that signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty?

                    What we are doing is enforcing a contract.

                    They violated the contract.

                    Taking someone to court because they violated a contract is not unlibertarian in any way.”

                    Not really. The predecessor to the current Islamic Republic of Iran signed the NPT. And that government and Shah was empowered by a coup d’?tat carried out by the U.S. against their sovereign government.

                    They’ve been complying with the Treaty but it was never ratified by the current government, so I don’t think you can argue that they are bound to a treaty a predecessor government (the monarchy) that we forcefully imposed on them signed, in any libertarian reckoning.

                    1. “Not really. The predecessor to the current Islamic Republic of Iran signed the NPT.”

                      This is absurd.

                      This is like saying that a contract signed with a corporation is only valid so long as it has the same CEO or the same Board of Directors.

                    2. This is absurd.

                      Yeah, the US complied with all the agreements imposed on them by the British after the revolution.

                      Who’s the absurd one?

                    3. You honestly don’t see the difference between oppressed colonists resisting their own government, and the state of Iran violating the NPT?

                  3. You mean a sovereign nation that signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty?

                    The Iran that signed the NPT is not the Iran that exists today. Please provide documentation showing their intent to abide by said agreement.

                    1. They have not withdrawn – which is easy enough, and they have had decades to do so.

                    2. “This is like saying that a contract signed with a corporation is only valid so long as it has the same CEO or the same Board of Directors.”

                      Um. States aren’t typically bound to agreements their predecessors signed. Especially if those predecessors were violently overthrown by said states. Remember all that money we owed the French monarchy from the Am Rev?

                      And I don’t think anyone anywhere would hold a treaty with another government binding if that government came in and violently set up a puppet state first. I mean come on, how libertarian is that? Are all those WWII Japanese puppet states still bound to submission to Japan?

                    3. “States aren’t typically bound to agreements their predecessors signed.”

                      Because you say so?

                      “I mean come on, how libertarian is that? Are all those WWII Japanese puppet states still bound to submission to Japan?”

                      Again, you’re conflating a government imposing itself on people within a state with the treaty obligations of one state to another.

                      They aren’t the same thing.

                    4. “The Iran that signed the NPT is not the Iran that exists today.”

                      Is this something Iran is even claiming?

                      Do you have a link to Iran claiming that they’re not bound by treaties that were signed before the Iranian Revolution?

                      If we sign a new treaty with Iran right now, do you imagine it won’t be in effect in the future if the current Iranian regime is subsequently overthrown?

                      I think Iran is smart enough to know that if they want to be able to make deals with the world in any useful way–now or in the future–then they need to abide by the agreements that have been made by the Iranian state in the past.

                      This is part of what it means to be sovereign.

                      I’m certainly not going to give the authoritarian government of Iran a pass because it overthrew another authoritarian government.

                      That’s laughable.

                    5. That’s a sting of really weak arguments Ken, and I think you know that. States simply aren’t legally held to treaties and agreements that their predecessors signed. Iran is not legally bound to the NPT. No official from the Islamic Republic of Iran ever signed it. I’m sorry you’ve lost your moral justification for your argument here, but that’s the fact.

                    6. “States simply aren’t legally held to treaties and agreements that their predecessors signed.”

                      You keep saying that.

                      Repetition isn’t persuasive.

                      I put it in italics, and that didn’t make it persuasive either.

                    7. States simply aren’t legally held to treaties and agreements that their predecessors signed.

                      Unless someone with more power forces them to be, and that will only last as long as there is in fact someone with *both* the power and the will to do so.

                    8. Did it move? If not, then it is the same country. I’m all for leaving other people alone, unless they have a “death to America” day.

                  4. Is it our place to enforce a contract that we are not signatories of? We never ratified the NPT in the US as we wanted to keep building nukes

                    1. “We never ratified the NPT in the US as we wanted to keep building nukes”

                      The U.S. ratified the treaty in 1968.

