CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 23, 2015 — Ever since the tentative agreement between Iran and the West was hashed out in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Washington Free Beacon has been relentless in its reporting of the effects and after-effects of the deal.
Nearly lost in the feeding frenzy that surrounds Hillary Clinton’s surprise decision to seek the White House, the Free Beacon published a story earlier this week that raises the possibility of paying a $50 billion “signing bonus” to Iran for agreeing to a nuclear arms deal.
President Obama may be a sports fan, but a signing bonus is an appropriate tool to get a basketball player to sign a contract, not to get a rogue nation to sign a treaty, or in this case a not-quite treaty.
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According to the Free Beacon, the multi-billion dollar payment ploy was first revealed by the Wall Street Journal.
In usual fashion, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf dismissed the report as being a huge uproar over nothing but told journalists during a briefing that she “would look into it.”
In other news this week, several media outlets wrote that Obama’s earlier assessments about the amount of time it would take for Iran to create a nuclear weapon were inaccurate and that he knew they were false when he made them. Obama claimed it would take more than a year for Iran to build a bomb, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that in reality the time is more like three months.
Many sources say the framework of the Lausanne agreement allows Iran to store advanced centrifuges at its underground, fortified facility called Fordow. Iran has been adamant about not giving up its stockpile of enriched uranium, refusing to ship those materials out of the country. David Albright and other nuclear experts believe that Iran will be able to produce weapons-grade material in a matter of weeks as long as Fordow remains active.
If such a proposal with Iran is actually on the table, it represents just another phase of the Obama administration’s confusing, confounding and misguided foreign policy efforts.
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With each passing day it seems more and more that the agreement so aggressively negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry is just a series of concessions made to the Iranians in a desperate attempt to preserve the deal.
One congressional source interviewed by the Washington Free Beacon said, “This is a disturbing yet unsurprising development in a failing series of negotiations. As a result, the United States will gamble away its remaining negotiating leverage with nothing to show for it.”
Among other concessions, Iran appears to be slowly chipping away at any restrictions that might interfere with its ability to retain many of the most important aspects of its nuclear program. Among those issues is the prohibition of international inspectors from access to possible military sites until there is substantial relief from the current economic sanctions. Hence, the promise of a “signing bonus” comes into play as “bait” to coax Iran into an agreement.
The multi-billion dollar payment to Iran would be in addition to more than $11 billion in unfrozen assets that Tehran will receive under terms of an agreement reached in 2013.
On its own, providing one of the largest infusions of cash to a terrorist organization would normally be major news, but when combined with the growing list of sleazy deals that may or may not have been made by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state, it is becoming increasingly difficult to unravel the massive tangle of this administration’s global scheming.
Amid that chaos is the baffling thinking of Barack Obama. Is he going to the extreme to avoid armed conflict of any kind? Or is he actually an advocate for Islamism, or some combination of both?
Any way you look at it, Obama’s views are a “Hobson’s choice” strategy embedded in his foreign policy, which means the only choices available are bad ones. Accepting the lesser of any and all evils is not leadership.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of the Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod