The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Iran Deal 2.0

From 2009 to 2017, Barack Obama was the driver of a foreign policy that pinballed between fecklessness and dangerously bad decisions and actions. I posted an overview of Obama's greatest geopolitical hits here

His crowning achievement came in 2015, when he and his foreign policy Team of 2s, desperate for a foreign policy win, capitulated to the Mullahs in Iran and signed the "Iran Deal." At that time, I commented on the idiocy of that deal here, here, here, here and here—to cite just a few of many posts on the subject.

My feelings about the deal and the immediate aftermath can be summarized as follows:

Those of us who were violently opposed to Barack Obama's Iran "deal" suggested that: (1) the negotiation was a pathetic attempt to bolster Obama's "legacy" at the expense of the interests of our country and our allies in the Middle Eat and Europe; (2) that Iran could not be trusted; (3) that the "deal" was so one-sided that it smacked of capitulation; (4) that it gave the world's foremost sponsor of terror between $100 and $150 billion dollars in assets that could be used against the west. Like every other foreign policy failure of Obama and his team of 2s, the deal began falling apart within weeks of its signing. 

Now, Joe Biden and his Team of 1s, equally desperate for anything that can be characterized as a foreign policy win (after the catastrophic debacle in Afghanistan and the growing unease with our response to the Russian Invasion of Ukraine), have decided to double down on the stupidity evidenced during a time when he was VP under Obama.

Ladies and Gentleman—Iran Deal 2.0—the ugly sequel to an historically bad deal with a notoriously bad actor, Iran. Even worse, this is a deal that has been brokered in part by Russia. Yeah, that would be the same country that has has created a humanitarian disaster in Ukraine and only has our very best interests at heart.

Gabriel Noronha reports that "... three top U.S. diplomats had quit [the Iran talks]—largely in protest over the direction set by U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley, who serves as the U.S. government’s chief negotiator." 

Malley, a card carrying member of Biden's foreign policy Team of 1s, will show all of the intelligence and savvy exhibited by his boss when he (well, actually the puppet masters who feed Biden's teleprompter) drove U.S. energy policy into a ditch.

Noronha summarizes this foreign policy travesty:

The list of concessions that follows is long, detailed, disturbing, but also somewhat technical. But this much is clear to me: The deal being negotiated in Vienna is dangerous to U.S. national security, to the stability of the Middle East, and to the Iranian people who suffer most under that brutal regime. The lack of evidence to justify a removal of U.S. sanctions is illegal, and the deal that will be foisted upon the world without the support of Congress will be illegitimate. This deal will not serve U.S. interests in either the short or long term.

With Robert Malley in the lead, the United States has promised to lift sanctions on some of the regime’s worst terrorists and torturers, on leading officials who have developed Iran’s WMD infrastructure, and has agreed to lift sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) itself. In exchange, Iran will receive fewer limitations than those imposed under the JCPOA, and the restrictions on its nuclear program will expire six years sooner than under the terms of the old deal. And that’s just the beginning.

There'll be much more to come, but one thing is certain. No matter what the final outcome of Iran Deal 2.0, it's likely to be no better than a disastrous Iran Deal 1.0 and probably be much, much worse.

UPDATE (3-11-2022):

A little good news. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Iran talks have broken off without a deal. In a month that has seemed to contain only bad news both domestically and internationally, the fact that no Iran deal has been made is a bright spot. 

I suspect that the drive to reenter the fantasy realm in which Iran is an honest and non-malevolent actor will push Biden's Team's of 1s to capitulate even further. But maybe not. We can always hope.