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..ar_Weapons

                      You must be thinking of something else.

                2. there is no good reason why we or some other country couldn’t supply Iran with all the non-weapons grade uranium they need

                  I believe that has been offered. And declined.

                  I mean, why take free uranium, when you can spend tens of billions to get the exact same thing yourself?

                  Unless they don’t the exact same thing, but something a little . . . hotter.

                  One benefit of the kerfuffle over this deal is that you rarely hear the obvious lie that the Iranian program is purely peaceful. The working assumption now seems to be, finally, that they want bombs.

              2. Ken – the deal bans infrastructure required to go weapons grade. Enriching uranium under an inspections regime does not = weapons production.

                Getting weapons imspectors inside the country on a recurring basis a big deal in itself to help get a clearer idea of what is going on.

                Russia and China are ending their part of the sanctions with or without a deal. Given intense trade regulations with US, that will relieve more pressure for the Iranians than direct US sanctions will (and provides them with access to banks).

          2. Is that the same NPT the US wouldn’t sign?

            1. See my link above.

              The NPT was ratified by the U.S.

        3. Ken,
          Do you really believe Iranians want their country turned into a radioactive crater. This is like banning zip guns because someone might attack a SWAT team with it.

          Do you really believe a Hezbollah suicide bomber that procured a nuke wouldn’t use one? Do you really believe the Iranian government would fret about that happening?

          1. Name 2 nuclear suicide attacks.

            1. Those ones being plotted RIGHT NOW by ISIS!

              /Nat’l Review Reader

            2. Something that hasn’t happened can never happen. Is that a Libertarian premise?

              1. Something that hasn’t happened can never happen. Is that a Libertarian premise?

                Well then the U.S. should be dismantling all their nukes. No telling when a domestic terror group is going to steal one and suicide nuke bomb China.

                1. No telling when a domestic terror group is going to steal one and suicide nuke bomb China.

                  Good point, given the ongoing epidemic suicide bombings in the US, and the US’s nasty habit of facilitating suicide bombers in other countries.

            3. And you didn’t answer the question. How about this one? How many Hezbollah suicide bombers opted against using a nuke because it was just too scary?

              1. And you didn’t answer the question. How about this one? How many Hezbollah suicide bombers opted against using a nuke because it was just too scary?

                If it is so simple and they really want to do it, why hasn’t it been done?

                1. They haven’t had access to one? Do you really think they have qualms about it? Because nuclear is a dirty word to a suicide bomber?

              2. “How many Hezbollah suicide bombers opted against using a nuke because it was just too scary?”

                I think we should also look at it the other way.

                One of the reasons Iran holds Hezbollah back is because of their fear of Israel.

                If Iran had a nuclear deterrent against Israel, there would not be so much impetus behind holding Hezbollah back.

                Elements of what coalesced into Hezbollah attacked our Marines in 1983, but since then, they have never attacked the United States directly.

                If Iran had a nuclear deterrent, I’m not sure the impetus behind the decision not to target the United States directly would work the same way in the future, either.

                Mutually Assured Destruction may have prevented the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. from going toe to toe, but didn’t it also make wars through proxies more prolific than they would have been otherwise?

            4. Well, there was that one in Dr. Strangeglove.

              1. Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.

          2. Do you really believe a Hezbollah suicide bomber that procured a nuke wouldn’t use one? Do you really believe the Iranian government would fret about that happening?

            Wouldn’t the debris leave a “fingerprint” showing what reactor created the bomb? I don’t think Iran would be happy knowing that it would be traced back to them. The results wouldn’t be good.

            1. And the Iranian government is known for making really good choices about these kinds of things.

              1. If they have no sense of self preservation, why haven’t they attacked the U.S. already?

                1. If you are referring to the government of Iran, I’m sure there are some involved that have a sense of self preservation. That hasn’t stopped them or their neighbors from arming proxies that do not have a sense of self preservation. Was taking 66 diplomats as hostages rational and driven by a sense of self preservation?

