“There’s a lot of hysteria about this deal [with Iran over nuclear research],” US Secretary of State John Kerry told Israeli TV’s Channel 10 on May 3. “People really need to look at the facts, look at the science of what is behind those facts.”
So let’s look at three key facts and one key question.
Fact #1: There is not now, nor has there in more than a decade, been so much as a crumb of evidence that the Iranian regime is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. If you don’t believe me, ask the US Central Intelligence Agency or Israel’s Mossad — they say so too.
Fact #2: It follows from Fact #1 that the purpose of negotiations is not to prevent Iran from doing something it isn’t doing.
Fact #3: It follows from Fact #1 and Fact #2 that there must, then, be some other reason for these negotiations and the proposed deal.
These three facts bring up the big question: Why do the politicians of P5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom and Germany) and Iran want a deal so badly?
Working backward, Iran’ s politicians are willing to negotiate because they want US and UN sanctions lifted.
Politicos from Russia, China, France, the UK and Germany want a deal for perfectly obvious reasons: Their countries sell things that Iranians want to buy (including but not limited to arms and nuclear reactor technology) and Iranians sell things that people from those other countries want to buy (including but not limited to oil).
US politicians are, on the other hand, divided on the matter.
Congressional Republicans (and some Democrats) don’t want a deal because for the last 40 years or so “we stand with Israel” has always been a winning political bet. Even more so recently, since casino mogul Sheldon Adelson started dangling large sums of money over the heads of Republican presidential aspirants who evince a willingness to obey the commands, no matter how cockamamie, of Benjamin Netanyahu.
US president Barack Obama and his administration want a deal for two reasons.
One is that thawing relations with Iran would make great “legacy material” for a president whose real accomplishments over 1 1/2 terms in office seem rather sparse.
The other is, really, the nut of the matter. Obama and Kerry know that if the US bucks out of these negotiations on some pretext, at least four of the other five countries (the possible exception being the UK, and that’s only a possibility) will negotiate their own deals with Iran, leaving the US odd man out and bringing “The American Century” to an ignominious end.
What’s at stake here is America’s claimed post-WWII “leadership of the free world.”
As a libertarian, this looks to me like a win-win situation. If Obama gets his way, peace breaks out (sort of, anyway). If the hawks get theirs, they will have painted themselves (and their constant proposals for military American misadventures) into a corner from which escape seems unlikely.
Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.
- “‘Hysteria’ or Not, the Iran Deal Will Happen,” by Thomas L. Knapp, Ventura County, California Citizens Journal, 05/04/15