May 8, 2018

"President Trump is expected to announce on Tuesday that he is withdrawing the United States from the Iran nuclear deal..."

"... European diplomats said after concluding that they had failed to convince him that reneging on America’s commitment to the pact could cast the West into new confrontation with Tehran," the NYT reports.
The senior European diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity when meeting with a group of reporters on Monday, called it “pretty obvious” that Mr. Trump would no longer waive American sanctions against Iran, as he has done since the start of his presidency to uphold the deal....

Should Mr. Trump withdraw from the accord, Iran could accurately claim that Washington was the first to violate it — a propaganda win. And Iran would be free, if it chose, to resume fuel production, according to diplomats who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive negotiations.

The mantra of the European negotiators toiling to retain the nuclear deal has been “to fix it, not nix it.” But Mr. Trump has come at the problem from a different perspective: He argues that the only solution is a clean slate....

“If America leaves the nuclear deal, this will entail historic regret for it,” President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said in a speech broadcast live on state television in recent days. “If we can get what we want from a deal without America, then Iran will continue to remain committed to the deal,” Mr. Rouhani said....
Those 2 statements by Rouhani seem inconsistent. In the second statement, he seems to be saying that Iran is getting so much from the deal that it's worth continuing to abide by it just to get what the Europeans are giving, even if the Americans go forward with their sanctions. Why, then, would there  be "historic regret"? And wouldn't that set up the conditions "to fix it, not nix it"? The deal remains in place for Iran, and there is new pressure for Iran to make concessions. It suggests that Trump is right and Iran got far too much out of the deal and that it should be redone. It sounds as though the Europeans agree, or why would they want "to fix it, not nix it"? I'm just looking at the public theater, of course. I have no idea what is really going on.

UPDATE: The NYT reports that this morning, Trump told Macron that he's withdrawing from the Iran deal.

267 comments:

1 – 200 of 267   Newer›   Newest»
mikee said...

The deal already provided $150,000,000,000 in funds to the Iranians.
The Iranians are running proxy wars in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and elsewhere.
Confront them before they have a nuke and missile delivery systems.

SayAahh said...

And if Iran continues with or resumes (take your pick) production of nuclear fuel...then what?
All on Trump. Does high stakes real estate deal making translate into high risk geopolitics?
The world watches.

Rob said...

So fix it, don’t nix it is the new version of Bill Clinton’s prescription for affirmative action, mend it, don’t end it. You’ve got to give it to those Europeans, they do have a sense of humor.

David Begley said...

Rouhani got the cash and the trade and he has continued to build nukes and missiles. What’s not to like?

rehajm said...

I have no idea what is really going on

This is key to the whole thing. It wasn't that long ago when North Korea had nuclear capability and a delivery system. As it turns out it was highly unlikely they have/had the parts in place.

iowan2 said...

When are the media going to stop lying?

The United States never agreed to the the Iran Deal. NEVER

(nor the Climate thing)

tim in vermont said...

This whole deal was sold as a pig in a poke and nobody not on the inside really understands what Obama signed up for while he tried to tear up the Constitution by not getting it approved by the Senate.

Add this to his long list of “pen and phone” accomplishments that can just as easily be abrogated by the next POTUS. Just imagine if he had actually tried to do his job and work with the Congress the American people sent him? No, he was a stubborn child.

tim in vermont said...

If memory serves, Obama dragged a reluctant Europe into this. None of them trusted Iran.

Chris of Rights said...

"Should Mr. Trump withdraw from the accord, Iran could accurately claim that Washington was the first to violate it"

I believe this statement is laughable.

iowan2 said...

The good news is, President Trump now has evidence enough to get a FISA warrant on Kerry, his family, associates and all of their lawyers.

Precedent, don't ya know.

David Begley said...

This Iran deal isn’t even a deal because no one with US authority ever signed it. And, of course, the Senate never approved it as a treaty.

traditionalguy said...

The Iranian Mother of all Slush Funds was an Obama pretend Agreement that enriched many Europeans and Obama Gang members. The Iranians kind of want it to go away now so they can do Nuclear Blackmail Round Two.

But DJT is more likely to win Nobel Peace Prize Round Two when the Iranians overthrow the insane Mullahs.

AllenS said...

Never listen to the New York Times. I'm sure that Trump knows this.

gilbar said...

reneging ? reneging ??
reneging on America’s commitment to the pact ?
What pact? you mean the executive order?

tim in vermont said...

I believe this statement is laughable.

Leave out the “accurately” and it s true enough.

David Begley said...

Boeing stock to take a hit today when Trump makes the announcement.

J. Farmer said...

@mikee:

The deal already provided $150,000,000,000 in funds to the Iranians.

What the deal did was release Iranian money frozen in foreign bank accounts. It was money Iran already possessed but some could not get access to through the international banking system. Had no deal been achieved because of American intransigence, there would have been zero appetite among the Chinese and Russians and perhaps even the French for continuing the sanctions. Hence, the money would have been unfrozen and there would be no deal.

The Iranians are running proxy wars in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and elsewhere.

It is completely false to say that Iran is "running proxy wars." Iran's involvement in Syria is in support of its legitimate government against jihadist insurgent forces. Similarly, they support a friendly government in Baghdad against similar forces in the western Iraq. The war in Yemen is also not a proxy war run by Iran but rather an aggressive war led by the Saudis in an effort to reimpose the rule of an ousted government. Iran does not control the Houthis. As for "elsewhere," what other proxy wars do you have in mind?

Confront them before they have a nuke and missile delivery systems.

Except Iran hasn't had a nuclear weapon program since at least 2003, and the deal prevents them from obtaining one. The monitoring and verification regime have been working. If your goal is to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, the JCPOA is the mechanism for achieving that. Also, the administration touts it wants a "better deal." Yet, every one of our major allies supports it. Where exactly do we have the leverage to get a deal on sanctions, especially considering that the Iranians have been living up to their obligations under the deal hitherto?

Qwerty Smith said...

Since Trump is once again revoking an executive action that was never approved by the legislature, may I assume that the federal judges who ordered him to reinstate DACA will now try their hand at foreign policy, too?

J. Farmer said...

@traditionalguy:

The Iranian Mother of all Slush Funds was an Obama pretend Agreement that enriched many Europeans and Obama Gang members. The Iranians kind of want it to go away now so they can do Nuclear Blackmail Round Two.

But DJT is more likely to win Nobel Peace Prize Round Two when the Iranians overthrow the insane Mullahs.


Even in your fantasy where the Iranians overthrow the mullahs, there would still be widespread support among the Iranians to develop nuclear energy.

There was no "nuclear blackmail round one." The notion that Iran was greatly enriched by the JCPOA is nonsensical. They agreed to limits above and beyond even what they are permitted under the NPT, plus an intrusive inspections and verifications regime. And what they got in return was a lifting of sanctions, a return to normal trade in international markets. It did not substantially alter Iran's regional power at all. For comparison, during the eight-year tenure of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran earned approximately $800 billion in oil revenue. And when Ahmadinejad had left office, Iran was in financial crisis due to how much of the money had been wasted on foolish domestic projects.