                2. They did. In 1979. Try to keep up.

          3. Yes, I believe the Iranian government would fret a lot about that happening. If for no other reason than the fact that nukes are expensive as hell. And retaliation from the victim would be quite painful for you.
            I also believe a Hezbollah suicide bomber wouldn’t be willing to make use of a nuke. Their primary target is Israel, and if your goal is to give your people what you consider their land back, nuking it (along with many Palestinians, Islamic holy sites, and other things you might like) is not a very productive idea.

            1. You are out of your mind. A suicide bomber doesn’t CARE what happens on this Earth as long as he get’s his 72 virgins. Religious extremism kinda makes you do illogical things…

      2. This is about American security.

        The United States will be decidedly less secure if nuclear weapons proliferate to Iran and throughout the Middle East.

        Yawn.

        Because it’s the job of any leader to turn their country into a smoking radioactive hole.

      3. This isn’t about Iran’s neighbors. This is about American security.

        That’s utter, self-serving bullshit and fear mongering. Iran has no interest in sending a nuclear ICBM on US territory.

        The United States will be decidedly less secure if nuclear weapons proliferate to Iran and throughout the Middle East.

        The US will be even less secure if our presidents poke their noses into every hornets’ nest there is.

        The best security for the US is to maintain a strong military on our soil, maintain our nuclear weapons, and otherwise stop getting involved in the b.s. that goes on in the rest of the world.

  8. “Neo-conservative hawks won a small victory Tuesday when they foced the administration to accept Congressional oversight of any final deal it inks with Iran.”

    Calling them names won’t change anything.

    Treaties require two-thirds of the Senate for approval.

    And there are other facts that haven’t changed.

    The fact that signing a bad “agreement” is NOT the alternative to war hasn’t changed.

    The fact that it is not in the best interests of American security to let Iran enrich their own uranium hasn’t changed either.

    It’s amazing how many people who support Obama’s “framework” with Iran cannot even begin to explain why allowing Iran to enrich their own uranium is better–from an American security standpoint–than Iran being prohibited from enriching their own uranium.

    There is no reason why we (or someone else) couldn’t supply Iran with whatever non-weapons grade uranium they need for energy purposes. I will never support any “agreement” that allows Iran to enrich their own uranium–even if it were put before the Senate for a two-thirds vote.

    1. Ken, representing the best of RedState neocons on Reason.com, needs some facts:

      this is not a treaty and does not require 2/3 vote. On the Iranian side, modifications will be part of the IAEA additional protocols. On the US side, a staged lifting of sanctions. The sanctions were not part of a previous treaty nor do they amount to any significant obligation on the US either economically (ie, NAFTA) or militarily (ie, SALT).

      As to your question of why Iran should or should not “be allowed” (yes, Daddy) to enrich uranium – member states of the NPT are allowed peaceful nuclear programs. If you want to toss out the NPT, fine. I’m sure you will get a pat on the back from Israel who has never signed and has hudreds of weapons.

      The quickest way to a nuclear arms race in the middle east is Iran leaving the NPT. And I’m sure you’ll be on the front lines on any US invasion of a country with three times the population of Iraq and a population who are not an oppress minority and are very much in favor of their own nuclear program. Please do that on your own dollar and with your own private mercs and leave the US taxpayer and US military out of it.

      1. “As to your question of why Iran should or should not “be allowed” (yes, Daddy) to enrich uranium – member states of the NPT are allowed peaceful nuclear programs.”

        Iran HAD the freedom to enrich uranium under the protocols of the treaty–but they violated the terms of the treaty, for one, by enrich uranium in secret. See my link above.

        Iran forfeited the right to enrich their own uranium when they violated the treaty much like armed robbers forfeit their right to own a gun and take it to prison with them when they’re convicted of armed robbery.

        P.S. I guess you don’t know me, but I was here when this site started circa 2003/2004, and I was here howling against neocons in the Bush Administration and their Iraq War from the beginning. Check the archives if you like.

