T Nation

Iran Nuclear Deal


#1

Welp, they did it. We have a 10-15 year deal. In the larger scheme of things, 10 years isn't really that long, nor is 15. What then?
One thing I have an issue is, is the 'snapping' of the sanctions back into place. On paper it sounds good, but how viable is it? If a western country has an economic deal with Iran, sanctions will hurt both. Will the almighty dollar trump the ethics of sanctions? It's possible.
In 15 years, then what? What's the plan to keep Iran in check?


#2

[quote]pat wrote:
Welp, they did it. We have a 10-15 year deal. In the larger scheme of things, 10 years isn’t really that long, nor is 15. What then?
One thing I have an issue is, is the ‘snapping’ of the sanctions back into place. On paper it sounds good, but how viable is it? If a western country has an economic deal with Iran, sanctions will hurt both. Will the almighty dollar trump the ethics of sanctions? It’s possible.
In 15 years, then what? What’s the plan to keep Iran in check? [/quote]

I heard Obama talk this morning about the deal - he said something along the lines of depleting Iran’s enriched uranium stock to 5% of their existing level - which would be a small percentage to manufacture one nuclear weapon (according to 'Bama).

My question was, which I haven’t had any time to really look into, who is depleting it? Where will that uranium go to be stored? If not store will it be destroyed?

Also, I didn’t hear much of a mention of what will happen if Iran does not comply fully (make it difficult for inspectors to come in, etc)? I understand the sanctions and such, but they’ve been sanctioned for decades so I don’t really see that as much of an incentive to comply.

Also, not to shine much focus on our Dictator in Chief, but he made it quite clear during his speech that he can exercise the option of force if necessary, but he chose not to? Interesting that he sees Congress and the Constitution as irrelevant. Just an observation…


#3

I’m curious; does anybody think that the easing of sanctions can have the consequence (unintended by the Ayatollah) of “modernizing” the Iranian population and bringing about a more moderate leadership at some point?


#4

[quote]Dr J wrote:
I’m curious; does anybody think that the easing of sanctions can have the consequence (unintended by the Ayatollah) of “modernizing” the Iranian population and bringing about a more moderate leadership at some point?[/quote]

That’s a good point. Creating individual wealth inside of Iran, can have an unintended effect of westernizing Iran.
But then their is Saudi Arabia. They are rich as hell, and haven’t modernized or westerized. They have nice cars, but women cannot drive them. So who knows.
The difference is that Iran was once one of the more progressive countries in the ME prior to the revolution. So the older people, at least, already have a taste.


#5

[quote]Dr J wrote:
I’m curious; does anybody think that the easing of sanctions can have the consequence (unintended by the Ayatollah) of “modernizing” the Iranian population and bringing about a more moderate leadership at some point?[/quote]

As I’ve explained here before, Iranians tend to be very pro-Western compared to other muslim countries, especially Gulf dark-age theocracies.

Despite the official rhetoric, you can find genuine pro-American sentiment on the street in Iran, something which definitely cannot happen in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan which are nominally US allies.

Everyone in Iran is pretty much aware that this will result in a further shift towards the West - that’s why the conservative circles so stubbornly and desperately fought against this deal.

In the convoluted world of Iranian politics, during the last presidential elections that Rouhani won, he was the most “reformist” that was allowed to run and won by decisively defeating the conservatives.

On a related note, Saudi Arabia is getting much closer to Russia, although the article linked below downplays the signed agreements:

Basically, in the medium run you could have a geopolitical realignment in the ME where you’d have US and Iran as natural regional allies vs. Gulf dictatorships and their nasty ISIS proxies.


#6

In 10 years, Iran will have grown their economy significantly, making them a bigger player in that regio, along with obtaining a nuke in the long run.

Add a radical ideology based on their politics and religion, and that’s a recipe for big trouble.


#7

[quote]pat wrote:

[quote]Dr J wrote:
I’m curious; does anybody think that the easing of sanctions can have the consequence (unintended by the Ayatollah) of “modernizing” the Iranian population and bringing about a more moderate leadership at some point?[/quote]

That’s a good point. Creating individual wealth inside of Iran, can have an unintended effect of westernizing Iran.
But then their is Saudi Arabia. They are rich as hell, and haven’t modernized or westerized. They have nice cars, but women cannot drive them. So who knows.
The difference is that Iran was once one of the more progressive countries in the ME prior to the revolution. So the older people, at least, already have a taste.[/quote]

Amazingly, Iran is still the most progressive country in the ME. One cannot even compare Iran to Saudi Arabia, Qatar or UAE.

