Newspaper column: Nevada delegation could tip the scales in Iran deal

Believe it or not, the tiny Nevada delegation in Washington could play a significant role in international affairs, the likes of which could be compared to the Munich Pact of 1938 that inexorably led to World War II.

Obama’s deal with Iran not only allows the mullahs to immediately start spending $150 billion on conventional weapons to foment terror and unrest throughout the region and the world, it hardly deters their ability to develop nuclear weapons. Depending on how the agreement is interpreted, Iran may be less than 24 months from having a nuclear payload.

The vote could be very close.

Nevelle Chamberlain returns from Munich

Of Nevada’s six representatives who will have an opportunity to vote on the treaty, only Democrat Sen. Harry Reid has chosen to play the part of Neville Chamberlain and declare the agreement will mean peace in our time.

Even hard-left-leaning Democrat Rep. Dina Titus is quibbling.

“Today’s historic accord is the result of years of hard work by President Barack Obama and his administration,” Reid said in a statement on July 14. “The world community agrees that a nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable and a threat to our national security, the safety of Israel and the stability of the Middle East.”

Titus stated on her website, “With the announcement today of an agreement with Iran, I stand strong in the belief that no deal is better than a bad deal and a nuclear-armed Iran is simply unacceptable.”

Since the deal virtually assures that there eventually will be a nuclear-armed Iran and the debate is largely over how long it will take, one could read that as a no vote from Titus, but then she throws in a caveat. “As I join my colleagues in closely examining the details of the agreement, I want to commend the Obama Administration for their diplomatic efforts and tireless work through the negotiations.”

The rest of the delegation, all Republicans, are firmly opposed to the deal as a non-starter.

The problem is that it will take a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress to nix the deal and override an Obama veto. Though the Constitution gives the president the power to make treaties “provided two thirds of the Senators present concur,” Obama is not calling the deal a treaty, but he consented to a congressional vote and our lame Congress acquiesced.

Sen. Dean Heller was perhaps the most cautious of the four.

“I have some serious reservations regarding the deal reached on Iran’s nuclear program and will review it carefully, as will the public,” Heller said. “For more than three decades, America has stood up against Iran and implemented sanctions enacted by Congress to prevent them from further developing a nuclear weapon. Yet, this work may be unraveled by an agreement that crosses red lines the U.S. had previously set, putting our nation and its allies like Israel at risk.”

Rep. Cresent Hardy was more firm, making note of Iran’s open threats against Israel and its sponsorship of terror around the world, including the killing of hundreds of American soldiers.

“If initial reports are true: This agreement would provide billions of dollars in sanctions relief and only delay Iran’s breakout time to a nuclear bomb by a matter of months,” Hardy said. “The president can claim a victory with this deal — but it is a hollow one. Simply extending the time it takes for Iran to get a bomb still creates a future where Iran has a bomb.”

Rep. Joe Heck, who is running for Reid’s Senate seat, said he is concerned by the fact Obama caved on anytime-anywhere nuclear site inspections, basically giving Iran a say in which sites get inspected and when. He was also bothered by the fact the deal lifts the conventional arms embargo on Iran.

“In the past Iran has not adhered to international norms and obligations when it comes to their nuclear program, and so Congress now has a chance to review this deal and every aspect of this agreement,” Heck said.

Rep. Mark Amodei told a television station, “We’re not making the Middle East a safer place when you have the Saudis and the Israelis and the Jordanians wondering what Iran will do with that stuff. I think we instead should stay the course with the sanctions and say no, you cannot do this.”

Reid, as usual, is playing politics instead of looking out for the welfare of his constituents and future generations of Nevadans.


116 comments on “Newspaper column: Nevada delegation could tip the scales in Iran deal

  1. I’m with Joe Lieberman & Shelley Berkley on this one! (And hopefully Dina Titus will continue to stand firm against this deal too!). The Republicans who are supposedly “firmly opposed”…well, we’ll just have to wait and see how the votes go…talk is cheap.

  2. Patrick says:

    If only Reagan hadn’t lied every year, under oath, that the Pakistanis weren’t violating non-proliferation agreements, so that he could fund and train the same guys who later blew up the Twin towers and the Pentagon, none of this would be happening.

    Whatever happened to “personal responsibility?”

  3. nyp says:

    Blah, blah, blah.
    Munich, always Munich to you guys.

  4. If the lederhosen fits…

  5. Rincon says:

    Those who criticize the deal still present no realistic alternative. So far as I can see, it’s either continue sanctions and let them develop nuclear weaponry, go to war, or wave our magic wand and make a better deal. Take your pick kids.

