By Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom—
On December 8, 1941, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his “Day of Infamy” speech to Congress in response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which was carried out the day before.
“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan,” Roosevelt began. At the conclusion of his speech, Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan, thrusting the United States into World War II.
To paraphrase the words of Roosevelt, one could say that yesterday, on July 14, 2015 — a day that will live in infamy — the U.S. and other world powers finalized a terrible deal with Iran that merely delays its acquisition of a nuclear bomb and abandons America’s allies in the Middle East — Israel and Saudi Arabia — to the revolutionary madness of the Islamic Republic. July 14, 2015 — a cry for the ages — the Islamic revolution of Iran received a stamp of legitimacy from the international community. “We achieved all our goals,” boasted Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Barack Obama gave — and Iran took.
The president, in contrast to Roosevelt, is turning to Congress to sidestep conflicts. In contrast to Roosevelt, he is convinced that the 14th of July is a great day for America, a great day for peace, a great day for humanity.
He doesn’t understand that July 14, 2015, is essentially a monumental day for Iran and a shameful day for the world. Obama on Tuesday heralded American diplomacy for delivering change. And change things it did; yesterday’s enemy is today’s friend, without having to change its skin. Obama wanted a legacy. He got one on Tuesday in the form of a deal, one that will live in infamy.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also praised the wonderful achievement, hailing the nuclear deal as “a new chapter of hope” for the world. A new chapter? We’re sorry to disappoint the Italian politician, but in 1938, not far from Vienna, in Munich, a similar chapter was written in naiveté, capitulation, concession and cowardice, by the West. This is not a new chapter, it’s just another one. If only this was a real agreement, and not just a piece of paper. “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons,” the EU foreign policy chief said. Of course, because Iran’s nuclear program has always been strictly for civilian purposes. Long live naiveté, long live blindness.
And what will they do with the money?
Tuesday, as stated, was the 14th of July. It is a special date — a holiday in France. The French mark the fall of the Bastille (in 1789), which embodied the French Revolution and its motto of “liberty, equality, and fraternity.” The French, who took part in the negotiating in Vienna, have sullied the date. The French were among those who capitulated to a regime that thinks “liberty, equality and fraternity” are words from a science fiction novel. Iran, a country where homosexuals are hanged in the street from a crane, is joining the family of nations. And what a family it is.
As a result of the deal, we can already begin imagining how every Iranian product — from politician to pistachio nut — will become a hot commodity. Without making any significant concession, Iran has been upgraded — from leper (rightfully earned) to popular (garnered through deception).
Much will still be said in the coming days about the details of the deal (even though the world, which is ready to take a vacation, will sink into amnesia and apathy far quicker than we think). No less terrible, however, is what the deal implies: Obama admitted that Iran’s joining the family of nations will inject $150 billion into its coffers. And what exactly will it do with this money? Will it promote world peace; or continue exporting the revolution via terrorism and destabilizing the region, as it has been doing in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen?
Should it come as a surprise that Syrian President Bashar Assad has welcomed the deal? Or that Hezbollah, which has suffered serious setbacks in recent years, sees a possible renaissance in its future? The axis of evil knows what to do with the millions it is about to receive. In an interview to Le Monde on Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius confessed it was entirely possible that Iran will use the money for nefarious purposes. “This will be one of the tests of the deal,” he said. There are so many tests.
We still don’t know how the inspection mechanism outlined in the deal will be translated into reality. But does anyone really believe that Iran — which secretly built and hid nuclear facilities, which it won’t have to destroy — will suddenly change its skin? The deal is a dangerous gamble — too dangerous for all of us. And let’s be serious: If Iran doesn’t fulfill its obligations, or even just partially (inspections), will sanctions really be re-imposed after the world goes back to doing business with a nation of 70 million people?
There is still hope
The 65-day buffer period before sanctions can be lifted is merely a way to sell the capitulation deal to the world. The periods of time stipulated in the deal are also less than promising: The embargo on conventional weapons will be lifted in five years; missile technology, in eight years; and for 15 years the Iranians will be prohibited from bringing any type of fissile material into the Fordo facility. What is 15 years?
Furthermore, there is no condition tying the time frame to the type of regime in power in Iran. And this is perhaps the worst aspect of the deal: Much more quickly than we anticipate, the ayatollahs in Iran will be able to operate like Canada, Japan or Holland.
The deal, however, does assure us that over the next decade Iran’s “breakout capability” will remain one year. And after that? The time frame will shrink. In the meantime, the deal doesn’t limit the continuation of Iran’s research and development. It’s not shocking that people in Tehran are celebrating.
The author of this piece, who was there for the various rounds of discussions between Iran and the West, saw the writing on the wall from the onset. Does anyone really think for a second that when the U.S. president wants something — it doesn’t happen? The Israeli prime minister stood practically alone in the fight, but it wasn’t enough. Can anyone honestly criticize him for trying his hardest to prevent this terrible deal? While Obama may have mentioned a 50/50 chance for the deal, when he said it he intended 100% to get it done. The Israeli prime minister, with all due respect, wields less influence than the American president.
The Iranians very quickly received the thing they coveted most — permission to enrich uranium and preserve their facilities. In the beginning, the idea was for Iran to come away from these talks under restrictions, not with achievements. Why and for what were they rewarded with so many prizes? And what message does it send to the moderate Arab Gulf states, which chose the U.S. as their ally?
And how does the deal coincide with Obama’s vision, which he unveiled in Prague in 2009, of a world without military-grade nuclear programs? Will anyone be able to prevent Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — Iran’s regional foes — from developing their own nuclear programs? Does anyone actually think they will sit idly by as Obama alters the balance of power in the Middle East?
It was clear this saga would end with an agreement. All we can do now is hope that Congress torpedoes the deal, although Obama’s presidential veto would oblige the Democrats in both houses to abandon him. It’s rather difficult to pin any hopes on that in an election year.
There is one more hope, however — incidentally in the form of the Iranian people — who could depose a regime that not only threatens us and world peace, but has inflicted pain on its own people for decades since the revolution in 1979. Courageously, the people almost completed the task in 2009 — but where was Obama then?
The Iran of Omar Khayyám and the poets Hafez and Saadi is an Iran we love. The Iran of the ayatollahs is an Iran that worries us. This deal strengthens the ayatollahs, all while Obama is allegedly encouraging nations to fight for their liberty.
But the president on Tuesday decided to add Ali Khamenei to that esteemed list with Khayyam, Saadi and Hafez. And for this, history will not forgive him.