Bay Area Guy said...

It was a piece of shit "non-deal" from its inception. Pulling out cuts through the fog and allows the US, Israel and possibly even new elements of Saudi Arabia to deal properly with rogue Iran.

Hagar said...

"Withdraw", and see how, or if, "the Europeans" and Iran get along.

In any case it will free the US to consider its options and decide on a future policy.

traditionalguy said...

My fantasy where the NORKS surrender to our Commander-in Chief is as crazy as the one where the Iranians oust the Insane Mullahs and both rogue states denuclearize. But it will happen because the respective parties wish to survive.

tim in vermont said...

The whole Iran deal is kind of funny too in the context of Obama killing the missile defense base in Poland that was best positioned to intercept Iranian missiles threatening Europe.

It’s almost like it was always unclear which side a man who was. raised outside of the United States in a Muslim country, and who attended Muslim schools, a man who wasn’t even totally clear on the number of states in the US, it seemed unclear by his actions whose actual side he was on.

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons. - JPCOA

Well then! It’s settled! What’s all of the fuss about?

tim in vermont said...

Trump is an idiot to pull out of a deal that disarms Iran. But it does raise the question... Why all of the secrecy about the deal and subterfuge to “sell it” to the American People? Seems like a straight up winner! Americans would have cheered him on, and certainly the Senate would have ratified it, making it much harder for Trump to “withdraw”!

A third grader could see that! Why not get it approved?

gspencer said...

"And Iran would be free, if it chose, to resume fuel production"

Like, it ever stopped?

Do you know what a Muslim hudna is?

tim in vermont said...

Ratified, I mean. Its a flat out win for the US! J. Farmer says so! Iran says so, Obama says so! Why not ratify it?

Ralph L said...

Iran only got back the Shah's Sudeten money.

tim in vermont said...

His main evidence that Iran had cheated on the nuclear deal was that it had not fully disclosed the details of its past nuclear programs to the IAEA, as required by the nuclear deal—though the agreement did not tie that requirement to either implementation of the deal or sanctions relief. - The Guardian

So because the deal contained a huge loophole that did not actually enforce things “required by the nuclear deal” that somehow means that it doesn’t matter if Iran ignored those “requirements.”

How stupid are they? Those pretty words in that agreement were only meant to fool the rubes! The constraints were never enforceable under the agreement, so the constraints could be ignored by Iran and at the same time waived about by Obama as victories for the US!

What a beautiful agreement! But suddenly it becomes clear why Senate approval of a toothless deal was never sought.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Obama - the gift that keeps on giving. To Iran.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in Vermont:

It’s almost like it was always unclear which side a man who was. raised outside of the United States in a Muslim country, and who attended Muslim schools, a man who wasn’t even totally clear on the number of states in the US, it seemed unclear by his actions whose actual side he was on.

Now that's an interesting theory. Because Obama lived in Jakarta from age six to ten, "seemed unclear by his actions whose actual side he was on." And by "his actions," I can only presume you mean escalating the war in Afghanistan, elevating Petraeus, expanding greatly the drone assassination campaign against people in nine different countries, pursuing regime change in Libya, supporting a violent Sunni insurgency against Assad, Iran's only significant regional ally, authorizing covert sabotage campaigns to be carried out inside Iran, including assassinations and cyberattacks, supported the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which is what froze the $100 billion of Iranian money in the first place, and then was part of a multilateral agreement that saw Iran accept significant restrictions in their nuclear program and an intrusive verification and inspections regime.

tim in vermont said...

Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons. - JPCOA

And yet they kept their plans to make warheads! That’s kind of weird, but I am sure they don’t actually have any plans to “seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.”

Oh wait! They do have plans to do so! Netanyahu just proved that!

J. Farmer said...

@tim in Vermont:

Those pretty words in that agreement were only meant to fool the rubes!

How many inspectors were on the ground in Iran's nuclear facilities before the deal? How many are there now? With all due respect, you don't know what you're talking about.

6. Iran has not pursued the construction of the Arak heavy water research reactor (IR-40 Reactor) based on its original design.8,9 Iran has not produced or tested natural uranium pellets, fuel pins or fuel assemblies specifically designed for the support of the IR-40 Reactor as originally designed, and all existing natural uranium pellets and fuel assemblies have remained in storage under continuous Agency monitoring (paras 3 and 10).

7. Iran has continued to inform the Agency about the inventory of heavy water in Iran and the production of heavy water at the Heavy Water Production Plant (HWPP)11 and allowed the Agency to monitor the quantities of Iran’s heavy water stocks and the amount of heavy water produced at the HWPP (para. 15). On 11 February 2018, the Agency verified that the plant was in operation and that Iran’s stock of heavy water was 117.9 metric tonnes. Throughout the reporting period, Iran had no more than 130 metric tonnes of heavy water (para. 14).


You can read the entire thing here if you wish.

tim in vermont said...

I can only presume you mean...

I bet that is almost literally true.

Trumpit said...

My mother was killed by an Iranian-born doctor of low stature in a Santa Monica hospital in 2012. The method of execution was a morphine overdose combined with inadequate oxygen and no water. My mother was was Jewish and Brooklyn born.

This Persian, Muslim doctor was a sadist, who got a kick out of killing his elderly Jewish patient who was sedated and merely sleeping. He, of course, should be put to death for a hate crime. Poisoning in California is murder with special circumstance #19. The penalty is death or life in prison without parole. Since there is no Shish Kabob in prison, he may prefer death than to suffer the bland prison fare.

I've read that Iran will be ravaged by global warming in the coming decades and face continual water crises. Maybe we should wait them out and not mess with John Kerry's nuclear deal with Iran.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/climate/water-iran.html

tim in vermont said...

Funny how you choose not to respond to my point above that in fact they maintained plans to develop weapons even after signing an agreement that they would never, under any circumstances, do so.

I don’t really care about specific clauses in the agreement when they can be so easily subverted by other clauses, as shown by my excerpt from The Guardian, which was defending the deal.

I shouldn't get into a discussion with you where you steadfastly ignore any points I make to seize on irrelevancies.

Maybe you can answer one question for me, as a test of your good faith. Why the secrecy? Why no ratification by the Senate?

J. Farmer said...

@tim in Vermont:

Oh wait! They do have plans to do so! Netanyahu just proved that!

The program outlined in Netanyahu's documents were already well known and had been brought up during the JCPOA process. In December 2015, the IAEA published it Final Assessment on Past and Present Outstanding Issues regarding Iran’s Nuclear Programme:

85. The Agency’s overall assessment is that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003. The Agency also assesses that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities. The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.

Full thing here

tim in vermont said...

Get a therapist Trumpit, and move on. Bad shit happens to people every fucking day! It wasn’t Trump who killed your mother!

But the rest of your comment? Comedy gold!

J. Farmer said...

@tim in Vermont:

Funny how you choose not to respond to my point above that in fact they maintained plans to develop weapons even after signing an agreement that they would never, under any circumstances, do so.

