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Iran on the Verge of a Diplomatic Triumph, by David Frum

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Iran on the Verge of a Diplomatic Triumph – David Frum (Atlantic Monthly)

(dailyalert.org, Oct. 2, 2014)

The rulers of Iran stand on the verge of scoring a stunning diplomatic triumph over the U.S. Even more impressive: They did it all on bluff.

A year ago, the rulers of Iran faced disaster. Their currency had lost 3/4 of its value, due in largest measure to the tough economic sanctions signed into law by President Obama at the beginning of 2012. Inflation was raging, unemployment was surging. And their most useful regional ally, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, seemed doomed.

Today, the U.S. is coordinating bombing missions with Assad. Iran has obtained considerable sanctions relief. Its currency has strengthened, inflation has abated, and foreign trade and investment are reviving. The U.S. has progressively reduced its demands for nuclear limits on Iran.

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration has retreated from the longstanding demand that Iran dismantle its nuclear centrifuges, allowing its nuclear-enrichment capacity to remain intact, marking the latest in a series of American climb-downs.

On the present trajectory, any final agreement will leave Iran paused on the verge of nuclear-weapons capability – and this time, with the U.S. having signed away any non-military means of preventing Iran’s final drive to complete a bomb.

The U.S. – which began the nuclear talks from a position of strength – has acted throughout the negotiations like the weaker party. The U.S. visibly hungered for a deal, and Iran took advantage of that hunger.

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