  6. nyp says:

    they have already chosen — more of the Forever War

  7. Sounds like the not so dynamic duo has the administration BS talking points down pat…

  8. nyp says:

    when you come up with an alternative strategy, let us know.

  9. Rincon says:

    Brien again complains that the dynamic duo is talking BS, but again has nothing of substance to say. Cheech and Chong did the same thing and got a good laugh with it. Chong was doing a rebuttal citizen’s editorial on a local TV station and his only talking point was, “You’re all F***ed”. So I’m now willing to say that Brien is just as sharp as Tommy Chong.

  10. Rincon already listed alternatives … continue sanctions or go to war. Iran is going to develop a nuke or buy some, one way or the other.

  11. Steve says:

    It appears this “deal” to “prevent” Iran from getting a bomb actually makes it easier for them to do so and faster than they would have been able under the sanctions.

    A deal that costs us is no deal.

  12. Nyp says:

    1. Steve is wrong
    2. You cannot “continue sanctions ” b/c none of the other sanctioning countries – Russia, China, etc – will go along if Congress kills the deal. That leaves a MidEast War, which is what you guys really want.

  13. Steve says:

    If Obama had stood his ground from the start those other countries would have followed the lead.

    Russia wasn’t sanctioning anything to begin with.

    It was Europe who pushed Obama to ease the sanctions so they could buy oil and natural gas from Iran to offset Russian control of the market, if the USA would have eased up on our restrictions on exporting oil and gas (to Europe in particular) we could have frozen Iran out of the picture.

    I never said “continue sanctions” I said this deal is worse than what was in place before.

  14. Nyp says:

    What was in place before was a time-limited sanctions regime premised upon reaching an an agreement acceptable to the P5+1. If Congress destroys the deal we can’t go back to comprehensive international sanctions. Russia, China, Germany will never do that. So the alternative is another neo-con war in the Middle East.

  15. Now that the Obama administration has made a total fuster cluck out of the Iranian nuclear negotiations…(as well as the rest of the Middle East) the not so dynamic duo wants us to come up with a better plan. I already made my ideas for a superior plan clear in a previous post…but that’s irrelevant anyway, they just want to stir the puddin’.

  16. Steve says:

    I know that.

    I still say the “deal” Obama made in secret is horrible and leaves Iran in the place of policing themselves.

    I do not trust Iran. Apparently you (and Obama) do.

  17. Iran deal hastens, not delays …

  18. Patrick says:

    Personal responsibility; between Reagan, Bush 1, and Bush II the Republican Party has made a complete disaster of every action this country has taken in the Middle East since another republican (Ike) had the CIA overthrow an elected leader in Iran so that US oil interests could secure more profits for themselves, all the while install one of the most brutal dictators in the world, who used one of the most brutal secret services in the world (SAVAK) to keep the religious population of that country dead, and down.

    And NOW, after their “heros” absolutely ensured that Iran would be angry at the US, and be armed with nuclear weapons (thanks raygun) NOW, the far right wing wants to blame a democratic president for THEIR mess.

    Consistent. Dumb, but consistent.

  19. Steve says:

    The “solution” Obama has crated with this deal is to give Iran the bomb faster!

  20. Nyp says:

    Really? W/o a deal there are no restrictions on Iran’s ability to make a bomb. No restrictions at all.

  21. Steve says:

    This “deal” made it easier for Iran to build one!

    Unless you happen to a blind follower of the Obama regime.

  22. Steve says:

    But even if you believe Obama in the claims that this deal prevents Iran from getting the bomb and those sanctions weren’t stopping them at all in the first place, then;

    WHY does the very “deal” in and of itself RELY on the threat of those useless sanctions!!!????

  23. Republicans led us to the cliff, so it is their fault when Obama pushes us over.

  24. Nyp says:

    Really? W/o a deal Iran can spin as many centrifuges as it wishes, and refine as much weapons-grade fuel as it wishes. So your assertion is completely wrong.

  25. Patrick says:

    It’s about personal responsibility Thomas. In all this talk about what the presidents deal means, WHERE is the acknowledgment by the republican supporters of their role getting us to this point where the president has been forced into a corner having no good options left?

  26. Steve says:

    “Really? W/o a deal Iran can spin as many centrifuges as it wishes, and refine as much weapons-grade fuel as it wishes. So your assertion is completely wrong.”

    “MY” “assertion” comes DIRECTLY from the Whitehouse!