It's obvious to me you are criticizing a deal you know nothing about. The agreement related to weaponry is explicitly, "Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons." The remainder of the agreement has to do with limitations on its nuclear program and the various mechanisms of verifying and monitoring compliance. Maintaining two decade old feasibility studies in a warehouse in Tehran does not violate the deal and does not matter. What matter is that Iran is no closer to getting a nuclear weapon today than it was anytime in the last 15 years.

Michael K said...

Farmer, have you registered as an agent of a foreign power yet?

Obama dragged a reluctant Europe into this. None of them trusted Iran.

The Europeans, especially the Germans have been selling stuff to the Iranians as fast as they can. They did the same to Saddam.

The French are the same.

There were some fairly effective sanctions under Bush and the regime was getting pretty desperate.

Now, the people are getting desperate but the regime is fat.

tim in vermont said...

So the IAEA knew that Iran was keeping those plans to build nuclear weapons hidden away in a vault?

The Agency has no credible indications

There’s that word “credible” again. That’s what you do. You say “I don’t believe it therefore it’s not true.”

Birkel said...

The level of Smug in any thread involving Iran is amazing.

Mueller should investigate attempts by Iran to influence American elections. Maybe a 3am raid is in order.

Smuggish.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

Farmer, have you registered as an agent of a foreign power yet?

Here's a refreshing idea, my friend. How about attacking my arguments instead of trying to impugn my character? I would hope that a man of your age and station in life were not so prone to act like a reprobate.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in Vermont:

So the IAEA knew that Iran was keeping those plans to build nuclear weapons hidden away in a vault?

First, they were not "plans to build nuclear weapons." They were scientific and feasibility studies related to nuclear weapons programs, such as enrichment activities. The documents confirm that the program never progressed beyond that stage in 2003, also widely known and addressed in a document published in late 2015. further, "hidden away in a vault" sounds quite ominous when in fact it seems they were carted off from a warehouse in the middle of downtown Tehran.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

The level of Smug in any thread involving Iran is amazing.

Just to note, Birkel has not faulted any of my actual arguments. He just does not like my personality. And I'm totally fine with that.

tim in vermont said...

Maintaining two decade old feasibility studies in a warehouse in Tehran does not violate the deal

Apparently it does violate the deal, but only violates those parts of the deal whose main purpose was propaganda for the rubes. Why violate it at all if they have absolutely no intention under any circumstance to seek nuclear weapons?

You say it “doesn’t matter” that’s must more weasel words. What does “matter” mean? Is “matter” some kind of term that means that they can put in meaningless window dressing to impress the proles, and other stuff, wink wink, is the “real agreement”? The only possible purpose for maintaining studies on building weapons is to reactivate the program when the opportunity arises.

The whole clause that Iran will not seek nuclear weapons UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES is ridiculous. No sovereign nation can agree to that language. It’s the tip off that the deal is a fraud. That’s like me saying I would never steal under any circumstances, I don’t intend ever to steal, the couple of times I got talked into stealing as a child, I didn’t like, but if my kids were starving...

There is no mystery why Obama refused to submit this to the Senate.

Hagar said...

"The Europeans" are willing to make themselves believe the moon is made of green cheese rather than recognize that after 300 years Europe is again facing a Muslim threat.

I would be more impressed by Iran's peaceful protestations if the ayatollahs and the general were seconding Mr. Rouhani's statements rather than calling for holy war. As it is, I think the nominal government of Iran is a false front operation.

Birkel said...

"Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons."

And written in magic disappearing ink is where they pinky promise.

tim in vermont said...

First, they were not "plans to build nuclear weapons." They were scientific and feasibility studies related to nuclear weapons programs, such as enrichment activities.

I will respond with a quote from Lewis Carroll.

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”
- Lewis Carroll

Birkel said...

Smug,
You pretend that I make substantive arguments with any of the resident trolls. You are not special. You are unworthy of serious debate. I wouldn't pull a hair for any of you trolls.

You Smug your way through every argument. You Smug when you quote things and pretend those words constrain actual humans. You Smugly insinuate that the other commenters here do not know as much or more than you claim to know.

Again, I care about you not a bit. Your Smug is an affect. It is a pretense. So I call you Smug because that is what you present here.

Anonymous said...

"European diplomats said after concluding that they had failed to convince him that reneging on America’s commitment to the pact could cast the West into new confrontation with Tehran"

1: America has made no commitment to the Iran deal. A worthless pathetic weasel named Barack Obama made a deal. But it was not submitted to Congress as a treaty, and it wasn't ratified. So there's no commitment to "renege" on

2: We've been in a "confrontation with Tehran" ever since they attacked our embassy. The only thing even slightly "new" is our possible willingness to fight back.

DanTheMan said...

Farmer, you remind me of Neville Chamberlain, waving his piece of paper...

You may trust the Iranians to abide by the terms of a written agreement.

Sanity suggests otherwise.

AllenS said...

DanTheMan said...
Farmer, you remind me of Neville Chamberlain, waving his piece of paper...

Bingo.

Caldwell P. Titcomb IV said...

The senior European diplomat, who spoke on the condition of preserving his Keebler Elfhood, said some stuff.

a propaganda win

And then what?

JPS said...

J. Farmer,

I don't question your character and I don't wonder whether you're a foreign agent. You advance a line of thinking on foreign policy I generally disagree with, but respectfully.

I do think you consistently take a line that is critical of the U.S. and blames our actions for pretty much whatever foreign mess we find ourselves in. You can therefore be counted on to take a view of hostile powers' actions that minimizes their hostility and makes the strongest possible case that we provoked what hostility we did encounter. I believe you do this not because you support the other fellow over us, but because you want us to keep out of such messes as you see our misguided policy getting us into. Fair enough?

Maybe that too avoids the substance of your argument. But the substantive argument ultimately comes down to a set of facts, some unquestioned and some in dispute, that as far as they are known can be interpreted very differently depending on the actors' intent.

You write, "Except Iran hasn't had a nuclear weapon program since at least 2003,"

I think this is highly debatable, and depends on definitions

"and the deal prevents them from obtaining one."

We differ. I think it prevents them from obtaining one as long as they don't want one, which is exactly what we're debating.

Sebastian said...

The deal is no deal in any formal sense.

The deal has troubling sunset clauses.

The deal allows Iran's current development of ballistic missiles, an odd pursuit by a country uninterested in nuclear weapons.

Iran already got what it most wanted from the deal, i.e., $$.

But the deal also provides for inspections. It still may be better than a half-hearted sanctions regime, which will be resisted by the EU and Russia.

Quaestor said...

J. Farmer has claimed that the documents reveal by the Mossad operation contain "nothing new". I would like to know how he can be so forthright and absolute without having read them.

Michael K said...

How about attacking my arguments instead of trying to impugn my character? I would hope that a man of your age and station in life were not so prone to act like a reprobate.

I don't consider you to be a troll, hence I respond.

You may be arguing from some peculiar form of libertarian philosophy. On the other hand, you sound like an apologist for the Iranian regime.

When I note that I pretty much follow the opinions of Rueul Marc Gerecht, who spent years studying Iran as a CIA agent ( not an analyst in DC) and who speaks Farsi and has been in the country secretly since the Revolution, you dismiss my opinion.

You sure sound like someone who should be a registered agent.

