The Iran deal

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Re: The Iran deal

Postby Minardil » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:13 am

Storyteller's point here seems to be that the Iranians are threatening to pull out of a deal which is so terribly skewed in their favor that he is willing to go to war rather than allow the deal to be implemented.

I just can't tell if he is being critical of the Iranians, or praising them for taking us closer to the war he so desperately wants us to fight with them.
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Re: The Iran deal

Postby Storyteller » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:49 am

My point is that the Iran deal has turned into an Iranian tool of perpetual blackmail: the deal is absurdly good for them, but they can continue to milk the West for more and more concessions by threatening to pull out of it, and renegotiate it to nullify what few obligations they have under the deal. They make permanent gains that will be impossible to recall, yet they retain the ability to ditch the deal at a moment's notice.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Re: The Iran deal

Postby portia » Wed Dec 02, 2015 6:17 pm

That is simply absurd. Believing in it takes a mind like a pretzel.
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Re: The Iran deal

Postby Storyteller » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:19 pm

portia wrote:That is simply absurd. Believing in it takes a mind like a pretzel.

It's the most straightforward explanation once you drop the axiom that Obama can do no wrong.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Re: The Iran deal

Postby Storyteller » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:07 pm

The US never really expected Iran to come totally clean about a key element of its nuclear program

The Iran nuclear deal will clear a crucial milestone on December 15, when the International Atomic Energy Agency submits a report on the extent of Iran's previous nuclear-weaponization activities.

The completion of that investigation into the possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran's nuclear program is one of the major prerequisites for the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark nuclear deal that Iran and a US-led group of six countries signed in July.

In theory, the JCPOA won't be implemented unless Iran complies with a separate "roadmap" agreement with the IAEA. That agreement, which was signed the same day as the JCPOA, lays out the parameters of the agency's weaponization investigation. The JCPOA isn't supposed to go into effect unless the sides "fully implement" that roadmap agreement.

But "full implementation" doesn't really have a fixed meaning within the JCPOA, an agreement that is voluntary and non-binding. And according to an Associated Press analysis out Monday, the IAEA's investigation is likely going to have inconclusive results.

As the AP notes, the head of the IAEA has "been careful to diminish expectations, describing his upcoming report last week as 'not black and white.'" And according to the AP, Iranian officials have spoken about the IAEA probe using similar language, "suggesting they already know that the agency's conclusions won't be damning."

Iran has already threatened that it simply won't comply with the JCPOA if it's dissatisfied with the IAEA's report. That might be more than just an empty ultimatum, since according to the AP the announcement is consistent with what Iranian diplomats are saying behind closed doors as well.

"Two Western diplomats familiar with the issue say those same threats have been made in negotiations with IAEA officials," the AP reported.


The weaponization report is considered crucial to the successful implementation of the nuclear deal, as it will be used to formulate an inspection baseline for Iran's nuclear program. There is extensive evidence that Iran had a nuclear weapons program until as late as 2003. The IAEA needs to be able to identify key personnel, facilities, supply chains, and past activities to establish exactly how far along Iran's weaponization activities really are and to recognize whether those activities have been restarted.

But as the AP's analysis suggests, the roadmap is also contentious — and perhaps even inconvenient, given its potential to interrupt the smooth implementation of a deal that Iran and the US-led group spent nearly two years negotiating. There are already signs that the US wants to get past the investigation as smoothly as possible — even if the IAEA's "roadmap" doesn't result in Iran's full disclosure of its past weaponization work.

Business Insider has obtained a State Department document submitted to congressional offices during the Congress's review of the JCPOA in July.

The 18-page document, a "verification assessment report" that is essentially the department's outline of the nuclear deal's various stipulations, is unclassified. But congressional staffers were only allowed to read it inside of a SCIF, or a special area for viewing and storing classified or compartmentalized information.

The section entitled "Addressing 'Possible Military Dimensions'" discusses the US' interpretation of the IAEA "roadmap" and its requirements.

