Welp, chalk up another stunning foreign diplomacy victory for the Obama administration. He’s successfully negotiated with a country we’ve been unable to deal with diplomatically since 1979.*
Of course, the problem is, the Obama/Kerry foreign policy brain trust reached this historic agreement with Iran by simply capitulating to virtually every Iranian demand.
Worse still, our own Republican controlled United States Senate has jiggered the rules to make it virtually impossible for the Congress to halt implementation of this agreement.
One of the first effects of the deal will be the lifting of sanctions on Iran, which will result in an immediate cash infusion of about $100 billion dollars into the Iranian economy. You’ll note that the administration claims this money will go solely to improving Iran’s economy. Well, yeah, maybe. Some will undoubtedly go to funding terrorist proxies that are fighting the US and its allies. And of course, the secondary effects of an improvement in the Iranian economy include increased internal stability in Iran (lo for the days when the US might have actually supported the nascent Green Revolution and weakened or overturned the ayatollahs regime) and of course, since money is fungible, the already existing outlays by Iran to support terror will have even less domestic impact on their economy. That is, if they can afford to support terror while under economic sanctions, how will improving their economy make it harder for them to continue to export terror?
Europe, of course, is willing to go along with this, as they suspect that a fair percentage of these billions of dollars will be spent buying from Europe. And Europe is so desperate to support their own social welfare programs that taking Iranian money makes sense to them, particularly as they labor under the misconception that the United States is and perpetually will continue to be the guarantor of their security.
Iran for its part, once in possession of nuclear weapons, need not actually employ them to achieve their foreign policy goals. Much as Pakistan and North Korea intuited, mere possession of a valid nuclear force renders any possibility of invasion moot. Far from this agreement steering Iran to enter the fold of the nations of the world, it gives Iran a shield from behind which to further attack its neighbors and adversaries.
Of course, a nuclear armed Iran poses an existential threat to many nations in the region, particularly Saudi Arabia. A nuclear arms race is virtually guaranteed, and we already know that Saudi Arabia is likely to simply purchase weapons off the shelf from Pakistan, whose program they are widely thought to have helped finance in the first place. Other nations in the Gulf might similarly procure weapons. And as anyone who has studies nuclear proliferation and nuclear war strategy quickly finds, the risk of a nuclear power making a decision to use a nuclear weapon goes up very quickly as the number of possessor nations increases. Sooner or later, instability or poor strategic decision making leads a “player” in the nuclear game to the conclusion that using nuclear weapons is a better option than not using them. When that eventually comes to pass, there will be no telling where it may end.
But hey, Obama and Kerry get to tout a major foreign policy accomplishment, establishing an enduring legacy of accomplishment. And that’s really the important thing here.