I don't consider that "reprobate" behavior. It was just a question.

We are not the ones who declared we are enemies. They did.

chickelit said...

Obama was a helpless stooge regarding the Iran deal. The deal was brokered by ValJar to help her beloved people.

Roy Lofquist said...

J. Farmer, Philadelphia lawyer.

"Phil·a·del·phi·a law·yer
noun
a very shrewd lawyer who is expert in the exploitation of legal technicalities."

Iran, which imprisoned American Diplomats (a casus belli), threatened Israel with nuclear annihilation, starts and ends public events with "Death to America!", sent children to clear mine fields, that Iran, merits due deference? I trust you at least got your twenty pieces of silver.

And yes, that is very personal.

Big Mike said...

It says a great deal about the pact that no one seems to know (1) what Iran agreed to give up, and (2) who independently verifies that they gave it up and are continuing to give it up. Farmer seems to know something, but, bluntly, I don’t trust that he has it right.

J. Farmer said...

@tim in Vermont:

Apparently it does violate the deal, but only violates those parts of the deal whose main purpose was propaganda for the rubes. Why violate it at all if they have absolutely no intention under any circumstance to seek nuclear weapons?

Here is the full text of the JCPOA. Please quote what agreement was violated.

@DanTheMan:

Farmer, you remind me of Neville Chamberlain, waving his piece of paper...

I was wondering how long it would take that tired cliché to emerge. Impressive. I won't go into the numerous ways the current situation with Iran is not in any way comparable to 1930s Germany.

J. Farmer said...

@JPS:

You can therefore be counted on to take a view of hostile powers' actions that minimizes their hostility and makes the strongest possible case that we provoked what hostility we did encounter.

No, I actually do not tend to make that case. In fact, I often try to make the opposite case. That is, a lot of what drives other regimes' behavior are considerations that have little to nothing to do with anything America actually does.

You write, "Except Iran hasn't had a nuclear weapon program since at least 2003,"

I think this is highly debatable, and depends on definitions


Okay. What is your definition of a "nuclear weapon program" and what evidence do you have that one exists currently?

We differ. I think it prevents them from obtaining one as long as they don't want one, which is exactly what we're debating.

So what are the flaws in the agreement, in your opinion?

J. Farmer said...

@Quaestor:

J. Farmer has claimed that the documents reveal by the Mossad operation contain "nothing new". I would like to know how he can be so forthright and absolute without having read them.

True, I have not read them. But I did listen to Netanyahu's presentation. I didn't hear anything new. If he has some new information, it has yet to be disclosed.

Hagar said...

I suspect J. Farmer is an interested professional.

DanTheMan said...

>>I was wondering how long it would take that tired cliché to emerge. Impressive. I won't go into the numerous ways the current situation with Iran is not in any way comparable to 1930s Germany.

No one is saying Iran in 2018 is like Germany in the 1930's. What I am saying is that trusting dictators to abide by paper agreements is a fool's hope.

J. Farmer said...

@Big Mike:

It says a great deal about the pact that no one seems to know (1) what Iran agreed to give up, and (2) who independently verifies that they gave it up and are continuing to give it up. Farmer seems to know something, but, bluntly, I don’t trust that he has it right.

It says a great deal about opponents of the deal that they have to constantly resort to falsehoods in their criticisms.

"(1) what Iran agreed to give up"

Again, the full text of the agreement is here and lays out in great detail what the limitations area.

(2) who independently verifies that they gave it up and are continuing to give it up

This is laid out in Annex I, which you can read here. It states, in part:

"67.1. Iran will permit the IAEA the use of on-line enrichment measurement and electronic seals which communicate their status within nuclear sites to IAEA inspectors, as well as other IAEA approved and certified modern technologies in line with internationally accepted IAEA practice. Iran will facilitate automated collection of IAEA measurement recordings registered by installed measurement devices and sending to IAEA working space in individual nuclear sites.

67.2. Iran will make the necessary arrangements to allow for a long-term IAEA presence, including issuing long-term visas, as well as providing proper working space at nuclear sites and, with best efforts, at locations near nuclear sites in Iran for the designated IAEA inspectors for working and keeping necessary equipment.

67.3. Iran will increase the number of designated IAEA inspectors to the range of 130-150 within 9 months from the date of the implementation of the JCPOA, and will generally allow the designation of inspectors from nations that have diplomatic relations with Iran, consistent with its laws and regulations."

J. Farmer said...

@DanTheMan:

No one is saying Iran in 2018 is like Germany in the 1930's. What I am saying is that trusting dictators to abide by paper agreements is a fool's hope.

There is no "trust" involved. There are over a hundred foreign inspectors working in Iran.

From the most recent inspection report, which you can read here:

"21. Iran has continued to permit the Agency to use on-line enrichment monitors and electronic seals which communicate their status within nuclear sites to Agency inspectors, and to facilitate the automated collection of Agency measurement recordings registered by installed measurement devices (para. 67.1). Iran has issued long-term visas to Agency inspectors designated for Iran as requested by the Agency, provided proper working space for the Agency at nuclear sites and facilitated the use of working space at locations near nuclear sites in Iran (para. 67.2).

22. Iran has continued to permit the Agency to monitor – through measures agreed with Iran, including containment and surveillance measures – that all uranium ore concentrate (UOC) produced in Iran or obtained from any other source is transferred to the Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF) at Esfahan (para. 68). Iran also provided the Agency with all information necessary to enable the Agency to verify the production of UOC and the inventory of UOC produced in Iran or obtained from any other source (para. 69)."

Quaestor said...

J. Farmer wrote: True, I have not read them. But I did listen to Netanyahu's presentation. I didn't hear anything new. If he has some new information, it has yet to be disclosed.

Perhaps you haven't listened to Netanyahu closely enough nor read the JCPOA as thoroughly as you ought. In his presentation Netanyahu said that Iran has a continuing nuclear weapons development program, which if true, violates Section C, Part 16 and Annex 1, Part T of the agreement.

NC William said...

There is no agreement and never was. As with Chamberlain, Germany and Munich, you cannot have an agreement, as that concept is understood, with people/countries that do not honor agreements, and do not keep their word.

Since 1979, Iran has been run by murderers and liars; people who have been the world's foremost State sponsors of terror, and killing, on multiple continents. All Obama produced was a testament to his vanity, much like Mr. Chamberlain.

And that's before you get to the fact that the thing was never ratified in order to become valid on our side.

Robert Cook said...

Thank God for J. Farmer! Among a commentariat largely bankrupt of sense or sanity, he provides a respite of reason, an electric input of intelligence and informed, rational discourse.

The gnats buzz, the dunces snort and hurl turds, and Farmer strides on unimpeded.

Michael K said...

"Farmer strides on unimpeded"

I think Cookie is in love.

Birkel said...

100 inspectors in 1.65 million square kilometers? If they travel in groups of 4 that means each group is responsible for 66,000 square kilometers.

Sweet!

I bet they get to go into all the military installations, unfettered, unannounced, and without Iranian minders. And there are never any delays.

The people who chant "Death to America" are totes trustworthy.

Birkel said...

Smug is unimpeded. True enough.