  27. Our naive, narcissistic & petulant President has painted himself into this corner. He is making a huge gamble in order to try and salvage an abysmal foreign policy record that has been particularly horrendous in the Middle East, all in the name of legacy. He has made dangerous concessions as a result of dealing from a position of weakness. The Mullahs are laughing. They have broken every agreement they have previously signed & have been demonstrating in the streets yelling death to the Great Satan and the Little Satan as they burn the American flag and the President in effigy while the final negotiations were being discussed. This could turn out very badly for everyone involved…except the Iranians. When Carter was Commander in Chief…the Mullahs again scoffed at the weakness of America and held our fellow Americans hostage for 444 days…but within mere minutes of Reagan being sworn in as President…they were released. They recognize strength…and they take exploit weakness…heaven help us if this goes south.

  28. Steve says:

    It’s like were saying, go ahead and do whatever you want as long as we don’t catch you at it…if we do catch you at it we are going to put back in place the VERY SAME punishments we have in place now! You know, those sanctions Nyp insists aren’t preventing anything now!
    THAT is what the Whitehouse released on their OWN WEBSITE!

  29. Nyp says:

    Huh?? I never said the current multilateral sanctions that President Obama negotiated are not effective. In fact, they are extremely effective.

    But one the Republicans in Congress kill the deal the multilateral sanctions disappear and the Iranians are free to develop all the weapons-grade file they desire

  30. Steve says:


    You said exactly that several times on this thread.

    Moreover you said there is no going back but the Whitehouse details exactly that should Iran be caught abrogating the “deal”.
    This from a country that abrogates “deals” they make on a regular basis.

    Iran canno0t be trusted, Nyp. But THAT is exactly what Obama (and you) are asking us to do, trust Iran!

  31. nyp says:

    Sigh. Once again: the agreement between the P5+1 and Iran contains provisions for automatic “snapback” sanctions in the event one of the UN Security Council members determines that Iran has violated the agreement. The snapback is part of the agreement, and is one of its most innovative and compelling features.

    However, if the Republicans kill the agreement there is no snapback mechanism. Moreover, the carefully-negotiated multilateral sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table disappear. They will not be replaced b/c the other P5+1 members will not agree to new sanctions once Congress has killed the deal. And Iran will be free to spin all the centrafuges it wishes to spin and to refine all the weapons-grade fuel it wishes to define. That is the reality that the Republicans refuse to acknowledge.

    BTW, no one has contended that Iran has violated the current interim arrangements. So your contention that Iran violates every agreement is objectively incorrect.

  32. Steve says:


    Ahh, that’s it!

    Spin! Your favorite method of discussion!

    No wonder you like Iran so much.

  33. nyp says:

    Please show me where I said that the current multilateral regime has not been effective.

  34. Rincon says:

    If we had not negotiated an agreement, then Europe and the UN would have lifted the sanctions anyway without any change in Iran’s behavior, so how are we worse off when Iran eliminates 95% of its fissile material, 2/3 of its centrifuges, and submits to the most exacting enforcement of any agreement of this type to date? If Iran cheats, we resume sanctions and we’re no worse off than before. If we fail to replace the sanctions, then shame on us as well. Failing to take that deal means de facto economic war on Iran, ensuring that Iran would become more like North Korea and less like Viet Nam. It would also confirm for other Arab nations that all we really want is to dominate them.

    Failing to negotiate in good faith would also have alienated the Iranian people as well. A poorer Iran united against us, is far more dangerous than an Iran of decidedly mixed feelings towards the west. Besides, the day has come when minor countries can develop nuclear capabilities. Your alternatives do the same with Iran as you say gun control does with criminals. It’s impossible to keep it out of their hands, so what’s the point in pissing them off as we fail to keep nukes out of their hands?

  35. Steve says:

    Please show me where you didn’t.

  36. Steve says:

    ” we resume sanctions”
    There it is again, from another source.

    According to you guys this secretly negotiated deal is take it or leave it. But sanctions keep on keep’n on or they don’t, maybe but if they spin but maybe they don’t. WTF?

    The WH link is clear…we trust Iran or sanction go BACK into effect IF Iran is caught abrogating the “deal”.
    By the time Iran is caught, they will have a bomb or two or three!

    This thing speeds it up and they are laughing at us, just like they gave us the finger for the last year and a half of Jimmy Carters presidency!


  37. Patrick says:

    Giving us the finger since Carter? Which finger did Reagan give the citizens of this country I wonder when he decided, in contravention of US law of course, to trade arms with this regime?

    “Document 17: White House, Draft National Security Decision Directive (NSDD), “U.S. Policy Toward Iran,” TOP SECRET, (with cover memo from Robert C. McFarlane to George P. Shultz and Caspar W. Weinberger), June 17, 1985

    The secret deals with Iran were mainly aimed at freeing American hostages who were being held in Lebanon by forces linked to the Tehran regime. But there was another, subsidiary motivation on the part of some officials, which was to press for renewed ties with the Islamic Republic. One of the proponents of this controversial idea was National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, who eventually took the lead on the U.S. side in the arms-for-hostages deals until his resignation in December 1985. This draft of a National Security Decision Directive, prepared at his behest by NSC and CIA staff, puts forward the argument for developing ties with Iran based on the traditional Cold War concern that isolating the Khomeini regime could open the way for Moscow to assert its influence in a strategically vital part of the world. To counter that possibility, the document proposes allowing limited amounts of arms to be supplied to the Iranians. The idea did not get far, as the next document testifies.”

  38. Patrick says:

    Fortunately, Reagan’s successor, another republican, George Bush Sr., decided that the criminal actions begun by Reagan and his minions, weren’t reason to discontinue the policies or get rid of the guys who were involved instead making sure these same criminals were placed in high positions in his next administration.

    Document 19: George H. W. Bush Diary, November 4-5, 1986

    “Then-Vice President George H.W. Bush became entangled in controversy over his knowledge of Iran-Contra. Although he asserted publicly that he was “out of the loop — no operational role,” he was well informed of events, particularly the Iran deals, as evidenced in part by this diary excerpt just after the Iran operation was exposed: “I’m one of the few people that know fully the details …” The problem for Bush was greatly magnified because he was preparing to run for president just as the scandal burst. He managed to escape significant blame — ultimately winning the 1988 election — but he came under fire later for repeatedly failing to disclose the existence of his diary to investigators and then for pardoning several Iran-Contra figures, including former Defense Secretary Weinberger just days before his trial was set to begin. As a result of the pardons, the independent counsel’s final report pointedly noted: “The criminal investigation of Bush was regrettably incomplete.”

  39. Patrick says:

    And let’s not forget Dick Cheney and his “ideas” about how to “deal” with Iran.

  40. Patrick says:

    “Vice President Dick Cheney (search), who has called Iran “the world’s leading exporter of terror,” pushed to lift U.S. trade sanctions against Tehran while chairman of Halliburton (search) Co. in the 1990s. And his company’s offshore subsidiaries also expanded business in Iran.

    Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards (search) criticized Cheney in Tuesday night’s debate for his position on Iran during the 1990s, and Edwards said he supports expanding the sanctions against Iran.

    Cheney countered that he now supports sanctions against Iran but sidestepped the issue of Halliburton’s involvement, saying it was being raised by Democrats “to try to confuse the voters.”

    In case anyone doesn’t want to click on the link.

  41. Patrick says:

    So how did the prior republican administration do with regards to stopping, or even slowing the Iranian nuclear program?

    Well, not good. In fact terrible.

    “Let’s start with centrifuges, the crucial technology for enriching the uranium fuel needed for a bomb. When Bush took office in 2001, Iran had no known centrifuges in operation. Today, Iran is operating about 3,850 centrifuges, with plans to add approximately 3,000, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    Now let’s consider the enriched uranium itself. When Bush took office, Iran had none. By this month, the IAEA reported, the Iranians had 1,390 pounds of low-enriched uranium. That’s enough to make one nuclear weapon, after this feedstock has been enriched further with additional passes through the centrifuges.

    What about the missile systems that could deliver a nuclear weapon? Iran has continued over the past eight years to expand its arsenal of ballistic missiles. The Shahab-3 has a range of about 1,300 miles, which could allow it to target Israel and countries in Eastern Europe. Iran is also developing a longer-range, Shahab-6 intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of 6,200 miles that could, in theory, reach parts of the United States.”

  42. One inconvenient fact stands out in all of this mess…President Obama and John Kerry crossed every one of their own so called “red lines” to secure this bad deal…

  43. Rincon says:

    “By the time Iran is caught, they will have a bomb or two or three!”

    According to the Economist:
    “By contrast the deal that has comes out of Lausanne is at least attainable. Iran will cut its capacity to enrich by two-thirds compared with today for a minimum of ten years; it will radically shrink its stockpile of enriched uranium for a minimum of 15; and it will permanently cut off the route to a bomb placed on plutonium. Iran will also submit itself to intrusive inspections throughout the nuclear supply chain. In exchange, the outside world will lift economic sanctions and agree to Iran’s right to enrich uranium.