Saudis are backward, nasty tribesmen practicing a very virulent stream of islam who happen to be rich. A recent survey showed that 92% of polled Saudis believed that ISIS behavior is correct and true to the basic tenements of Islam.

Iranians are shia, which for doctrinal reasons have shown to be much more amenable to reform, not to mention that there is a very strong cultural legacy of Medean/Parthian/Persian empires that survived the Islamic conquest.

I think the Lebanese American philosopher Nassim Taleb summed up the difference nicely:

“Iran’s educational system produced the first ever female mathematician w/Fields medal; Saudi Arabia produces terrorists & hedonic sheikhs.”


#8

[quote]pat wrote:
Welp, they did it. We have a 10-15 year deal. In the larger scheme of things, 10 years isn’t really that long, nor is 15. What then?
One thing I have an issue is, is the ‘snapping’ of the sanctions back into place. On paper it sounds good, but how viable is it? If a western country has an economic deal with Iran, sanctions will hurt both. Will the almighty dollar trump the ethics of sanctions? It’s possible.
In 15 years, then what? What’s the plan to keep Iran in check? [/quote]

Don’t worry. I estimate that Israel will take care of this problem if Iran gets much closer to obtaining nuclear military capabilities.


#9

In a lot of ways, Iran was “westernized” before there even was a West, if any of the historical accounts are to be believed.

The way I’ve seen it, modern Iranians basically do what they need to do to appease the ruling Islamic government (as they have multiple times in history), but never genuinely adopted Muslim culture. I also think it’s a disservice to view Iranians as Arabs… given that they’re not… and they should be looked at as having a fairly strong cultural and ethnic identity of their own. Depending on how you look at it, their historical imperial prowess meet and/or exceeded that of the Romans on many fronts, in terms of art, music, science, technology, human rights, and even in terms of administration.

That said, the current ruling party seems to tow a different party line that’s a bit more compatible with the regional politics, and obviously has its die-hard adherents.

I feel like the right approach to Iran is going to be gentle political destabilization, enabling a transition back to a more “Persian” rule. Something like the [re]instatement of the Shah was a dumb move, but a more groundroots approach that quite literally allows the Persians be Persian again should work well in the favor of “the West”.

This may be the right step in that direction.


#10


#11

[quote]LoRez wrote:
In a lot of ways, Iran was “westernized” before there even was a West, if any of the historical accounts are to be believed.

The way I’ve seen it, modern Iranians basically do what they need to do to appease the ruling Islamic government (as they have multiple times in history), but never genuinely adopted Muslim culture. I also think it’s a disservice to view Iranians as Arabs… given that they’re not… and they should be looked at as having a fairly strong cultural and ethnic identity of their own. Depending on how you look at it, their historical imperial prowess meet and/or exceeded that of the Romans on many fronts, in terms of art, music, science, technology, human rights, and even in terms of administration.

That said, the current ruling party seems to tow a different party line that’s a bit more compatible with the regional politics, and obviously has its die-hard adherents.

I feel like the right approach to Iran is going to be gentle political destabilization, enabling a transition back to a more “Persian” rule. Something like the [re]instatement of the Shah was a dumb move, but a more groundroots approach that quite literally allows the Persians be Persian again should work well in the favor of “the West”.

This may be the right step in that direction.[/quote]

You are giving them an awful lot of credit. I would like to see some evidence that this culture in total is pro-western. Despite the opposition, there seem to be plenty of supporters of the current regime.
I am not so sure the Iranians are as progressive as you seem to think. I would like to see some compelling evidence of what you are claiming.


#12

[quote]LoRez wrote:
In a lot of ways, Iran was “westernized” before there even was a West, if any of the historical accounts are to be believed.

The way I’ve seen it, modern Iranians basically do what they need to do to appease the ruling Islamic government (as they have multiple times in history), but never genuinely adopted Muslim culture. I also think it’s a disservice to view Iranians as Arabs… given that they’re not… and they should be looked at as having a fairly strong cultural and ethnic identity of their own. Depending on how you look at it, their historical imperial prowess meet and/or exceeded that of the Romans on many fronts, in terms of art, music, science, technology, human rights, and even in terms of administration.

That said, the current ruling party seems to tow a different party line that’s a bit more compatible with the regional politics, and obviously has its die-hard adherents.

I feel like the right approach to Iran is going to be gentle political destabilization, enabling a transition back to a more “Persian” rule. Something like the [re]instatement of the Shah was a dumb move, but a more groundroots approach that quite literally allows the Persians be Persian again should work well in the favor of “the West”.