Sense and reason are, after all, impediments.

Quaestor said...

Robert Cook wrote: ... and Farmer strides on unimpeded

Except, he fell head over heels.

JCPOA Section C, Part 16 and Annex 1, Part T. ACTIVITIES WHICH COULD CONTRIBUTE TO THE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF A NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVE DEVICE

82. Iran will not engage in the following activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device:

82.1. Designing, developing, acquiring, or using computer models to simulate nuclear explosive devices.

82.2. Designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using multi-point explosive detonation systems suitable for a nuclear explosive device, unless approved by the Joint Commission for non-nuclear purposes and subject to monitoring.

82.3. Designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using explosive diagnostic systems (streak cameras, framing cameras and flash x-ray cameras) suitable for the development of a nuclear explosive device, unless approved by the Joint Commission for non-nuclear purposes and subject to monitoring.

82.4. Designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using explosively driven neutron sources or specialized materials for explosively driven neutron sources.

pacwest said...

@J. Farmer
What you you are are arguing for is a kick the can down the road policy very similar to our previous NK policy. We don't know what is happening at Parchin or other military sites. Even leaving out military bases and other possible sites we have no inspections at they have been in violation re heavy water. The delaying action that is the JCPOA, while having positive short term effects does little to nothing for long term goals. NK was failed policy. What makes you think it will work this time?

J. Farmer said...

@Quaestor:

Perhaps you haven't listened to Netanyahu closely enough nor read the JCPOA as thoroughly as you ought. In his presentation Netanyahu said that Iran has a continuing nuclear weapons development program, which if true, violates Section C, Part 16 and Annex 1, Part T of the agreement.

You can read a transcript of the entire presentation here. What he claimed was that they had "nuclear ambitions" and that the program was abandoned in 2003.

J. Farmer said...

@Quaestor:

Except, he fell head over heels.

And none of the provisions you list are violated by a program that had existed two decades earlier and had been known to the IAEA. This was discussed in the Final Assessment on Past and Present Outstanding Issues regarding Iran’s Nuclear Programme, which I linked to above.

Quaestor said...

What he claimed was that they had "nuclear ambitions" and that the program was abandoned in 2003.

Abandoned with documents added to the archive dated in 2017? How abandoned is that?

J. Farmer said...

@PacWest:

What you you are are arguing for is a kick the can down the road policy very similar to our previous NK policy.

Every non-proliferation policy is a "kick the can down the road policy." There is nothing you can do now that would permanently prevent a country from obtaining weapons. Any agreement, no matter how good, can be violated in the future.

Even leaving out military bases and other possible sites we have no inspections at they have been in violation re heavy water.

Regarding heavy water, from the most recent inspections report:

"6. Iran has not pursued the construction of the Arak heavy water research reactor (IR-40 Reactor) based on its original design.8,9 Iran has not produced or tested natural uranium pellets, fuel pins or fuel assemblies specifically designed for the support of the IR-40 Reactor as originally designed, and all existing natural uranium pellets and fuel assemblies have remained in storage under continuous Agency monitoring (paras 3 and 10).

7. Iran has continued to inform the Agency about the inventory of heavy water in Iran and the production of heavy water at the Heavy Water Production Plant (HWPP)11 and allowed the Agency to monitor the quantities of Iran’s heavy water stocks and the amount of heavy water produced at the HWPP (para. 15). On 11 February 2018, the Agency verified that the plant was in operation and that Iran’s stock of heavy water was 117.9 metric tonnes. Throughout the reporting period, Iran had no more than 130 metric tonnes of heavy water (para. 14).

8. Iran has not carried out activities related to reprocessing at the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) and the Molybdenum, Iodine and Xenon Radioisotope Production (MIX) Facility or at any of the other facilities it has declared to the Agency (paras 18 and 21).

iowan2 said...

J farmer is entirely reasonable. Exactly why was this not submitted to the Senate? Debated, pro and con, on the floor? Put to a vote?

In the United States the constitution requires a process. An executive that refuses to follow the process, is apt to overruled by the next executive.

Treaties are the only thing I can think of that the Govt does that binds successive legislatures and executives.

Birkel said...

Maybe if they chanted "Death to J.Farmer in particular" some confusion would be avoided.

Quaestor said...

I believe J. Farmer is misattributing quotes when he claims that Netanyahu said the program was abandoned in 2003.

tim in vermont said...

J. Farmer is no troll and brings more to the blog than most. It's good to have your ideas challenged.

Quaestor said...

Regarding heavy water, from the most recent inspections report...

The inspections report is irrelevant if the Iranian nuclear research archive is genuine.

J. Farmer said...

@Questor:

Abandoned with documents added to the archive dated in 2017? How abandoned is that?

Take it up with Netanyahu. He is the one who admitted from the documents that the program was "shelved" in 2003. And again, the vary program that Netanyahu is discussing was already addressed by the IAEA in December 2015. The link to the report is there if you care to read it. I will quote:

2. From 2002 onwards, the Agency became increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.6 Reports by the Director General identified outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme and the actions required of Iran to resolve these.7 The 2011 Annex provided a detailed analysis of the information then available to the Agency. The information indicated that Iran had carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. The information also indicated that prior to the end of 2003, these activities took place under a structured programme, and that some activities may still have been ongoing.8

3. The information consolidated and presented in that Annex came from a wide variety of independent sources, including from the Agency’s own efforts and from a number of Member States, including Iran itself. It was consistent in terms of technical content, individuals and organizations involved, and timeframes. Based on these considerations, and in light of the Agency’s general knowledge of Iran’s nuclear programme and its historical evolution, the Agency found the information upon which the Annex was based to be, overall, credible.9

4. The Agency requested10 that Iran engage substantively with the Agency without delay for the purpose of providing clarifications regarding possible military dimensions to its nuclear programme as identified in the 2011 Annex."


The report's conclusion:

85. The Agency’s overall assessment is that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003. The Agency also assesses that these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities. The Agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.

Nothing in Netanyahu's presentation changes that.

tim in vermont said...

I didn't hear anything new. If he has some new information, it has yet to be disclosed."

You should write that right-wing rag, The Guardian and explain to them how they got it wrong.

J. Farmer said...

@Quaestor:

I believe J. Farmer is misattributing quotes when he claims that Netanyahu said the program was abandoned in 2003.

I gave you the link to a transcript of Netanyahu's entire presentation.

tim in vermont said...

Farmer is the master of obtuse persiflage.

J. Farmer said...

The inspections report is irrelevant if the Iranian nuclear research archive is genuine.

Unless you believe the "archive" identifies unknown nuclear testing sites, then that statement is completely false.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Anything that makes it more likely that Israel will be destroyed by a bunch of 7th century desert pedophile worshipping savages is something that Farmer will be in favor of and defend. It really is that simple with him.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

"I won't go into the numerous ways the current situation with Iran is not in any way comparable to 1930s Germany."

Except for that, you know, exterminate the jews part.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Why was money delivered to Iran on secret pallets. If it was Iran's' "frozen money" , why not release it in the form of an electronic transfer?

Gahrie said...

Unless you believe the "archive" identifies unknown nuclear testing sites, then that statement is completely false.