    That compromise contains a prize worth having. Verification makes it easier to catch Iran cheating. And it the country is indeed caught working on a bomb, sanctions would snap back into place. Most important of all, the world would also have a year to muster a response—compared with a few months today.”

    Note the last sentence. Again, your alternative, an Iran that is only a few months away from producing a nuclear weapon, sucks.

  44. Rincon says:

    As long as we’re bashing Bush, from the same Economist article: “In 2003 the Bush administration ignored tentative Iranian signals that it was ready to talk. Since then, the mullahs have enhanced their expertise and increased their count of centrifuges from 164 to 19,000 or so.”

    Iran is only a few months away from having an atomic weapon that we are incapable of neutralizing without a ground war. Not only that, the device could be operational before we can destroy it, meaning it could be used DEFENSIVELY on the battlefield against us. Who would blame them if they were being invaded? And your brilliant idea is to either stay the course and let ’em keep up the timetable, or invade and risk having our asses blown off. You guys take the prize.

  45. Blame game: What did Obama do during the 2009 Iranian protests? Nothing.

  46. Patrick says:

    Personal responsibility: what did republican administrations do to ensure that the Iranians obtained nuclear weapons over the past 30 plus years?

    All they could.

  47. Steve says:

    The Economist second sentence says it YET AGAIN….for that “deal” to work everyone must TRUST Iran…..


  48. Nyp says:

    Good point, Mr. Mitchell — we should have invaded Iran in 2009.

  49. Rincon says:

    No nyp. Thomas is only suggesting that we should have started a civil war in Iran, so it could be more like Syria.

    I assume this is the second sentence: “Iran will also submit itself to intrusive inspections throughout the nuclear supply chain.” That’s trusting Iran?

    I’m still waiting for the brilliant alternative strategy. I hope it’s worth the wait.

  50. Steve says:

    You and nyp and Patrick all miss (or conveniently leave out) the fact Iran insisted on and our administration caved into their demands for off limit places that will not be inspected.
    Those places are military. You are asking us to trust that Iran does not already have what they need stashed away at these off limits places.
    And even if it turns out they do have what they need, the punishment is these sanctions Nyp has already made clear aren’t working now!

  51. nyp says:

    No, I have always said that the current multilateral sanctions regime has been effective in bringing Iran to the negotiating table and that the snapback system outlines in the Joint Agreement also appears to have been well-designed.

  52. Steve says:

    And I have been saying Iran saw weakness and opportunity in this administration, so they took advantage of it.
    Those sanctions were nothing more than what was there for 30 years.
    Iran sees it and they have taken advantage of it.

    This deal is a bad deal.

  53. Nyp says:

    You have no idea what you are talking about. The current multilateral sanctions regime did not exist until they were negotiated by the Obama administration with our trading partners. It is the new sanctions system that brought Iran to the negotiating table

  54. The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks…”How to Outwit the US and destroy Israel”…

  55. nyp says:

    Yup. Just like Saudi Arabia, Iran does not recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel.

    So what?

  56. It’s not that they don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist as a nation…it’s the vow to drive them into the sea and annihilate them that’s a wee bit troubling.

  57. nyp says:

    The stated position of Iran and most Arab states (but not all) is that Israel must be either a Muslim state in which Jews are (supposedly) permitted to live or else a secular state, but not a Jewish state.

    The United States will not permit that.

    But I would not use the position of the Iranian government that Israel has no right to exist as a reason not to take prudent steps to ensure that Iran does not have a pathway towards development of a nuclear weapon.

  58. Steve says:

    “It is the new sanctions system that brought Iran to the negotiating table”

    I have stated the “new” sanctions are little or nothing more than the same old same old 30 years old stuff.
    So they increased a bit here and there some rice boats stayed away and Iran came to the bargaining table to get the rice shipments back.

    Obama should have stepped it up and held out for FULL access to inspect EVERY place in that country.

    This deal insists we trust Iran. YOU are a trusting soul, unless the party happens not to be Democrat.