This may be the right step in that direction.[/quote]

They did summarily oust their pro-western leader. It was not the Ayatollah who stormed the American Embassy in 1979, it was the people. Mainly students, citizens of Iran who did that.


#13

[quote]OldOgre wrote:

[quote]pat wrote:
Welp, they did it. We have a 10-15 year deal. In the larger scheme of things, 10 years isn’t really that long, nor is 15. What then?
One thing I have an issue is, is the ‘snapping’ of the sanctions back into place. On paper it sounds good, but how viable is it? If a western country has an economic deal with Iran, sanctions will hurt both. Will the almighty dollar trump the ethics of sanctions? It’s possible.
In 15 years, then what? What’s the plan to keep Iran in check? [/quote]

Don’t worry. I estimate that Israel will take care of this problem if Iran gets much closer to obtaining nuclear military capabilities. [/quote]

I hope you’re right. This program is way more entrenched than Iraq’s was when Israel took it out. It would not be a small operation. Of course, I wouldn’t put it past the Mossad to be in Tehran waiting for permission to take out key leaders and scientists involved with the program. It would certainly help ‘negotiations’ if they were to take out some of the key players.


#14

This deal seems worse and worse as the details come out about it. And if by chance, Iran was telling the truth about not really seeking nuclear weapons per se, they will be certainly able to increase their conventional capabilities by an order of magnitude that can make them very dangerous.

The thing is that nuclear weapons aren’t particularly useful anymore. It’s a case of mutually assured destruction. Sure they can nuke Israel, but Israel will nuke them out of existence. Conventional warfare and terrorism seems like a better way to forward their agendas. With this deal they will be infused with money and have far less restriction on bolstering their military capabilities. All in hopes they won’t build a bomb they may not have really wanted anyway. They do want everybody to think they want a bomb. Clearly the very threat is a boon for them.

This is a bad deal. They can strengthen their capabilities in the mean time, and in 10 -15 years, get the bomb anyway.
Other ME countries have expressed their own interests in getting a nuclear arsenal if it is perceived that Iran is going to be able to get one.
If other countries in the ME perceive this deal a bad one, it could very well trigger an nuclear arms race in the ME. If that happens, there will be nothing we can do about it.

I would hate to think that the U.S. ends up being the catalyst for a nuclear arms race in the ME.
Congress needs to kill this thing, dead. Democrats and Republicans need to work together and vet this thing fully.
The more I read about what Iran is getting, the less I like it. We’re getting nothing out of the deal except some weak assurances, Iran is getting everything. Lest we forget they are our enemy.


#15

[quote]pat wrote:
This deal seems worse and worse as the details come out about it. And if by chance, Iran was telling the truth about not really seeking nuclear weapons per se, they will be certainly able to increase their conventional capabilities by an order of magnitude that can make them very dangerous.

The thing is that nuclear weapons aren’t particularly useful anymore. It’s a case of mutually assured destruction. Sure they can nuke Israel, but Israel will nuke them out of existence. Conventional warfare and terrorism seems like a better way to forward their agendas. With this deal they will be infused with money and have far less restriction on bolstering their military capabilities. All in hopes they won’t build a bomb they may not have really wanted anyway. They do want everybody to think they want a bomb. Clearly the very threat is a boon for them.

This is a bad deal. They can strengthen their capabilities in the mean time, and in 10 -15 years, get the bomb anyway.
Other ME countries have expressed their own interests in getting a nuclear arsenal if it is perceived that Iran is going to be able to get one.
If other countries in the ME perceive this deal a bad one, it could very well trigger an nuclear arms race in the ME. If that happens, there will be nothing we can do about it.

I would hate to think that the U.S. ends up being the catalyst for a nuclear arms race in the ME.
Congress needs to kill this thing, dead. Democrats and Republicans need to work together and vet this thing fully.
The more I read about what Iran is getting, the less I like it. We’re getting nothing out of the deal except some weak assurances, Iran is getting everything. Lest we forget they are our enemy. [/quote]

Of course, “I can recognize a bad deal when I see one”


#16

This deal is entirely based on a premise that we trust Iran and believe them at their word. If this premise were true, we would have no need for a deal. We would let them do whatever they wanted.

We don’t think those things, and never have, which is why we are negotiating a deal in the first place.

Iran gets roughly a good month to prepare for inspections, after full and complete notice of the details of what other parties think should be inspected (and a chance to dispute such claims). So, it’s like a meth maker getting a month’s formal notice that the cops want to inspect a basement at a certain house on Elm Street because they think meth is being made there.