Anything said by the U.S. or our allies are lies, and anything said by those we abuse and oppress is the truth.

pacwest said...

J. Farmer, thanks for your metered responses to all here. If only others followed your example.

Regarding heavy water - Iran has been in violation at least twice since the agreement, and more if the Omar storage facility is taken into account. But that is small potatoes.

"Any agreement, no matter how good, can be violated in the future."

But in this instance they don't even have to violate the agreement (which they verifiably have, and most likely are to an even greater extent). They just have to wait it out. 2023 is not that far down the road. Meanwhile their outward focus is on delivery systems, which they need for a viable nuclear threat anyway.

"There is nothing you can do now that would permanently prevent a country from obtaining weapons."

I disagree completely. But the measures would have to be harsh, costly, and are not ones I am endorsing here. My personal hope is that President Trump doesn't pull out of JCPOA at present, but puts it on life support (6 months?), and forces changes to it. Missile development and a wider inspections must be a part of it. That leaves the sunset part to be addressed.

I think our basic underlying disagreement is in your view that nuclear proliferation is inevitable, and mine that is totally unacceptable.

Gahrie said...

I think Cookie is in love.

Well they both believe that everything bad in the world is the fault of the United States.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...

Now that's an interesting theory. Because Obama lived in Jakarta from age six to ten, "seemed unclear by his actions whose actual side he was on." And by "his actions," I can only presume you mean escalating the war in Afghanistan, elevating Petraeus, expanding greatly the drone assassination campaign against people in nine different countries, pursuing regime change in Libya, supporting a violent Sunni insurgency against Assad, Iran's only significant regional ally, authorizing covert sabotage campaigns to be carried out inside Iran, including assassinations and cyberattacks, supported the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which is what froze the $100 billion of Iranian money in the first place, and then was part of a multilateral agreement that saw Iran accept significant restrictions in their nuclear program and an intrusive verification and inspections regime.


Farmer thinks ineffectual warmongering proves Obama had the US's best interests at heart.

If you weren't so smug you would realize you are just being a giant hypocrite throughout this whole thread.

J. Farmer said...

@PacWest:

But in this instance they don't even have to violate the agreement (which they verifiably have, and most likely are to an even greater extent). They just have to wait it out. 2023 is not that far down the road. Meanwhile their outward focus is on delivery systems, which they need for a viable nuclear threat anyway.

From the Understanding the JCPOA, published by the Arms Control Association:

"Even after the continuous monitoring allowed in the JCPOA expires, under the model additional protocol, inspectors are to be granted access to facilities within twenty-four hours of a request. This timeline can be shortened to as little as two hours if inspectors are already present at a site. Under the JCPOA, IAEA inspectors will be ensured space for operations near Iran’s nuclear sites."

I think our basic underlying disagreement is in your view that nuclear proliferation is inevitable, and mine that is totally unacceptable.

That is not my view. My point was that no deal can permanently prevent proliferation because any deal can be violated in the future. My point is that the deal we have in place is doing its job of keeping Iran away from a nuclear program.

Again from the Arms Control Association:

Concern about Iranian cheating under the deal is legitimate, given Iran’s past nuclear activities and attempts to build covert facilities. And if Iran were to choose to pursue nuclear weapons, it might attempt a sneakout using covert facilities.
Due to the complex multilayered monitoring of Iran’s nuclear supply chain, should Tehran choose a covert pathway, it would need to reconstitute its entire nuclear supply chain, from obtaining uranium ore to converting it to gas, and then enriching it to over 90 percent uranium-235.

Read the entire thing here

Achilles said...

Why was Obama right the whole time and the only regime he didn't try to overthrow in the ME was Iran?

Why did Obama support Iran's proxy wars?

Why are the supporters of Iran trying to hide from the fact that Iran is currently fostering proxy wars in 4 different countries?

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

Well they both believe that everything bad in the world is the fault of the United States.

That's never been my view, and you can't quote a single thing I've said to support it. It's some caricature you've conjured up in your mind, and like a dog with a bone, refuse to give up. It has nothing to do with anything I have ever argued. As I have said repeatedly, I believe in an America First nationalist policy, not a liberal internationalist foreign policy. I don't think a willingness to sacrifice young American lives and treasure for pointless, counterproductive wars is a sign of much patriotism. Others differ.

Birkel said...

Smug: "Unless you believe the "archive" identifies unknown nuclear testing sites, then that statement is completely false."

Think about the phrase "...identifiea unknown..." for just a minute.

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

Farmer thinks ineffectual warmongering proves Obama had the US's best interests at heart.

If you weren't so smug you would realize you are just being a giant hypocrite throughout this whole thread.


No, that is not what I think. I did not list off Obama's foreign policy activities because I agreed with it. To the contrary, I have frequently criticized it as being just as bad as Bush's and in certain ways worse. The argument I made was that his foreign policy makes no sense from Tim's ridiculous formulation that "it seemed unclear by his actions whose actual side he was on."

Gahrie said...

We are not the ones who declared we are enemies. They did.

That was merely for domestic political reasons. They don't really mean it when they call us the Great Satan and promise to destroy us.

Gahrie said...

That's never been my view, and you can't quote a single thing I've said to support it. It's some caricature you've conjured up in your mind, and like a dog with a bone, refuse to give up.

Russia is not a threat and is merely responding to US provocations.
China is not a threat and is merely responding to US provocations.
Iran is not a threat and is merely responding to US provocations.
North Korea is not a threat and is merely responding to US provocations.

All four of these countries are not our enemies, and simply seek to live in peace and prosperity with the world, and it is the United States that is preventing this. If the US would simply disarm and retreat from the world, there would be no more conflict.

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

Why was Obama right the whole time and the only regime he didn't try to overthrow in the ME was Iran?

I don't believe Obama was "right." And your second statement is nonsensical. Iran was "the only regime he didn't try to overthrow?" So when did we try to overthrow Saudi Arabia or Turkey or the UAE or Bahrain or Qatar or Yemen or Kuwait or Jordan or Oman or Lebanon?

Why did Obama support Iran's proxy wars?

How was funding and training a radical sunni jihadist insurgency to attack the government of Syria in support of Iran?

Why are the supporters of Iran trying to hide from the fact that Iran is currently fostering proxy wars in 4 different countries?

Because it isn't true. As I said on the issue of proxy wars earlier: "It is completely false to say that Iran is "running proxy wars." Iran's involvement in Syria is in support of its legitimate government against jihadist insurgent forces. Similarly, they support a friendly government in Baghdad against similar forces in the western Iraq. The war in Yemen is also not a proxy war run by Iran but rather an aggressive war led by the Saudis in an effort to reimpose the rule of an ousted government. Iran does not control the Houthis."

Gahrie said...

Why are the supporters of Iran trying to hide from the fact that Iran is currently fostering proxy wars in 4 different countries?

Tut tut.

Iran is merely supporting the peace loving nations of the Middle East in resisting the efforts of U.S. backed insurgents to topple the democratically elected governments in the region.

Yancey Ward said...