  59. nyp says:

    1. You are wrong about the efficacy of the new multilateral sanctions system. There is a reason why the Iranians came to the table now and not earlier. It wasn’t coincidence.
    2. it would be impossible for require access to every single place in the entire country of Iran. The Iranians would never agree, and our allies would never agree. So we would be left with nothing. Under the agree-upon plan, Iran is blocked from every pathway that would lead to development of a nuclear weapon. We will have access to all of its nuclear facilities. Iran could not create a massive parallel nuclear facility system that would covertly duplicate its existing facilities. In practical terms, they can’t do that without detection.
    3. There is nothing in the deal that relies on “trust.” Trust is irrelevant to this agreement.

  60. “Iran is supposed to reduce its centrifuge stockpile from 19,000 to 6,000; but those destroyed will be primitive IR-1 centrifuges; Iran will be able to continue—and get help in conducting—tests on far more advanced models: IR-4 through IR-8. These are vastly more efficient and spin far faster.”

  61. Steve says:

    “There is nothing in the deal that relies on “trust.”

    except all those off limits locations….most likely already fully engaged in developing the bomb.

  62. Steve says:

    Obama caved.

    Worse yet, he caved in such a way as to make this deal take it or leave it, for US!

  63. nyp says:

    The arguments in the NY Times op-ed to which you refer were conclusively dismantled by Gary Samore and Graham Alison, arms control experts at Harvard University’s Belfer Center.
    “Not even the most skeptical analysts in the Netanyahu government, which has been working overtime to marshal arguments against the deal, has made” the extreme claims advanced in that article.

    As for the additional centrifuges that you mention in your separate post, the JCPOA prohibits Iran from using those centrifuges in uranium enrichment, further requires that almost all of them be dismantled, and provides that the few that remain for R&D purposes be monitored by international inspectors.

    Of course, if you guys had your way, Iran would be able to use every one of its current centrifuges in a full-scale weapons-grade enrichment program.

  64. Steve says:

    At those off limits sites they most likely are.

  65. Rincon says:

    The Economist disagrees with you Steve: “Under the terms of the framework agreement, inspectors from the IAEA will be able to inspect any facility, declared or otherwise, as long as it is deemed to be “suspicious”.”

  66. Steve says:

    Except for those expressly off limits. At the risk of repeating myself,,,over and over.

    “The Ayatollah recently stated that Iran will not allow inspections of military sites and will not allow inspectors to talk to nuclear scientists. With those restrictions, can there still be a deal?

    If Iran is going to try to make a nuclear weapon secretly, they would do it in a way that can’t be detected. If they have a group of sites that are off limit to inspectors, those become the ideal places to conduct a clandestine nuclear effort. These blanket restrictions compound people’s suspicions as to what Iran’s real intentions are here.”

    (Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.) John Bolton has said that by dragging out the negotiations, Iran has used the time to build up their nuclear weapons program.

    We used to insist that Iran suspend uranium enrichment: that was a requirement that was codified by six U.N. Security Council resolutions, but it was one that we dropped in the face of Iranian refusal to comply.

    We haven’t negotiated as skillfully as we could. And while the negotiations have been going on, they dramatically expanded their nuclear program such that they will end up keeping nuclear facilities that they didn’t have when the last agreement was signed in 2003-2005. They have used the time over the last 10 years to significantly expand their nuclear capabilities and they used the negotiations to ensure that they will be able to keep a lot of those capabilities. . . .

    According to the Wall Street Journal, Saudi Arabia is “considering nuclear weapons to offset Iran.” Will this deal lead to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East?

    The countries in the region clearly consider Iran to be a threat. To the extent that this deal leaves Iran as a nuclear threshold state, then those states which consider Iran to be a threat will have an incentive to match Iran’s capabilities. The Obama administration is attempting to dissuade our Gulf allies from pursuing independent nuclear weapons capabilities and instead persuade them to accept our reassurances, our commitment to their security. The big question there is, do those allies really find our reassurances credible. What they are most worried about is, is the United States really still committed to the region, still committed to acting to advance shared interests, or are we seeing this Iran nuclear deal as a chance to disengage from the region? Disengagement is what is seen as most threatening by our allies in the region, both Israel and the Gulf States.

    Obama has let the Djinn out.
    Get ready for a nuclear armed middle east.

  67. Rincon says:

    The Economist still disagrees. I believe them unless you have something better.

    Nuclear proliferation in the Mideast has become almost inevitable as we’ve given them the money to buy it. Negotiations are better than nothing, but Pandora’s box was opened long ago.

  68. Steve says:

    OK, The Economist has a crystal ball you like better.

    Lets all HOPE I don’t get “something better”.

  69. nyp says:

    Re-reading these exchanges, I am comforted by the realization that these arguments are the best that the opponents of the JCPOA can come up with. I mean, that seems to be it!

