That much ballyhooed “deal” to “halt” Iran's nuclear program is set to take effect Monday next. Would that it were.
Iran and six world powers, including the United States, made the announcement on Sunday. Do not, however, count us among the naive and ignorant touting this as the 21st-century equivalent of Neville Chamberlain's “peace for our time.”
For the agreement that was bad in November is bad in January.
Iran, in exchange for $7 billion in sanctions relief ($4.2 billion in oil revenue to start), will stop enriching uranium beyond 5 percent — the threshold between use for energy production and nuclear weapons — and will begin to dilute its stockpile of 20 percent uranium. It won't construct any more centrifuges for refining and will submit its existing centrifuges for international inspection.
Never mind that the diluted uranium easily can be reconstituted for use in weapons. Never mind that the inspections are open only to Iran's declared centrifuges when it's pretty much a given that it has clandestine facilities.
As John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, wrote in his exclusive Trib column on Sunday: “Loosening the sanctions provides Iran with immediate economic benefits and also reverses the global political dynamic, making it harder to ratchet the sanctions back up during the undoubtedly lengthy process of Iran reneging on the superficial and easily reversible concessions made in the Geneva negotiations.”
America and the world have been snookered. And that's nothing to celebrate.
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