The deal was always a charade, and withdrawing from the deal will change nothing in the short or long term. Here is the simple truth- the Iranians will develop nuclear weapons if they want to, and no treaty or deal will stop this, not the present deal, and not any replacement.

The Iranians were at least honest in telling Obama this on the first agreement- that they don't recognize the rest of the world's right to tell them what to do in this regard, but were willing to sign an agreement to get the money in return for Obama getting a face-saving deal near the end of his last term.

My position all along has been this- you are simply going to have to either live with a nuclear armed Iran like we live with a nuclear armed Pakistan, or you are going to have to invade with a ground force. My position is that we do best to just live with it- anything else is just folly squared.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

Russia is not a threat and is merely responding to US provocations.
China is not a threat and is merely responding to US provocations.
Iran is not a threat and is merely responding to US provocations.
North Korea is not a threat and is merely responding to US provocations.

All four of these countries are not our enemies, and simply seek to live in peace and prosperity with the world, and it is the United States that is preventing this. If the US would simply disarm and retreat from the world, there would be no more conflict.


Of course none of these are quotes. They are mere ridiculous summations of my supposed views, which as I have claimed and now further confirmed, are totally caricatured inside your own mine.

What I have said, repeatedly, is that the threats posed to the US from other countries are frequently and hysterically overblown. Perhaps, Gahrie, just as an exercise, what threat you believe Russia poses to American national interests?

Gahrie said...

Guys guys..you're making this too hard. It's easy to understand.

Iran, North Korea, China and Russia are the good guys. We're the bad guys roaming around the world seeking to impose US hegemony on everyone.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

Iran is merely supporting the peace loving nations of the Middle East in resisting the efforts of U.S. backed insurgents to topple the democratically elected governments in the region.

You don't have to like Assad to find him preferable to violent radical jihadists groups violent vying for power in Syria.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

Guys guys..you're making this too hard. It's easy to understand.

Iran, North Korea, China and Russia are the good guys. We're the bad guys roaming around the world seeking to impose US hegemony on everyone.


To quote George Will, Gahrie, you are "a pyromaniac in a field of straw men."

Sebastian said...

"I didn't hear anything new."

David Albright did.

If he is right, Iran did not come clean, hence violated the deal's terms from the outset.

For now, I'll take Albright over Farmer.

Gahrie said...

Perhaps, Gahrie, just as an exercise, what threat you believe Russia poses to American national interests?

Why absolutely none of course.

Only a fool would believe that Russia considers itself to be involved in a competition with the United States for control of the world militarily, diplomatically and economically.

I suppose a Lefty might believe that Russia was a threat to free elections in the U.S..

Robert Cook said...

"Sense and reason are, after all, impediments."

So far, no one has used these tools to dispute Farmer, least of all you. He, on the other hand, uses no tools other than these. Perhaps you should try it.

Gahrie said...

You don't have to like Assad to find him preferable to violent radical jihadists groups violent vying for power in Syria.

Personally I would prefer a puppet government run by the mullahs in Iran. Then they could do something to stop all the rockets being smuggled in to Gaza and the West Bank.

J. Farmer said...

@Yancey Ward:

The Iranians were at least honest in telling Obama this on the first agreement- that they don't recognize the rest of the world's right to tell them what to do in this regard, but were willing to sign an agreement to get the money in return for Obama getting a face-saving deal near the end of his last term.

The NPT already gives Iran the right to develop domestic nuclear energy. Honestly, if Iran made a decision to go for a nuclear program, it would be a completely scenario. But the verification and inspections regime is the best method we have of guaranteeing that their program remains peaceful or knowing as soon as possible if they attempt to move in that direction. By, say, enriching uranium beyond specified limits or maintaining larger than agreed stockpiles.

Martin said...

There are many conceivable outcomes worse than merely "entering a new confrontation with Iran".

If that is the best argument the Europeans could advance, they deserve to lose. They show themselves to be cowards, nothing more. That sounds just like Obama and Kerry, who kept saying the US would never agree to X or Y or Z, and then agreeing to it because if they didn't, Iran would never agree to a deal. Talk about negotiating from weakness!

How about, "What is the best path to enhance our long-term security?" Make the argument that the JCPOA as written is the best thing out there.

Michael K said...

I think it is impossible to have a reasonable discussion with Farmer because he insists he is the only one who knows anything.

He's not a troll but he is impossible to discuss anything with.

You guys are welcome to him.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

I think it is impossible to have a reasonable discussion with Farmer because he insists he is the only one who knows anything.

Here's a real easy way to test that proposition, Michael. Quote something I have said and explain why it is factually wrong.

@Martin:

How about, "What is the best path to enhance our long-term security?" Make the argument that the JCPOA as written is the best thing out there.

I agree with that. And I have tried to do my part in explaining why I think the JCPOA is a good deal. But the point about confronting the Iranians about their nuclear program when they are keeping their end of the bargain does not really get us much. And if the US wants to try go down the sanctions route with Iran, it will need other countries to participate. Leaving a deal that is supported by the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, India, South Korea, and Japan is not likely to result in those countries pursuing a totally unnecessary sanctions regime against Iran.

Sebastian said...

"But the verification and inspections regime is the best method we have of guaranteeing that their program remains peaceful or knowing as soon as possible if they attempt to move in that direction."

This is why abandoning the deal is not a slam-dunk to me.

But I also think the deal was entered on false pretenses, with too many concessions when our hand was strongest, allowing for Iranian rewards up front and leaving an escape clause at the end, made by a president overly eager to strike a deal. If it was good for us, it should have been formalized as a treaty.

Robert Cook said...

It seems to me the only "impossibility" of having a reasonable discussion with Farmer is that he is the only one being reasonable or actually trying to have a serious discussion.

J. Farmer said...

@Sebastian:

But I also think the deal was entered on false pretenses, with too many concessions when our hand was strongest, allowing for Iranian rewards up front and leaving an escape clause at the end, made by a president overly eager to strike a deal. If it was good for us, it should have been formalized as a treaty.

Can you give an example of these "too many concessions..."

Yancey Ward said...

J. Farmer,

It really is unreasonable to believe that the inspection regime accomplishes anything other than prevent nuclear arms work in exactly those sites open to inspection. What is indisputable is this- the inspectors don't have arbitrary rights of inspection, and in such a state you are simply left in the same state as before the agreement- taking the Iranians at their word that they are not developing nuclear weapons. This is all kabuki theater- people making deals and abrogating deals that are meaningless in the end.

Such arms control agreements are nothing more than leaps of faith that grow in proportion to the literal sizes of the countries involved. Iran is a big country in geographic size.

Now, if you want to argue for the present agreement as a barrier to prevent an another ill-fated war in the area, I am all with you, but don't ask me to fool myself in any other way.

Hagar said...

Smug or Smaug?

Gahrie said...

J. Farmer will be insisting that Iran has no plans to develop a nuclear weapon right up to the point that Tel Aviv starts glowing, then he will switch to explaining why Israel deserved it.

Kyzer SoSay said...

J. Farmer is literally running circles around most of the people here.

I disagree with his views and don't believe the Iranians can be fully trusted, but nobody here (and I haven't gotten all the way down the page yet) has engaged him in a reasonable discussion on the actual facts.