"Iran's implementation of its commitments under the Roadmap will bring to an end the years-long delay in the IAEA's ability to address PMD [Possible Military Dimensions] issues," the document reads.

Two paragraphs later, it explains that even with this high level of confidence that the IAEA investigation will resolve the PMD issue, the US' standards fall somewhat short of full Iranian disclosure on weaponization-related matters.

"An Iranian admission of its past nuclear weapons program is unlikely and is not necessary for purposes of verifying JCPOA commitments going forward," the report reads. "US confidence on this front is based in large part on what we believe we already know about Iran's past activities"

"The United States has shared with the IAEA relevant information, and crafted specific JCPOA measures that will enable inspectors to establish confidence that previously reported Iranian PMD activities are not ongoing," it continued. "If credible information becomes available regarding any renewed Iranian efforts, it would be shared with the IAEA as appropriate, whether involving previous people, locations, entities, or otherwise. We believe other IAEA member states will do the same."

This report was circulated in Congress not long after the deal was signed. From a relatively early stage, the State Department believed that the IAEA was capable of monitoring Iran's nuclear program without Iran fully disclosing its past activities.

This wasn't because of any particular US trust in the Iranians. Rather, it was due to State's confidence that US intelligence already knew enough about the extent of Iran's weaponization program to make such an admission of past weaponization work unnecessary.

Even so, State apparently never expected full Iranian transparency on weaponization. And the Obama administration believed that Iran had no responsibility to admit to a past weaponization program under the JCPOA.

Washington always intended to give Iran a pass on full disclosure — and the result may be a watered-down IAEA investigation that's treated more as a formality than as an integral element of an arms control agreement designed to last for decades.
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Re: The Iran deal

Postby hamlet » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:24 am

Storyteller, just fair warning, I wouldn't trust Business Insider as a source if they told me that a turd was brown.

Not that they're wrong, per se, but they're so ridiculously bad at actual journalism that they should be considered more info-tainment than anything else. Or just ignored.


Portia: Declaring victory and all who disagree with you cranks and dead equine beaters is about as intelligent as watching Survivor as a metaphor for US politics.
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Re: The Iran deal

Postby Minardil » Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:18 am

Storyteller wrote:My point is that the Iran deal has turned into an Iranian tool of perpetual blackmail: the deal is absurdly good for them, but they can continue to milk the West for more and more concessions by threatening to pull out of it, and renegotiate it to nullify what few obligations they have under the deal. They make permanent gains that will be impossible to recall, yet they retain the ability to ditch the deal at a moment's notice.



But wouldn't they do that with ANY deal? This is just another way of saying that no deal is ever possible, which is what you want to be true in order to justify the war you want us to start with Iran.

I'd at least like to give the deal a chance to work first.
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Re: The Iran deal

Postby portia » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:04 am

The point is that there is a deal. If it needs to be modified, and both agree, why not? No deal that is written in stone is viable.
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Re: The Iran deal

Postby Storyteller » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:04 am

Minardil wrote:
Storyteller wrote:My point is that the Iran deal has turned into an Iranian tool of perpetual blackmail: the deal is absurdly good for them, but they can continue to milk the West for more and more concessions by threatening to pull out of it, and renegotiate it to nullify what few obligations they have under the deal. They make permanent gains that will be impossible to recall, yet they retain the ability to ditch the deal at a moment's notice.



But wouldn't they do that with ANY deal?

Of course they would.

This is just another way of saying that no deal is ever possible, which is what you want to be true in order to justify the war you want us to start with Iran.

Or it's a way of saying that when one HAS to make a deal with an untrustworthy party (I'm not convinced there was a need in this case), that deal has to include serious consequences for not upholding it for the aforementioned party. Not just going back to the status quo before the deal. Compliance with it has to actually be enforced.

The situation right now is that the USA turns a blind eye to any Iranian violations of the deal in order to maintain the appearance that the deal is a success. They're more invested into keeping the deal afloat than in the reasons behind making it.