    Why don’t you guys admit that the real reason you oppose the Iran deal has nothing to do with phony baloney about centrifuges, secret facilities, Saudi Arabian sensitivities, “snapback” clauses, etc. You simply oppose the deal because Obama is a Kenyan socialist Muslim. Right?

  70. Rincon says:

    It’s not a crystal ball Steve. The Economist is reporting the terms of the treaty.

  71. nyp says:

    If you think the Iran deal is somehow, someway unconstitutional, go ahead and sue.

  72. Where some of that 150 billion dollars will undoubtedly go…(as well as the constitutional sleight of hand at work by our first half black President)…

  73. nyp says:

    “our first half black President” ….

  74. Patrick says:

    Number of countries currently believed to possess nuclear weapons: 9

    Number of countries which, while in possession of nuclear weapons, have been identified by republicans as “enemies”: 4

    Number of countries that have ever used a nuclear weapon against an “enemy”


  75. Patrick says:

    Number of countries the only country to use nuclear weapons against an “enemy” has attacked in last 20 years:


    Number of countries the US attacked that possessed nuclear weapons


  76. Do you prefer our first mulatto President? (facts are stubborn things…)

  77. nyp says:

    You guys are really, really hung up on the President’s skin tone and ancestry. It has been 8 years, and you can’t get over it, can you?
    Really — keep it up. Keep it up through the 2016 election.

  78. Steve says:

    It’s perfectly fine to beat up Bush’s but take even one “liberty” with Obama’s and you are dirt!

  79. I could care less about the President’s skin tone…it’s his sham billing that I take issue with.

  80. Patrick says:

    Empowering the Iranians who killed, kidnapped, and terrorized Americans.

  81. Seems like a severe case of Reagan derangement syndrome…

  82. nyp says:

    To those few who are actually interested in an adult discussion of the Iran Deal, I recommend the following article by a well-respected expert on international security:

  83. Patrick says:

    Reagan was perhaps the worst president in history UNTIL little bush took power after his putsch, but every republican president of the last 30 years has had their hands in the disaster handed to President Obama that is Iran.

    From the days Ike had the CIA overthrow the democratically elected leader of Iran, installing a brutal dictatorship that kept the religious population of the country down (and/or dead) to Reagan’s treacherous treasonous acts that assisted a regime that kidnapped and terrorized Americans, all the while lying, under oath, every year, about Pakistan sending nuclear weapon technology to Iran, so that Reagan could arm and train the guys that later bombed the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon, to Bush Jr., whose vice president insisted on trading with this dictatorship, the republican record is truly heinous.

    It’s easy to fixate on President Reagan’s heinous, treasonous, treacherous acts and forget about all that his republican cohorts have done in his name, and in the name of private profits, we must be aware though, that he was not the only republican to do damage to this country’s foreign policy interests.

    Thanks for the reminder Brien!

  84. nyp says:

    that’s true – neither this agreement nor any other alternative arrangement “solves” the problem of Iranian radicalism. That can only be solved through internal Iranian political dynamics.

  85. Steve says:

    Yeah, but we bought ten years!


  86. So tell me was the President lying this afternoon at American University when he stated: “After two years of negotiations we have achieved a detailed arrangement that PERMANENTLY prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon” ???

  87. nyp says:

    No. He was not lying, and you happen to be banboozling. You might start, for example with the JCPOA preamble, which states: “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.”

    For further elaboration, the White House has explained:

    “Put simply, under this deal, there is a permanent prohibition
    on Iran ever having a nuclear weapons program and a
    permanent inspections regime that goes beyond any previous
    inspections regime in Iran. This deal provides the IAEA the
    means to make sure Iran isn’t doing so, both through JCPOA-specific
    verification tools, some of which last up to 25 years,
    and through the Additional Protocol that lasts indefinitely.
    In addition, Iran made commitments in this deal that include
    prohibitions on key research and development activities that
    it would need to design and construct a nuclear weapon. Those commitments have no end date.”

  88. You’re both tilting at windmills…if you think Iran will actually abide by this agreement. Permanently doesn’t really mean permanently now does it?

  89. Steve says:

    I say Iran already has all they need. Hidden away at one or more of those off limits sites.

  90. I concur Steve…one or more of those sites the inspectors will never get close to.

  91. nyp says:

    So, when you suggest that the President is lying when he says that the the JCPOA permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, what you really mean is that that you admit that the agreement contains such an express prohibition, but you simply do not think that it will be complied with.

    You have an interesting way of making your points.