        Meanwhile, capitulating to Iran on uranium enrichment is not the only alternative to war, and refusing to lift sanctions until Iran agrees to permanently forgo enriching its own uranium doesn’t mean I’m in favor of war with Iran either.

        1. And of course the only reason they enriched it in secret was because they wanted to make weapons grade uranium. The world has offered to provide Iran with uranium for its reactors for free and Iran has refused the offer. Yet, Reason continues to pretend they can be trusted or mean anything but harm.

          1. Absolutely.

            If they would rather suffer sanctions than give up enriching their own uranium and accept non-weapons grade uranium from outside, then the only rational conclusion is that they want to enrich weapons grade uranium.

            There is no reason to suffer sanctions otherwise, and the sanctions really are crippling the Iranian economy.

            1. And they want nukes that badly for a reason. And whatever that reason is, it involves using them or threatening to use them. No peaceful country would ever pay the price Iran is paying in order to get nukes.

              1. I suspect Iran would gain great prestige in the area by having nukes and threatening to nuke Israel (or actually doing it), especially among the more Islamist elements. (Actually, among many on the Left here.) It wouldn’t hurt to have the hammer to implicitly threaten everyone else, too. Domestically, I’m thinking some factions would support the government more whereas others might be cowed more easily, at least for the short term.

  9. Hey, sometimes Congress is just too dumb to appreciate the great deals Obama is negotiating. They should just shut up and obey (binding) “agreements” that aren’t treaties.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..hur-milikh

    1. “Agreements” should only be applicable to the President making the agreement. Once Obama is out of office, any “agreement” that did not have the full 2/3 support of the Senate is non-binding to the nation unless the new President also supports it and is willing to abide by the terms.

  10. A lot of this is probably just posturing. The more reluctant members of Congress appear, the more bargaining power the administration gets.

    If they came out and said “any deal is better than no deal”, why would Iran concede anything?

  11. Arguments of the sort “China/Pakistan/North Korea have nukes and they’ve never used them,” are not persuasive.

    Allowing increasing numbers of fascist states to acquire nuclear weapons is a profoundly foolish path.

    It’s as if you looked around the foundation of your house, found a termite and said, “Well, it’s only one termite. The house hasn’t fallen in yet. Nothing to worry about.”

    As trendy as moral equivalence is these days, the fact is that the U.S. and the Anglosphere are the good guys — the bulwark of freedom. All other free nations have their freedom due to the example and perseverance of the Anglosphere.

    We do have enemies in the world. They are not merely people with different ideas about how to live and whose cultures we must respect. They are our enemies and they would be perfectly willing to subjugate us and impose their ideals upon us if they thought we were weak enough.

    They seek to weaken us daily and have done so persistently over many decades.

    Libertarianism is not a suicide pact.

    We have every reason to take Iran’s statements that it seeks the downfall of the U.S. at face value. They are not going away. They are not becoming friendly. They are the proponents of an evil, fascist, totalitarian ideology that is the polar opposite of libertarianism. They will not be won over with tolerance. They see it only as weakness.

    Shying away from a fight now only makes the fight more difficult later. This is a lesson history has taught over and over.

    1. Libertarianism is not a suicide pact.

      Oh, okay. Libertarianism means trusting your government implicitly, especially when they advocate for preemptive war.

      1. Which no one is advocating here. Nice strawman.

        1. Nice strawman ya got there….be a real SHAME if sumpin’ happened to it….

          *spits*

    2. Allowing increasing numbers of fascist states to acquire nuclear weapons

      I keep forgetting that part of the US Constitution that made us the FedGov the arbiter of what other nations are “allowed” to do, cause we say so.

      Thanks for the derpminder.

      1. In this case, it’s Article 2, Section 2 since both parties are signatories to the NPT.

      1. Would you prefer “standing idly by?” The philosophical distinctions are arguable, but not definitive.

        In the phrase “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” I think it is implied that by “doing nothing” good men are “allowing” evil to triumph. We can start investigating the epistemological roots, but I think my meaning was clear.

