There are very few experts, or even people with common sense who in hearing about the deal the U.S. agreed to, didn't all agree that the U.S. gave up a lot and got little in return.
And the rationale being used by both Obama, Kerry and others is so irrational its easy to conclude from that alone, that there are reasons why Iran is celebrating and no one on the U.S. side is.
Probably the most crucial and bizarre aspect of the deal is inspections. If it can't be absolutely verified that Iran is complying then the entire deal is worthless, though many have pointed out that its ten year delay for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon is also worthless regardless of inspections now.
Supporters of the deal including Obama tout that IAEA inspectors will have 24/7 access to any site they want any time anywhere. So they claim. What Obama doesn't say is that 24/7 access applies unless Iran objects. A little caveat Obama doesn't mention.
Far from the "anytime anywhere" ability to inspect suspicious sites that the U.S. and most in congress say is crucial to the deal, a cumbersome process has been devised that can give Iran up to 24 days of stalling before it has to comply with an inspection by claiming there is no legitimate interest in inspecting the site. If they refuse access they have 14 days to review an IAEA request submitted in writing as to why they want access, then if they refuse try to convince the IAEA inspectors that the activities at the suspected site are legitimate. If they can't convince the IAEA there is another 10 day period where the UN Security Council reviews the dispute. If 5 members vote that Iran must give access then Iran must allow the inspections (after 24 days) or face new sanctions.
Ollie Heinomen a former IAEA top nuclear safeguards inspector says the agreement is inadequate. In Foreign Policy magazine, Heinomen says he is "disturbed" that the deal provides for multiple weeks of negotiation between Iran and IAEA inspectors to gain access to" sensitive" or" undeclared" sites. It allows Iran to declare "off limits" any site it decides is military or national security related and has no nuclear connection.
The deal only gives unfettered inspectors access to "key" nuclear sites some already declared. But doesn't say who decides what else might be "key". If Iran decides a particular site is not "key" they can refuse inspections and the 24 day delaying process goes into effect.
Heinonen says that from an investigative point of view there is nothing good in the agreement. Quoting from Foreign Policy magazine he says, " before Iran grants you access it can take measures to change the environment in the place you are looking and destroy evidence".
And Iran has done just that in the past and were caught. When Heinonen was an inspector in 2003 he said Iran tried to cover up convert nuclear activity at the Kalaye Electric company plant, covert activity they had secretly been engaged in since the 1990's. When IAEA demanded access, Iran delayed and refurbished the entire facility before allowing inspectors in.
That doesn't sound like "any time any where" to any body. Which is why in his victory lap Obama didn't mention military sites which the IAEA always said were critical and the Iranian military kept stating publicly would never happen.
Aaron David Miller, a middle east expert has already said on CNN that Iran has gone one better on Obama. And the more the deal is looked at the more bizarre it becomes.
The Iranians insisted and recieved as part of the deal, a provision that will also allow Iran in 8 years to have ICBMs capable of reaching the United States. Which as Obama and everyone knows is essential to a healthy economy.
The deal will also end the arms embargo on Iran in five years. It was only a week ago that outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Dempsy told congress that under no circumstances should Iran be allowed to build or buy ICBMs and under no circumstances should the arms embargo be lifted. Oops.
As for the sanctions, according to the deal they are to be "phased in". But what does "phased in" actually mean? Who's idea of "phasing in" will prevail? No one is saying specifically other than the IAEA has to certify that Iran is complying with the agreement. But what if Iran believes they are complying in a matter of weeks? What if they say, " see that back hoe over there? We are converting and complying", and claims it wants the sanctions lifted before the conversions are completed? What then? And given that when the framework of the deal was announced in April Iran saw it differently than the U.S. It could throw the whole deal into chaos.
The deal could become a shambles in a matter of weeks of being implemented assuming it gets through congress and there is no override of Obama's veto (which at the moment is no sure thing) since "phased in" based on compliance can mean anything depending on one's point of view. If Congress insists on clarification of that issue alone it could scuttle the deal.
Basically the deal that Obama is touting is an Iran nuclear deal that went from preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon to compromising by delaying it for ten years.
Everyone looking at the deal says the winner is Iran who will get hundreds of billions in revenue from sanctions relief and the end to an arms embargo, both of which guarantees that Iran will send weapons and money to Hezbollah and Hamas while at the same time giving them ample opportunity to cheat or the very least set up a program that will allow them to hit the ground running and launch into enrichment for a bomb as soon as the ten years are up at which time they will already have the hundreds of billions in sanctions relief in their pockets.
Other notable points: U.S. allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia have condemned the deal and traditional U.S, adversaries, Iran, Putin and China have praised it. At the announcement Kerry looked worn, the Iranians jubilant.
And when you hear anyone, journalist or politician or government official or Obama himself, defend the deal by asking "what was the alternative?" it's practically an admission that the deal was negotiated on the defensive and from a position of weakness. Because the alternative to strangling Iran's economy with sanctions which is what was done for the last ten years, was to continue to strangle Iran's economy with sanctions if they didn't agree to a tougher more effective deal. The sanctions is what the Iranians wanted to end. The U.S. didn't need an alternative. Iran did. Yet that simple truth was ignored or not understood by Obama and Kerry and reveals the unnecessary position of weakness and compromise from which Obama and Kerry negotiated. We didn't need "an alternative." Iran did. And as everyone remembers, throughout the entire length of the negotiations, it was, in every case, Obama and Kerry who were afraid Iran would walk away from the negotiations. With the U.S. holding all the cards and some smart and tough negotiators it should have been the opposite.
The deal in its own way is nuclear Obamacare. It is almost impossible to look at any Obama initiative and policy, without comparing it to Obamacare, Obama's first and biggest policy failure and how it came about, which was an egregious sell out and compromise of both principle and policy by caving in to the health insurance industry by dropping health care reforms's most important provision the public option, ( as stipulated by Nancy Pelosi herself) which in the end has failed to help 96% of the people healthcare reform was supposed to help.
The analogy is valid. Except the consequences of the nuclear deal are greater.
Many feel this deal is an unncessary capitulation to Iran in much the same way Obama capitulated unnecessarily to the health insurance companies on Obamacare and weakens the U.S. and its allies, and in the end will help no one but the Iranians.
Kerry in defending the deal said, " sanctioning Iran until it capitulates is not acheivable 0utside a world of fantasy". With that kind of inherent defeatism and weakness in both Kerry and Obama, which was apparent from the beginning, they seem to ignore the fact that it was the sanctions that brought Iran to the table in the first place, and it was Iran that was looking for an alternative. The only real fantasy world is the one that Kerry and Obama negotiated from. Which is why Iran is celebrating.
Adam Schiff, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee when asked if there would really be unfettered inspections of any site in Iran said, " it depends on the interpretation of the deal". Interpretation? Do people get to interpet what a 65mph speed limit is if they get a ticket? Who is living in a fantasy world? Schiff also said he wants to talk to people to discuss what's "between the lines of the deal". Not what's in the deal but what's between the lines. What's between the lines is empty space.
Last but not least, along with the Iranian celebration, Putin and China both think the deal is just great. And as a result, Russia announced immediate plans for arms sales to Iran in the form of the S-300 air defense system.
The U.S. countered when Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, buttressing Obama's argument of how much safer the world is going to be as a result of the Iran deal, announced today that the U.S. is increasing it's military cooperation with Israel including selling Israel new F-22 fighters.
Can anyone say, " Gentlemen you can't fight in here, this is the War Room"?