The accord was a disappointment for Israel, which had urged the United States to pursue a stronger agreement that would lead to a complete end to Iran’s enrichment program. But Iran made it clear that continuing enrichment was a prerequisite for any agreement.
The United States did not accept Iran’s claim that it had a “right to enrich” under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. But American officials signaled last week that they were open to a compromise in which the two sides would essentially agree to disagree on how the proliferation treaty should be interpreted, while Tehran continued to enrich.
In return for the initial agreement, the United States agreed to provide $6 billion to $7 billion in sanctions relief. Of this, roughly $4.2 billion would be oil revenue that has been frozen in foreign banks.
This limited sanctions relief can be accomplished by executive order, allowing the Obama administration to make the deal without having to appeal to Congress, where there is strong criticism of any agreement that does not fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear program.
The fact that the accord would only pause the Iranian program was seized on by critics who said it would reward Iran for institutionalizing the status quo.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls it a “historic mistake.” Kristol rightly quotes Churchill post-Munich. John Bolton spells out the consequences. Be prepared to support Israel when it refuses to play the role of Czechoslovakia for the Obama-Kerry team.
On the domestic front, the agreement in Geneva, like the nuclear option in Harry Reid’s Senate are just huge efforts to switch people’s collective attention from the disaster in their lives that is Obamacare. Not much that media can do about the president’s fecklessness abroad, but it can and must stay focused on the massive fail across the United States of the biggest set of the president’s lies –“you can keep your plan, you can keep your doctor”– as the new shockingly high premium bills roll in. To that end I suggest you read this transcript, or listen to the audio below.