Monday, November 25, 2013

Reflections on the interim agreement between the Group of 5+1 and Iran...better than military action, at this time

"An historic mistake"...Netanyahu
"Deeply sceptical"....Baird  (Canadian Foreign Minister)
"A deal worth making"...CNN
"A distraction to the disaster that is Obamacare"....Senator Cornyn (Texas)
"We're not stupid"....Kerry

However one parses the deal that attempts to curtail, impede, slow or even hopefully derail Iran's nuclear weapons program depends largely on one's national, and personal/political interest and motivation.
Israel, Saudi Arabia, and presumably Quatar despise any deal with Iran....being the Sunni hegemonic opponents of the hated kingdom of the Shia Muslims.
The Group of 5 + 1, that includes China, Russia, the European Union, the UK and the US, have signed onto something that critics claim is far too little, given the "high water mark" of influence at this stage of the negotiations....inferring "we should have extracted more from the Iranians."
From some 300 centrifuges in 2003, Iran now has 19,000, and has to give up none.
The 400+ kilograms of enriched plutonium are supposed to be removed and destroyed, and then production at a 5% level, as opposed to the 20% level needed for a weapon, can and will proceed.
Coming only a week after the ayatollah himself ranted about the "cancer" that is Israel, no one can be surprised at the Israeli reaction coming both from the Prime Minister and his spokesmen appearing on CNN yesterday.
Is the Israeli threat of a military attack against Iran off the table? Some pundits think it highly unlikely that such a strike will occur in the six-month window, prior to the conclusion of a final agreement between the Group of 5+1 and Iran....however, from this perspective, all bets are off.
Will the I.A.E.A. (International Atomic Energy Agency) achieve the level of co-operation required by the agreement to monitor the degree to which Iran complies with the terms of inspection to which it has agreed? Once again, from this perspective, we are deeply sceptical.
Trust and verify may be a neat political slogan, but when it comes to putting personnel on the ground, in order to ferret out all the hidden nuclear production facilities, in a country known for its deception and its mercurial even blatant ambitious goals in the region, to become the strongest power through whatever it takes, (supporting and arming Assad., supporting and arming Hezbollah and infiltrating Iraq.....and there are likely other instances of interference)...the Iranians still have a lot to prove, about their integrity and their meriting a place at the international table of respected nations.
Different from North Korea, Iran is a civilization of historic proportions, intellectual and cultural accomplishments, deep and historic hatred of the U.S. and led by clerics who marry political and theological goals, objectives and strategies.
Canada, unfortunately, has to remain mute, unable since the closing of its embassy in Teheran, to learn "on the ground" of the street-level consciousness of either the Iranian people or the success/failure of the IAEA's mission. Having a considerable history with the country through the story of the escape of American hostages, our own government has now emasculated our capacity to play any role in assessing the degree of compliance of the Iranians with this or any other agreement on nuclear weapons. This is the point at which Canadians must make a mental note of the irresponsibility of the Harper government on this file, regardless of how close the Canadian government's ties are to Israel. We could and did maintain an important embassy while we did and could have maintained a strong alliance in support of Israel....we are capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time....or we were before Harper.

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