        1. We haven’t done nothing. We have built the ability to deter any nation on earth from attacking us. If they do so, they will meet their end.

          What happens in the asshole of the earth is not my concern. Our national interest in the region went away with our newfound energy independence. It is not the purview of the US to tell sovereign nations how to conduct their affairs. There is no purpose, need or right for US involvement at all, other than we get off on telling people what to do.

          If it’s so fucking important, where is the rest of the world? Oh, they are doing what they always do…minding their own fucking business.

          1. Don’t act like they’re minding their own business because they’re so principled. They’re just happy to let the U.S. do the heavy lifting.

            I have sympathy for your views. In general I support zero involvement by the U.S. in the Middle East. I have no interest in nation-building. But Iran has committed acts of war on us in the past. I think waiting for the suitcase bomb to depopulate an American city is too late.

            In person-to-person self-defense terms, if you are facing an armed person who has the means, motive and announced intent to kill you, you don’t have to wait until they actually shoot you before you take action.

            1. They’re just happy to let the U.S. do the heavy lifting.

              All the more reason to stop.

              I think waiting for the suitcase bomb to depopulate an American city is too late.

              And Iran is going to give nuclear material to a terrorist knowing full well we can easily trace its origin? They may as well do it themselves.

              In person-to-person self-defense terms, if you are facing an armed person who has the means, motive and announced intent to kill you, you don’t have to wait until they actually shoot you before you take action.

              No, you don’t if the threat is credible. Iran doesn’t pose such a threat.

              1. And Iran is going to give nuclear material to a terrorist knowing full well we can easily trace its origin? They may as well do it themselves.

                “It is true. The fissionable material came from Iran. It was smuggled out of the country without our knowledge. To make war against this country for the actions of lawless terrorists would violate all precepts of international law. We call upon all nations of the world to support Iranian sovereignty and reject Imperialist U.S. aggression. Oh. By the way, you had it coming, you American Imperialist devils. Death to the great Satan!”

                In response, President Clinton issues a strongly worded rebuke to Iran over its lax nuclear security policies and pledges to the nation that the perpetrators attack on what was formerly known as New York City will be brought to justice.

                Several hapless goatherds in Yemen are killed by drones.

                1. Simply put them (and the world) on notice.

                  If it’s your nukes, you get to be the hole. Don’t be the hole.

                  1. I will cheer wildly when we get a President with the balls to say that.

                    1. I think we can all agree that Barack “Red Line” Obama is not that President. Nor would Hillary “Overcharge” Clinton be.

                2. I forgot to add. “In the next issue of Reason, Dalmia writes: Now is not the time to bang the drums of war with Iran. A costly, bloody war, or the unleashing of U.S. nuclear power will not bring back the people of New York City. The people of Iran cannot be held responsible for the actions of a few terrorists, or even for the actions of the Ayatollah.”

              2. All the more reason to stop.

                No it isn’t. Because someone else will not help is not even remotely a good reason not to do it yourself. That’s a very childish philosophy.

          2. *What happens in the asshole of the earth is not my concern. *

            Oh, but it is, especially when the denizens of said arseloch close the Straits of Hormuz/irradiate the Saudi oil fields/whatever and your house is cold & dark because there’s not enough oil to burn to keep the West alive.

    3. They are not going away. They are not becoming friendly. They are the proponents of an evil, fascist, totalitarian ideology that is the polar opposite of libertarianism. They will not be won over with tolerance. They see it only as weakness.

      Who’s talking about tolerance? The clear message from us to Iran is: if you do anything, we’ll turn your entire country into a smoldering crater. No nation building, no pussy-footing around as in Iraq. Nothing more is needed.

      Allowing increasing numbers of fascist states to acquire nuclear weapons is a profoundly foolish path.

      An even more foolish path is to waste trillions on trying to prevent the inevitable. These countries will get WMDs one way or another.

