Perhaps it was cruelly ironic that Secretary of State John Kerry announced his optimism for a nuclear deal with Iran on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks. Because any deal we make that could allow this evil government to get closer to a nuke would surely put us in danger of a surprise attack down the line. Naturally, the administration doesn’t see it that way.
Kerry has made a nuclear deal with Iran one of his chief objectives in his tenure. At least one deadline has been pushed back; the current deadline for negotiations is set for June 30, 2015. But Kerry said Sunday that he expects to see a deal take shape well before then. “Though it said seven months, we’re not looking at seven months,” Kerry said. “I think the target is three/four months and hopefully even sooner if that is possible.”
Israel, of course, has been highly skeptical of the administration’s claims that they can reign in Iran’s nuclear program. One hardly has to wonder why. If Iran gets the bomb, Israel would be among its most likely targets.
America Needs to be Wary This Time
The U.S. can point to a record of qualified success when it comes to nuclear non-proliferation. Through diplomacy, investigation, and sanctions, we have curtailed nuclear weapons in South Korea, former Soviet states like Ukraine and Kazakhstan, Libya, and South Africa. It can be done. Unfortunately, there are some stark differences between those countries and Iran. The biggest one is that Iran is still controlled by an extremely anti-West, anti-Israel regime that poses a huge threat to democracy. And there have been a number of signs that this regime wants much more than clean nuclear power.
For their part, Israel refuses to rule out an airstrike against Iranian nuclear facilities. If that strike comes after the U.S. completes a deal, what kind of position with America be put in? Will we condemn Israel for taking action to protect themselves? If it happens while Obama is in office, the answer is “yes,” as we’ve already seen.
If we really wanted to stop Iran from getting the bomb, we would be better off delivering another harsh round of sanctions. Failing that, we might even need to threaten military force. These are not decisions to be made lightly, but sometimes the most prudent choices are the ones most difficult to make at the time. The Obama administration instead wants to give every country the benefit of the doubt. With a nuclear Iran looming, that might be one of the biggest mistakes we could possibly make.