It appears that world leaders reached a final agreement with Tehran by making concession after concession to the rogue state. Iran has emerged from these lengthy negotiations with everything they wanted, giving them a clear path to pursue a nuclear program without the hindrance of economic sanctions. But even the deal’s fiercest critics were taken aback when they learned that American inspectors would not be permitted inside the country.
As part of the final settlement, Iran’s nuclear inspectors can only be from those countries with normalized relations with the Islamic regime. Independent American inspectors will be shut out of the process, leaving only the International Atomic Energy Agency teams to conduct investigations. Naturally, many are concerned that without an American presence, Iran will find it much easier to cheat on their end of the bargain.
Former National Security Council director Elliott Abrams says this arrangement is unacceptable. “No member of the P5+1 should be barred, and this is another example of how badly the administration negotiated. We should have insisted that the ‘no Americans’ rule was simply unacceptable,” Abrams said.
Unfortunately, it seems that Obama was so set on securing this deal that no Iranian demands were too ridiculous. If Iran’s hardliners had understood how weak Obama’s position was, they might have even managed to get this deal without submitting to any inspections at all. Even as it stands, they will have a 24-hour notice period to clean up their act whenever inspection teams decide to pay Tehran a visit. Whether or not this gives them enough leeway to pursue a nefarious program remains to be seen.
Defending this spotty inspection process, lead U.S. negotiator Wendy Sherman attempted to roll back expectations this week. “I think this is one of those circumstance where we have all been rhetorical from time to time,” said Sherman. “That phrase, ‘anytime, anywhere,’ is something that became popular rhetoric, but I think people understood that if the IAEA felt it had to have access, and had a justification for that access, that it would be guaranteed, and that is what happened.”
So the idea of surprise inspections was just…what? An idea that came out of nowhere to become a magical myth? If you believe Sherman, the Obama administration never had any intention of putting Iran’s nuclear activities under the microscope. Perhaps she doesn’t understand that this admission sounds even worse than the alternative: that this administration lacks negotiating skills. Now it sounds like the president never took Iran’s nuclear program seriously in the first place. Which, come to think of it, would explain quite a lot.
Whatever the case, there’s no question that this is a bad deal. And if it leads to disaster, there will be only one man to blame.