      We have every reason to take Iran’s statements that it seeks the downfall of the U.S. at face value.

      And why do they seek that? Because we keep f*cking around with them, because of stupid people like you. Until we started meddling with them and tried to save Britain’s hide, they didn’t care about us either way.

  12. Dalmia apparently believes in the magic power of words. We have a “deal” so that must be good. That is utterly ridiculous. The deal is only as good as the results it actually produces in the real world. There is nothing necessarily better about having a deal. In fact, making a deal that isn’t verifiable is much worse than nothing at all. All such a deal does is provide Iran a framework to cheat. Once there is a “deal”, the attention of the world will move elsewhere. Getting an agreement that has no teeth will just allow the Iranians to continue with their nuclear program away from international scrutiny.

    Worst of all is the dishonesty of Reason’s shifting position on Iran. For years, Reason has claimed that Iran doesn’t want nukes and is not a threat. Now that a deal might happen, the claim has turned to “sure it is a bad deal but it is the best we can do to try and stop the Iranian nuclear program.” You know the program that Reason has spent the last decade or more denying exists.

    Ultimately, reason always takes the position of appeasement. If there is no deal to be had giving appeasement, the Reason line is “there is no need for a deal at all and the threat is a made up one.” Once there is a bad deal to sell the line becomes “this deal is the best option for dealing with the threat”.

    1. Why has no one mentioned “Peace in our time”?

  13. It is not that Reason is necessarily right or wrong. It is that whatever they are, they are there by chance not thought. The answer is always the same “appease at all costs”. It is just the “facts” Reason gives changes so that answer is always justified. No matter what your opinion of this issue, there is no reason to take Reason’s opinion seriously, since it clearly is not the result of any serious thought and is just their universal answer to any international issue.

    1. The answer is always the same “appease at all costs”.

      WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THIS BEFORE – a shrubbery! Genius!

      Obama should present Iran with a shrubbery, to appease them!

      Makes as much sense as this alleged “deal” I keep hearing about that the Iranians deny exists.

      1. A nice shrubbery, but not too expensive.

        1. Of course, they’l just want

          ANOTHER SHRUBBERY!

          But a bit higher than the first, to give it a kind of two-tiered effect…

          1. Rather than appeasement, I suggest apleasement, where we sent them some hot, easy, American women. With large tracts of land.

            1. “But faaaaaaaather….I don’t WANT any of that. I just want to…”

              “Nope, nope, nope – we’ll have none o’ that!”

      2. I spelled appease correctly. At first I thought I had maybe screwed it up. But I didn’t. So I am not understanding your joke at all. What does appeasement have to do with shrubbery?

        1. John. John – srsly.

          Are you serious?

          Are. You. SERIOUS?

          *cough* Monty FUCKING Python and the *cough* Holy FUCKING Grail *cough*?

          Srsly?

          1. Knight of Ni: We shall say “Ni” to you… if you do not appease us.

            Arthur: Well what is it you want?

            Knight of Ni: We want….. (pregnant pause) A SHRUBBERY!!!!

            1. Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say Ni at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land, nothing is sacred.

              Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress in this period in history.

          2. I am just not that into them. Some of their stuff is funny but I don’t know them well enough to pick up most references beyond the odd dead parrot or “its only a flesh wound” one.

            1. You are forgiven, my son. Now go say three Hail Marys and watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

              1. That is probably the best compliment anyone has ever given me. Thank you.

            2. Dude, even Elvis was a Python fan. You must immerse yourself in all things Python.

              1. Always look on the bright side of life

  14. All sides seem to be attacking the deal.

    Russia just did something very, very unhelpful, too.

    Iran’s leaders have been critical.

    Are we sure we really have a deal, here?

    I’m also not sold on the concept that “any deal is better than no deal.”

    1. We already had a deal before Obama came in office.

      We’ve had a deal with Iran since 1968.

      It’s called the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

      Under the terms of our deal with Iran, they suffer sanctions until they stop enriching their own uranium.

      If they want a new deal, then they need to offer something better than what we’ve already got.

      Why is it better for American security if Iran can enrich its own uranium?

      Someone please tell me why.

      1. Iraq has about the same size and population of New Jersey. Iran has about the same size and population as California. Iran has 12 factories capable of making weapons grade aluminum tubes usable in centrifuge production. Iran has over 50 major universities. Smart people make bombs. Many countries have nukes. Iran getting a nuke is no worse than Pakistan getting one. I remember all the dire predictions then.

        It’s not about nukes. That’s just a red herring. It’s about selling barrels of oil in euros. For the people pulling the US military levers that’s a no-no.

        Stop killing innocent babies in the ME with bombing attacks. “America first” Barry Goldwater we need you!

      2. Why is it better for American security if Iran can enrich its own uranium?

        Do you have any more such idiotic straw men? If you want people to take you seriously, start constructing arguments like a grownup.

  15. I also think everyone arguing that Chinese or Pakistani nukes are no big deal should review why we don’t want Taiwanese (or South Korean) nukes.

    Taiwan had a nuke program in the 80’s.

    We convinced them to halt the program even though nuclear weapons would obviously be in Taiwan’s national best interest.

    Why did we do that?

    Because Taiwan would have something of a 30 second “use it or lose it” window for their nukes.

    You don’t want that.

    Iran supposedly just wants a nuke in a box, where they could assemble it quickly. This is why they still think they can get a deal where they get a nuke like this and don’t break NPT.

    Well, okay, but then Saudi might want one. And we’re back to 30 second times.

    Not a good idea.

    1. No it is not. But you have to remember, Reason never sees any downside to inaction. Reason only sees the cost of doing something. The idea that there might not be any good options and doing nothing might in fact be the worst option is not something Reason will ever accept. It is always “be a war monger” or “do nothing and live in eternal peace with no cost whatsoever”.

    2. The Saudis, the Turks, the Egyptians…all are competing with the Persian Twelvers for control of Middle Eastern Islam.

    3. Well, okay, but then Saudi might want one. And we’re back to 30 second times.

      And we care about whether Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Saudis nuke each other… why?

  16. Neo-conservative hawks won a small victory Tuesday when they foced the administration to accept Congressional oversight of any final deal it inks with Iran the mother fucking US Constitution.

    Who writes this shit???

    1. Dalmia. This is the same writer who says the Republicans who object to Obama’s amnesty are just fools who haven’t “groked” how powerless they are and how fucking awesome Obama is.

      She doesn’t give a flying fuck about the Constitutions in any other context. Why would she be any different here?

  17. “The White House has been forced to accept Congressional oversight over the final deal it hammers out with the Iranians, which means that Congress will now be able to delay or refuse sanctions relief.”

    Simple understanding of the constitution: The president can do whatever he wants with foreign policy during his own administration. If he wants an agreement with a foreign country to bind future administrations, he must get the consent of the senate.

    Congress passed the sanctions, and only Congress can lift the sanctions. The president may be able to sway the UN, and have his representative vote to life UN sanctions, but he has no power to unilaterally lift US sanctions

    1. Obama has the power to ignore enforcement of the sanctions.

  18. “a bad deal is better than no deal”
    No. A bad deal is a bad deal.
    “But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has declared that he won’t go for a deal that lifts the sanctions gradually rather than fully and right off the bat, producing a potential impasse.”
    Potential? The other side saying, “No deal until we get what we want” is pretty difficult to negotiate with. Also, the other side saying no deal even exist is a bit concerning. Lets not forget, no inspectors at military facilities.
    “No, because that’s not even an option anymore. Regardless of whether the deal stands or falls, the sanctions are not long for this world.”
    Then why should Iran even negotiate?
    “the U.N. Security Council issued six resolutions condemning Iran’s nuclear activity in violation of its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
    I think this says something of Irans credibility when it comes to any agreements reached.
    “In fact, Russia, as if to suggest that it was running out of patience, this week lifted its self-imposed ban and announced that it would deliver an S-300 missile defense system to Tehran.”
    Well, if Russia says so, then forget it all. Russia is a fine example to follow given their peace loving actions lately.
    “which is more than one can say for the options foreign policy hawks have put on the table.”
    I find it funny that people who are saying we either make “this” deal, or we just go to war are calling other people “hawks”.

