Dilemma – and Barack's
by Patrick J. Buchanan: Obama's
reaction is that Iran has gotten a freebie. It has got five weeks
to continue enrichment without any limitation."
prime minister was referring to Saturday's meeting in Istanbul of
the P5-plus-1 – the five permanent members of the U.N. Security
Council and Germany – with representatives from Iran.
nuclear program. After a "constructive" meeting of one day, all
agreed to meet again in Baghdad, May 23, and departed.
For Bibi, it
was a strategic defeat.
goal is a halt to Iran's enrichment of uranium and the removal of
enriched uranium from that country.
Ashton, the foreign minister for the European Union who is leading
the P5-plus-1, stated that the West accepts Iran's position that,
as a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, she has a
right to a peaceful nuclear program and nuclear power.
to the peaceful use of nuclear power" must be fully respected, Ashton
said. No one dissented.
If the United
States assents to Iran's enrichment of uranium, and Iran gives assurances
that the Ayatollah's fatwa against the acquisition of nuclear weapons
is being observed, a Washington-Tehran deal may be in the offing.
be the elements?
An end to Iran's
enrichment of uranium to 20 percent, once Iran has a sufficient
stock for its program of nuclear medicine.
any excess 20 percent uranium outside the country to prevent further
enrichment to weapons grade.
inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities to ensure there is no diversion
of uranium to bomb-making.
lifting of sanctions, as it demonstrates it is telling the truth
about not seeking nuclear weapons.
Such a deal
would end the U.S.-Iran confrontation, yet allow Iran to continue
to gain the knowledge, experience, and technical capacity to break
out, should it ever decide to take the risk and build the weapons.
Israel's security and survival mandate the nuclear castration of
Iran. Sunday, in a detailed report cleared by military censors,
Israeli TV showed how an attack would be mounted.
Alon Ben David conceded that the Israeli Air Force "does not have
the capacity to destroy the entire Iranian program."
Iraqi nuclear reactor and the Syrian reactor Israel bombed in 1981
and 2007, Iran has many more nuclear facilities, spread over a far
larger country, farther away and better defended.
And given the
public threats by Israel and test runs by the IAF as far as Gibraltar,
no attack on Iran will come as a total surprise. There would be
losses of planes and pilots.
be the results?
While it would
destroy some of Iran's nuclear facilities, it would not end the
program but rally Iranians behind the regime. And it might trigger
retaliation by Iran and Hezbollah, by missile, against Israel itself.
attack on Iran, which President Obama and the U.S. military strongly
oppose, would also put the issue of a U.S. war with Iran front and
center in the presidential election.
America do; what would Obama do?
of 2012 could turn on that decision.
retaliate against Israel, the Israeli lobby and the neocons would
demand that America come to Israel's defense. Mitt Romney, the GOP
hawks, evangelical Christians, conservative commentators and many
Democrats would echo the demand, no matter who started the shooting.
A clamor would
arise for us to finish the job of smashing Iran's nuclear facilities.
As Israel is
admired and Iran's regime is detested, Obama could never declare
neutrality. And should he order the U.S. military to go to Israel's
aid, his re-election might well be assured.
in chief and first diplomat, Obama holds all the cards.
If Iran is
accommodating, the sanctions he has imposed will be seen as successful.
If Iran balks in negotiations, he can impose new sanctions.
If Iran walks
out of the talks, he can issue ultimata.
If Israel attacks
Iran, he can come to Israel's defense and finish the job of destroying
Iran's nuclear facilities. If done close to the election, this would
assure Obama's re-election. The "October surprise" of 2012.
What are Iran's
interests and options?
want war with the United States. For whatever the damage done to
U.S. interests, the destruction of Iran's air, naval and missile
forces and nuclear program would be total.
smartest course for Iran to pursue is to demonstrate to the West
that she is reasonable and anxious to prove she has no present or
future intention of building atomic weapons.
Which is what
Iran was doing in Istanbul.
No wonder Bibi
is frustrated. If there is no U.S. attack on Iran by November, and
Obama wins, there may never be a U.S. attack on Iran.
do to Iran what Bibi wants done to Iran. Only Obama can.
But how does
Bibi get Obama to do it, before November?
J. Buchanan [send
him mail] is co-founder and editor of The
American Conservative. He is also the author of seven books,
the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill,
Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Suicide
of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? See his
© 2012 Creators Syndicate
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