Too bad the “framework” of a nuclear weapons deal with Iran didn’t come four days earlier on April Fools’ Day. It would have been more appropriate.
The United States is being asked to foolishly believe promises by a regime that is religiously motivated to eliminate Israel and ultimately the United States, is the premier sponsor of terrorism in the world, has a record of breaking promises, including past promises about nuclear weapons, and still holds American prisoners, including a Christian minister (Pastor Saeed Abedini), a Washington Post reporter, a former Marine and Robert Levinson, a retired DEA agent taken hostage in 2007.
The United States is being asked to foolishly believe promises by a regime that is religiously motivated to eliminate Israel and ultimately the United States, is the premier sponsor of terrorism in the world, has a record of breaking promises, including past promises about nuclear weapons, and still holds American prisoners, including a Christian minister, a Washington Post reporter, a former Marine and Robert Levinson, a retired DEA agent taken hostage in 2007.
Did Secretary of State John Kerry demand they be released as part of the framework? We don’t know because the deal that isn’t yet a deal has not been formalized and if an agreement is actually reached by the next deadline in June, we still might only know what they tell us, unless Congress holds hearings and asks the right questions. Shades of Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s line about the need to pass ObamaCare to find out what’s in it.
The other half of the credibility gap is President Obama. We are asked to believe a man who said, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” and that his would be the most “open and transparent” administration in history, among many other obfuscations.
In a dispute between an American president and a foreign leader, especially an Iranian leader, one might expect most Americans to side with the president. Not in this case. Iran’s chief negotiator at the talks in Switzerland, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, accused the Obama administration of misleading the American people and Congress. Zarif claimed that in spite of statements from Secretary Kerry and a “fact sheet” released by the American delegation, the U.S. is making claims that conditions were reached for the accord that Iran did not agree to.
If the two sides can’t agree on the contents of the framework, how are they supposed to reach a final agreement by June? In this case, the devil is not in the details; the devil is Iran.
Iran has always maintained it is seeking nuclear power for peaceful purposes. If that were true, there would be no need for negotiations. How do you negotiate with someone who has lied from the start and is told in the Koran that lying to “infidels” is permissible in pursuit of Islamic goals?
Did Secretary Kerry ask Zarif if he had heard from Allah lately and whether Allah has changed his mind about the destruction of Israel, the eradication of the Jewish people and the elimination of the United States? I’m guessing probably not, but he should have, since current and previous Iranian leaders have said openly this is the mandate they have received from their god.
Among the many concerns in the announced framework is language that says, “The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will have regular access to all of Iran’s nuclear facilities, including Iran’s enrichment facility at Natanz and its former enrichment facility at Fordow, and including the use of the most up-to-date, modern monitoring technologies.” What is meant by “regular access”? Will it have to be scheduled, or will there be surprise visits? Iran, like North Korea, has hidden nuclear material from inspectors in the past and if they wanted to they might do so again.
A Wall Street Journal editorial noted: “Consider the Additional Protocol, a 1997 addendum to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that was meant to expand the IAEA’s ability to detect and monitor clandestine nuclear activities. Iran signed the Additional Protocol in December 2003. … The signature meant nothing: By September 2005 the IAEA reported that Iran wasn’t meeting its commitments, and Iran abandoned its pretense of compliance by February 2006.”
Stockbrokers are required to say that past performance is no guarantee of future results. With Iran, past performance IS such a guarantee.
Delaying an inevitable military confrontation, rather than early intervention, allows the enemy to grow stronger with more loss of life and property when war comes. That is history’s lesson.
Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. He joined Fox News Channel in 1997 as a political contributor. His latest book is “What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America” is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.