  19. The reason Iran having any nuclear capability is the will use it. All of these experts on both sides seem to intentionally ignore the one glaring truth about the middle east staring us in the face. The next war will be a religious war, between Sunni and Shia. Iran is helping fight ISIS not because they have some great dedication to the world and being a civilized player, but because ISIS is Sunni, period. Sunni is the dominate for of Islam in the middle East. Iran and Bahrian are the only Shia majority nations. All the rest including Afghanistan and the those of the far east are Sunni majority nations. They have been fighting this battle for 1000 years and it was only kept in check by the Ottoman Empire and then dictators like Hussein and Gaddafi. To make matters worse, Iranians are not Arabs, but Persian who have also been at war with Arabs for hundreds of years. ANY agreement with Iran on nuclear technology will only ensure the war that has been brewing ans is about to explode with kill millions. The US needs to realize the days of these BS neo-con backed limited military actions are over. The next war the US enters will be fought like WWII, total and all out destruction of the enemy, period.

    1. The same experts said that Pakistan would use the nukes. Stop the fear mongering because it is created by the war mongers.

      1. Why not just give everyone nukes? The world would obviously be a happier place afterward.

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  21. Free Trade with Slavers!

    That’s what Libertarianism means to me!

  22. The Real Reasons Why Iran is the Next Target:

    The Iranians committed an “offense” far greater than Saddam Hussein’s conversion to the euro of Iraq’s oil exports in the fall of 2000. Numerous articles have revealed Pentagon planning for operations against Iran as early as 2005. While the publicly stated reasons will be over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, there are unspoken macroeconomic drivers explaining the Real Reasons regarding the 2nd stage of petrodollar warfare – Iran’s upcoming euro-based oil Bourse.

    The implementation of the proposed Iranian oil Bourse (exchange) in 2005/2006 ? utilizing the euro as its oil transaction currency standard ? essentially negates the necessity of the previous two criteria as described by Mr. Yarjani regarding the solidification of a “petroeuro” system for international oil trades. It should also be noted that during 2003-2004 Russia and China have both increased their central bank holdings of the euro currency, which appears to be a coordinated move to facilitate the anticipated ascendance of the euro as a second World Reserve currency. In the meantime, the United Kingdom is uncomfortable juxtaposed between the financial interests of the U.S. banking nexus and that of the E.U. financial center.

    1. Iraq has about the same size and population of New Jersey. Iran has about the same size and population as California. Iran has 12 factories capable of making weapons grade aluminum tubes usable in centrifuge production. Iran has over 50 major universities. Smart people make bombs. Many countries have nukes. Iran getting a nuke is no worse than Pakistan getting one. I remember all the dire predictions then.

      It’s not about nukes. That’s just a red herring. It’s about selling barrels of oil in euros. For the people pulling the US military levers that’s a no-no.

      Stop killing innocent babies in the ME with bombing attacks.

      1. Yawn. Looks like a new propgandist who gets paid by the word. Can’t wait ’til you drop a little USS Liberty on us.

  23. My God — an author cites a Vox article to support his argument. Is this what Reason.com has come to?

    There are many flaws in this “framework” for a deal, but the most glaring is the exclusion of military sites from inspections. Hmm… Imagine that the police showed up at a suspect’s house and asked to look around. “Sure, you can come in and look around, but you can’t go in the walk-in closet in the master bedroom.” the suspect says. So the cops tell their superiors, “No problem, we inspected 90% of the house and found nothing.”

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