Iran Doesn’t Want a Deal – Bret Stephens (Wall Street Journal)
(dailyalert.org, May 13, 2014)
Iran is not wise. It is merely cunning. And fanatical. Also greedy, thanks to a long history of being deceitful and obstreperous and still getting its way without having to pay a serious price. So it will allow this round of negotiations to fail and bargain instead for an extension of the current interim agreement. It will get the extension and then play for time again. There will never be a final deal.
Why am I so confident? Listen to the man with the last word: “They expect us to limit our missile program while they constantly threaten Iran with military action,” Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Sunday. “So this is a stupid, idiotic expectation.”
Ballistic missiles are lousy weapons for anything except the rapid delivery of chemical or nuclear warheads. But limiting the number and range of ballistic missiles is central to any agreement that aims to prevent Iran from having a rapid nuclear-breakout capability. Khamenei’s public call to mass produce missiles is not exactly an indication of seriousness about a final deal.
Also a sign of non-seriousness was last month’s call by Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, to add an additional 30,000 centrifuges to Iran’s existing 19,000.
“Our nuclear technology is not up for negotiation.” That’s Iranian President Hasan Rouhani speaking. For good measure, he added that Iran would go back to producing 20% enriched uranium – which is close to weapon-grade – “whenever necessary.” And he’s the moderate.