#17

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
This deal is entirely based on a premise that we trust Iran and believe them at their word. If this premise were true, we would have no need for a deal. We would let them do whatever they wanted.

We don’t think those things, and never have, which is why we are negotiating a deal in the first place.

Iran gets roughly a good month to prepare for inspections, after full and complete notice of the details of what other parties think should be inspected (and a chance to dispute such claims). So, it’s like a meth maker getting a month’s formal notice that the cops want to inspect a basement at a certain house on Elm Street because they think meth is being made there.

[/quote]

Spot On TB!

And they say Obama is pushing this as a legacy play?

Oh my…


#18

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
This deal is entirely based on a premise that we trust Iran and believe them at their word. If this premise were true, we would have no need for a deal. We would let them do whatever they wanted.

We don’t think those things, and never have, which is why we are negotiating a deal in the first place.

Iran gets roughly a good month to prepare for inspections, after full and complete notice of the details of what other parties think should be inspected (and a chance to dispute such claims). So, it’s like a meth maker getting a month’s formal notice that the cops want to inspect a basement at a certain house on Elm Street because they think meth is being made there.

[/quote]

It’s also like paying a meth dealer to better defend his house against the police by installing cameras, buying weapons & fortifying it. And also give him incentive to sell even more meth then he ever could before the agreement.

I mean what’s the point of the 11.9 billion? Ransom in hopes they one day won’t nuke or attack us conventionally or non-conventionally?

Or is it to open their ‘markets’ so it makes them more like us and somehow softens them…like it worked so well in China, huh?

I just see them using the money to build the richest, highly armed “non-state” terrorist group in history. I mean how much of the money will be funneled to Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and other such terrorist groups?

How much of the money will be used to fortify their country with the latest and greatest Russian anti-ship, anti-plane, anti-satellite and intercontinental ballistic weaponry?


#19

[quote]Gkhan wrote:
I just see them using the money to build the richest, highly armed “non-state” terrorist group in history. I mean how much of the money will be funneled to Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and other such terrorist groups?
[/quote]

For the millionth time, Hamas and Al-Qaida (or what’s left of it) are sunni. There is nothing they hate more than shias - Iranians are shia. Anything relating to “the West” pales in comparison to this 1300 year old feud.

So…the answer is that they’re probably not going to fund the people they viscerally hate and vice versa, not to mention wage proxy wars against in Yemen and Iraq.

Hezbollah are Iranian terrorist proxies, but they are currently very busy propping up the surprisingly resilient Assad regime, which bleeds them dry in terms of weapons and more importantly personnel.

[quote]
How much of the money will be used to fortify their country with the latest and greatest Russian anti-ship, anti-plane, anti-satellite and intercontinental ballistic weaponry?[/quote]

Fortification? After the Iraq fiasco, the biggest Iranian deterrent was the size of their population.


#20

[quote]Gkhan wrote:

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
This deal is entirely based on a premise that we trust Iran and believe them at their word. If this premise were true, we would have no need for a deal. We would let them do whatever they wanted.

We don’t think those things, and never have, which is why we are negotiating a deal in the first place.

Iran gets roughly a good month to prepare for inspections, after full and complete notice of the details of what other parties think should be inspected (and a chance to dispute such claims). So, it’s like a meth maker getting a month’s formal notice that the cops want to inspect a basement at a certain house on Elm Street because they think meth is being made there.

[/quote]

It’s also like paying a meth dealer to better defend his house against the police by installing cameras, buying weapons & fortifying it. And also give him incentive to sell even more meth then he ever could before the agreement.

I mean what’s the point of the 11.9 billion? Ransom in hopes they one day won’t nuke or attack us conventionally or non-conventionally?

Or is it to open their ‘markets’ so it makes them more like us and somehow softens them…like it worked so well in China, huh?

I just see them using the money to build the richest, highly armed “non-state” terrorist group in history. I mean how much of the money will be funneled to Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and other such terrorist groups?

How much of the money will be used to fortify their country with the latest and greatest Russian anti-ship, anti-plane, anti-satellite and intercontinental ballistic weaponry?[/quote]

Also, I have not read anything that we get shit out of the deal, except assurances that they will not make a nuculer weapon. Meanwhile whether they actually want to make one or not, they will be able fortify their conventional war making capabilities. Removing the embargo on arms, for the assurance they won’t make a weapon is flat stupid.
I tell you this, if it’s true that they are not really interested in making a weapon, but made it look like they were, it was a move that was genius. All they have to do is promise not to make a nuclear weapon and they get a goodie bag with lots of goodies. Enough to make them a more serious regional threat then they have ever been.