William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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WEST MAKES CONCESSIONS TO IRAN – AT 9:57 A.M. ET:   Iran has given nothing in its latest round of negotiations over its nuclear program, but already the West, which means the U.S., is giving concessions.  Oh, as usual, a new round of talks is scheduled.  A new round of talks is always scheduled, with no result.  From Reuters:

The six world powers have offered Iran a new deal during the two days of nuclear talks held in Kazakhstan this week, that includes easing some of the sanctions imposed on Tehran and dropping the demand that the Islamic Republic shuts down its enrichment plant at Fordow, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

In return for easing some of the sanctions, P5+1 insisted Tehran suspends uranium enrichment at the plant and take a series of measures that would “constrain the ability to quickly resume enrichment there,” the Times cited a senior American official as saying.

Furthermore, the six world powers also agreed to allow Iran to keep a small amount of 20 percent enriched uranium for use in a reactor to produce medical isotopes.

The unexpected decision to drop the demand to fully dismantle the Fordow nuclear plant was a way to allow Iran to save-face, the American official told the Times.

I'm moved that we're so concerned.

In their latest attempt to break years of stalemate in the dispute, the powers offered Iran a relaxation of some of the sanctions that are taking a heavy toll on its economy, and said they would not vote on new sanctions through the UN Security Council or the European Union if Iran agrees to take the deal.

COMMENT:  The obvious flaw here is that Iran could reduce the output at Fordow, but increase it somewhere else, or start new plants.  We learned last week that an Iranian facility has now been identified as producing plutonium, an alternative to uranium in making an atomic bomb.

I get the feeling that Obama is going for some deal that will just kick the can down the road, but, Obama style, solve nothing.  It's the North Korean example.  We've made deals with North Korea, and the Koreans have broken every agreement.  We just keep making new deals.  Eventually, people get bored with the whole thing and the Koreans just do what they want to do.  How many people who you know have expressed much alarm over North Korea recently?

I would not be shocked at a Neville Chamberlain moment for Obama.  He will bring us some agreement.  Chris Matthews will get another tingle up his leg, and late-night hosts will have Michelle Obama on their shows to explain it all.  And there will be an Iranian bomb.

February 28, 2013