Unless, that is, the reasons behind making the deal was something other than keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

I'd at least like to give the deal a chance to work first.

That's alright. Define conditions under which you will admit that the deal has failed. Preferably short of first Iranian nuclear weapon test, because after that you'll switch to "oh well, it's too late to do anything now".
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Re: The Iran deal

Postby Minardil » Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:38 am

So, that Arak reactor that opponents have been so worried about? The Iranians have decomissioned it. And I don't just mean that they turned it off, they filled it with cement, rendering it completely and permanently inopperable.

I can't wait to hear how the anti-Deal crowd spins this as a disaster.
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Re: The Iran deal

Postby Storyteller » Sat May 07, 2016 3:29 am

This skilled storyteller duped America into passing Iran deal

he Obama administration cooked up a phony story to sell Americans on the Iranian nuke deal, lying that US officials were dealing with “moderates” in the Islamic theocracy who could be trusted to keep their word, it was reported Thursday.

In a revealing article posted on the New York Times website, President Obama’s foreign-policy guru Ben Rhodes bragged about how he helped create the false narrative because the public would not have accepted the deal had it known that Iranian hard-liners were still calling the shots.

The White House line — which Rhodes says he created — was that Obama started negotiations after the supposedly moderate Hassan Rouhani was elected president in 2013.

But Obama had set his sights on working out a deal with the mad mullahs as early as 2008, and negotiations actually began when strongman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was still president.

Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, concedes in the article that the so-called moderate regime is not moderate at all.

“We’re not betting on it,” he said.

Despite having little foreign-policy experience, Rhodes, 38, a former aspiring novelist who grew up on the Upper East Side, was in charge of a massive White House “messaging” effort that fed the bogus line to journalists.

“We created an echo chamber. They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say,” he admitted in the Times interview when asked about the plethora of “experts” praising the deal in the press.

The Times article, which will appear in the paper’s Sunday magazine, notes Rhodes, who has a writing degree from NYU, was skilled as a “storyteller.”

“He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials,” reporter David Samuels writes. “He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama’s foreign-policy narratives.”

Asked about his misleading version of the deal, Rhodes said, “In the absence of rational discourse, we are going to discourse the [expletive] out of this.

“We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like [the anti-nuke group] Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked. We drove them crazy,” he said of Republicans and others who opposed the deal, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Obama, the article says, misled the public with the idea that negotiations began because of the “moderate” faction’s rise in 2013.

“Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not,” Obama said last July when announcing the deal.

Leon Panetta, then secretary of defense, confirmed in the article that the hard-line regime, and its military arm, was still in charge.

“There was not much question that the Quds Force and the supreme leader ran that country with a strong arm, and there was not much question that this kind of opposing view could somehow gain any traction,” he said.

“I think the whole legacy that he [Obama] was working on was, ‘I’m the guy who’s going to bring these [Mideast] wars to an end, and the last holymoly thing I need is to start another war.’ ”

Without naming him, Panetta suggested Rhodes was one of several on Obama’s staff who told the president only what he wanted to hear, the article says.

“They thought their job was not to go through this open process of having people present all these different options, but to try to force the process to where they thought the president wanted to be,” he recalled. “They’d say, ‘Well, this is where we want you to come out.’ And I’d say, ‘[expletive], that’s not the way it works.’ ”

Rhodes bashed the media for not properly reporting on foreign affairs and revealed how he fed information to reporters such as Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, a respected “Beltway insider,” as the Times called him.

“All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” he said.

“Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo.

“Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Rhodes’ assistant, Ned Price, gave an example of how they would shape the news by feeding a narrative to their “compadres” in the press corps and letting it echo across social media.

“I’ll give them some color,” Price said, “and the next thing I know, lots of these guys are in the dot-com publishing space, and have huge Twitter followings, and they’ll be putting this message out on their own.”
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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