  92. Patrick says:

    Of the 9 countries currently thought (known) to possess nuclear weapons (4 of whom at one time or another have been labeled “enemies” by republicans (and excluding France that republicans are more than willing to put into the “other” category) only 1 country has ever used a nuclear weapon against another country.

    It is eminently unreasonable to believe that the minute Iran comes into possession of the nuclear weapon that republican ensured they would get for year, that they weapon would be anything other than furniture.

    But, here come the republicans.

  93. If you’re (nyp) surmising that in my humble opinion this “permanent” agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s written on…well that would be an unqualified yes.

  94. nyp says:

    Once again, it is remarkable how feeble the arguments of opponents of the Iran Deal turn out to be. “Despite everything, they are going to cheat. I just know it!”

  95. Steve says:

    “you simply do not think that it will be complied with”

    finally, you got the message

    all it took was an electronic sledgehammer upside the monitor

  96. Steve says:

    “Despite everything, they are going to cheat. I just know it!”

    I knew it was too good to be true…..breaking out the sledge again

  97. nyp says:

    none of the countless verification, monitoring and sanction procedures in the agreement count for anything. In fact, you aren’t even aware of them.

    You are simply convinced that they will cheat, somehow, someway.

  98. Rincon says:

    Steve and Brien appear to be for either letting the sanctions trickle away while Iran gets their nukes or to invade Iran. Or perhaps putting the Ayatollah in the famous pretzel hold to get that good deal that is surely attainable. Any other possibilities I missed?

  99. You forgot the Claw…the most feared hold in all of wrestling…

  100. Steve says:

    Iran told us to inspect sites they want us to inspect. Other sites they told us to stay away.

    And Obama caved.

  101. Rincon says:

    “Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had said this year that Iran would never allow access to military sites for fear that inspections would disclose closely guarded secrets. Officials of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, the elite Iranian military force, have continued to insist, even after announcement of the deal, that military sites should be off limits to inspectors.

    But in signing on to the deal, Iran committed to accepting the so-called Additional Protocol, an agreement that allows United Nations inspectors limited access to any site where illicit nuclear activity is suspected. Iran also agreed to a “challenge inspection” mechanism in the deal that will allow a committee to decide whether inspectors can have access to such sites, even over Iran’s objections.”

    It is unrealistic to think any country would allow what is essentially open spying on everything military. Although imperfect, the agreement makes it very difficult for Iran to hide the 19,000 centrifuges it would need to equal its present program.

  102. Steve says:

    And exactly WHAT will enforce Iran’s acceptance of inspections in those “Off Limits” sites?

    Oh! That’s right! Nothing other than those “snap back” sanctions that “brought Iran to the table”….

    Pardon me while FOTFLMAO!

  103. Rincon says:

    You still have not commented on the superiority of your alternatives. I wonder why.

  104. Doing nothing would be better than this deal. Pick any alternative and it would be better.

  105. nyp says:

    So Mr. Mitchell would be content to let the sanctions agreement expire and have Iran resume processing spent nuclear fuel into weapons-grade plutoneum. That is what he prefers to the JCPOA.

  106. I never said anything about letting sanctions expire.

  107. nyp says:

    If you “do nothing,” as Mr. Mitchell recommends, the sanctions expire and the iranians resume reprocessing. If you think that the Chinese, Russians, French, etc. will now resume sanctions, you have a lot to learn.

  108. Sanctions don’t expire till 2016.

  109. Steve says:

    If (when) Iran violates any part of this (bad) deal all the “P5+1” entities will enforce those “snap back” sanctions. They agreed to that.

    But if Iran is found to be currently violating the terms of this “deal” before it is approved and implemented then those same entities will not enforce any sanctions.

    The US has no choice other than to take this gut punch Obama has accepted from Iran.

    This is the “logic” nyp is pushing out.

    Nevertheless, we are stuck with this cave in. I agree with Alan Dershowitz, Obama caved but there is a way to get military options back into the mix. This needs to be done before the USA approves this loss of a “deal”.

  110. nyp says:

    Those are the US sanctions, Mr. Mitchell, only the U.S. sanctions. When the Interim Joint Plan of Action ends after the Republicans defeat JCPOA, the international sanctions expire. Iran will have trade going with the oil-thirsty Chinese, the Russians, the Europeans, etc., etc. If you think we can stop that after killing an agreement that those very countries negotiated, you are completely deluded. Your “do nothing” plan paves the way for a nuclear-armed Iran and the end to economic pressure.

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