CFR Deconstruct

A guy on Twitter sent me this link re the Iran deal. He fancied it cogent. Hijinks ensue.

Wherein I address “Iran Deal Does Limited Things for a Limited Time” from the Council on Foreign Relations:

To wit:

The interim nuclear accord between Iran and the six world powers is a significant accomplishment by any measure. The agreement is the product of years of co-ordinated, sustained diplomacy, mostly involving the US and its principal European partners.

More years than it took to defeat fascism and National Socialism, in fact. Somebody give these folks a cookie.

Note, as the deconstruction proceeds, that the author does not mention the partial relaxation of sanctions in June of this year, well in advance of the negotiations. Or maybe “diplomacy” no longer involves negotiation. But I digress.

Success also reflects the sophisticated use of diplomacy against the backdrop of economic sanctions and the credible threat of military force. In addition, the accord demonstrates the ability of the new Iranian government of President Hassan Rouhani to compromise and its desire to get recognition at home for what it receives in return.

The economic sanctions that were partially relaxed months before negotiations began? These are some danged sophisticated, dare I say hard-ass, negotiators, eh?

Credible threat of military force? Dude. Oh, I’m sure the Obama Administration’s foreign policy savvy Peace Through Strength cred has the mullahs quaking in their prayer slippers.

What have the “new” Iranians compromised? In fact, Iran was ceded the right, in direct contravention of UN Security Council resolutions, to enrich uranium.

The interim agreement itself places meaningful constraints on several dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for providing Iran with a degree of financial relief from existing economic sanctions. The accord, better understood as a ceiling than a freeze, also establishes a level of inspections that is far more intrusive than what has existed. The net result will be to slow the pace of Iran’s progress towards putting into place the many elements of a nuclear weapons capability, in the process increasing the time and warning the world would have between any Iranian decision to produce one or more nuclear weapons and when it would actually achieve that goal.

Meaningful constraints on several dimensions. Ah, cool! Wait, I suddenly thought of thirtysomething for some reason…

Far more intrusive than what has existed? They must have pulled a hammy to reach that, since the Iranians have been telling the IAEA to piss off, off and on, for a very, very long time.

This article, better understood as happy bullshit, is nonetheless grist for the deconstructive mill.

What the interim agreement does not do is dismantle important aspects of Iran’s nuclear capacity or potential. This is an agreement that does limited things for a limited time, no more and no less.

Expectations will be managed. Forget that it gives Iran time to beef up their ballistic missile capability; forget they will be full steam ahead on nukes as soon as the IAEA leaves (and/or have undetected facilities not within the IAEA’s view); so…relax.

Those who are opposing the interim accord for what it does not do are asking too much.

Run that by me again? Hate to interrupt the paragraph with a comment, but…seriously?

The measure of any diplomatic agreement cannot be the possible versus the ideal but rather the possible versus the realistic alternatives, in this case either living with an Iranian nuclear weapons capability that would lead others in the already unstable Middle East to follow suit or launching a preventive military strike without knowing in advance what it would accomplish or set in motion. This interim pact is far preferable to either alternative.

So…multi-state proliferation is an argument for being milquetoast on Iranian nukes? Did I properly glean the logical gymnastics in that? Or was that an obligatory Iran Shouldn’t Have Nukes bone to sane people that came off clumsily?

Also not realistic are arguments suggesting that since sanctions are working, there is no reason to enter into an agreement that falls short of the objective of getting Iran out of the nuclear business altogether.

I’ve read that sentence three times. Still doesn’t make sense. I’ll try again.

As I mentioned before and you do not, dear author, the sanctions were partially relaxed in June.  So that your last sentence is based on a nonsensical, fallacious premise.

There’s more to unpack in that sentence but I’ll let it go.

International support for sanctions would collapse long before that goal was in sight. And this or any Iranian government would opt for confrontation over negotiation if humiliation was the certain outcome of the latter.

Wait, are sanctions the goal? or a problem? Could you focus your bloviating just a tad? Please?

The real question to be considered surrounds not the interim accord just completed but the follow-on or “comprehensive” agreement to come. The announced aim is to finish negotiating and begin implementing such a pact within a year. The incentive for Iran is obvious: the agreed upon wording promises the end of all nuclear-related sanctions (but presumably not those sanctions linked to other aspects of Iran’s behaviour that are found objectionable).

The rest of the article requires a subscription. Oh, darn.

Because that is just Grade A bullshit. The West will not have the political will to reinstate sanctions soon enough to be meaningful as Iran approaches nuclear “breakout,” which they are mere months away from at best.

This is all nonsense. I have nothing else amusing to say. This is just bullshit.

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