And Birkel is just making a fool of himself.

Sprezzatura said...

"J. Farmer will be insisting that Iran has no plans to develop a nuclear weapon right up to the point that Tel Aviv starts glowing"

=

"we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

Kyzer SoSay said...

Nevermind, looks like Pacwest is willing to engage in a reasoned manner. Good to note.

J. Farmer said...

@Yancey Ward:

What is indisputable is this- the inspectors don't have arbitrary rights of inspection, and in such a state you are simply left in the same state as before the agreement- taking the Iranians at their word that they are not developing nuclear weapons.

That, in fact, is not "indisputable." Quoting again from the Arms Control Association:

"Under the Model Additional Protocol, the agency does not have to allow a country time to respond to evidence or concern if a “delay in access would prejudice the purpose for which the access is sought.”17 Thus in cases where the agency is concerned about a delay, it can request access immediately, and the 24-day clock mandated by the JCPOA would begin at that point.

Under a typical additional protocol, there is no timeline for the agency’s access. However, to prevent Iran from stonewalling the agency and attempting to sanitize any illicit activities, the JCPOA requires Iran to respond within 14 days. If they fail to reach agreement, then the Joint Commission, established by the agreement, has seven days to rule on the issue. If a consensus of the commission or a majority vote of five of the eight members agrees that the IAEA’s request should be granted, Iran has three days to comply.

Critics of the agreement argue that Iran could hide traces of covert activity within 24 days. However, if the illicit activities involved uranium, it would be extremely difficult to sanitize an area so that the environmental sampling available to the agency would not be able to determine if trace amounts had been present."

Whole thing here.

Kyzer SoSay said...

@ Yancey Ward:
"My position all along has been this- you are simply going to have to either live with a nuclear armed Iran like we live with a nuclear armed Pakistan, or you are going to have to invade with a ground force. My position is that we do best to just live with it- anything else is just folly squared."

I agree. I would add that, given the likely inevitable nature of the Iranian nuclear program, we ought to do more to bolster Israel's fledgling nuclear arsenal and help them better develop their second-strike capability. I'd even advocate reactivating and selling them an old boomer or two (missile sub) to give them the most credible 2nd strike ability possible. Deterrence worked in the Cold War, and it can be made to work again if Tehran believes that any nuke attack on Israel (or America, or NATO, or Riyadh) would be answered with their utter devestation.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

J. Farmer will be insisting that Iran has no plans to develop a nuclear weapon right up to the point that Tel Aviv starts glowing, then he will switch to explaining why Israel deserved it.

Here is the thing, Gahrie, if I actually held the ridiculous opinions you attribute to me, I would have no problem saying them. So, for example, when I tell you that my worldview is primarily ethno-nationalist, do you think I am making that up? Being disingenuous? What? What exactly would be my motive for not saying what I believe about the world?

Kyzer SoSay said...

@ Farmer

"Critics of the agreement argue that Iran could hide traces of covert activity within 24 days. However, if the illicit activities involved uranium, it would be extremely difficult to sanitize an area so that the environmental sampling available to the agency would not be able to determine if trace amounts had been present.""

I do not agree with this. I believe that 24 days is plenty of time to hide activity, and would rather see the window reduced to 10-14 days instead. I think this is a major flaw in the agreement. I think especially that nations like Iran have invested a lot of time and money into learning various ways to hide activity, and prevent accurate monitoring of radiological contamination/byproducts/production/etc, and this will be put to use in allowing additional clandestine research to take place. Perhaps not production, mind you, but definitely research and maybe some limited development as well.

Thoughts?

Birkel said...

They can request access? Problem solved.

Pieces of paper and requests.

Kyzer SoSay said...

Sorry to say this Gahrie, but I am beginning to think these discussions are above your pay grade.

J. Farmer said...

@Kyzer SoSay:

Deterrence worked in the Cold War, and it can be made to work again if Tehran believes that any nuke attack on Israel (or America, or NATO, or Riyadh) would be answered with their utter devestation.

I certainly agree with that, which is why new adversaries are likely to be depicted as unreasonable, irrational madman, to convince us that deterrence cannot work. Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon would be extremely undesirable, but it would be a manageable threat.

I would add that, given the likely inevitable nature of the Iranian nuclear program, we ought to do more to bolster Israel's fledgling nuclear arsenal and help them better develop their second-strike capability.

I am not sure how you can possibly define Israel's nuclear arsenal as "fledgling" considering their weapons program is well over 50 years old. They have around 80 nuclear bombs now and have the capacity to quickly add probably 100 more. And Israel already has ICBM and submarine second strike capabilities.

Kyzer SoSay said...

"They can request access? Problem solved.

Pieces of paper and requests."

Which Iran, under the agreement (as I am reading it, at least), MUST allow - otherwise, they are in violation of the agreement as written.

So yeah, Iran could always tell us to fuck off. And then we can tell them the agreement is broken, and the bombing begins in 5 minutes.

My beef is that I think the window they have before being required to GRANT access after the REQUEST is issued is tooooooo long. But that's a technical flaw, which could possibly be fixed if Trump wanted to negotiate about it. I hope he tries and succeeds.

Gahrie said...

So, for example, when I tell you that my worldview is primarily ethno-nationalist, do you think I am making that up?

That would depend on what ethno-nationality you claimed to be supporting.

Kyzer SoSay said...

"And Israel already has ICBM and submarine second strike capabilities."

Last time I checked, Israel had cruise missile armed subs - SSGs, so to speak. I want them with SSBNs - maybe a 12-tube version of our Ohio-class, carrying Trident II (or localy manufactured equivalents). Cruise missiles are just too easy to shoot down compared to good ol' balistics, and I want their boats to be nuke powered with unlimited at sea duration.

Gahrie said...

Sorry to say this Gahrie, but I am beginning to think these discussions are above your pay grade.

Cool.

I guess I should just start posting personal attacks without addressing the topic instead.

J. Farmer said...

@Kyzer SoSay:

Thoughts?

My first response was that because of the nature of nuclear testing, it is rather difficult to get a program very far without being discovered. Consider that Iran's earlier covert activities were discovered with no verification or monitoring protocols in place, so it seems unlikely that they could hide a covert program with such protocols in place.

And to quote once more from the Arms Control Association's report:

"Additionally, once the IAEA requests access to a site, or provides notification about a concern, it is likely that the agency will access increased satellite coverage of an area. This will provide clarity about any actions Iran may take to sanitize a site or remove equipment.

These measures in the deal significantly increase the chances of detection and Iran’s commitments under the deal not to pursue certain types of activities related to nuclear weapons development increases the costs of noncompliance. If Iran were to get caught conducting these types of experiments, even for non-nuclear purposes, it would be in violation of the JCPOA."

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

I guess I should just start posting personal attacks without addressing the topic instead.

Start? That's all you've been doing.

Kyzer SoSay said...

"I am not sure how you can possibly define Israel's nuclear arsenal as "fledgling" considering their weapons program is well over 50 years old. They have around 80 nuclear bombs now and have the capacity to quickly add probably 100 more."

I doubt you can accurately prove most of this. I think they're closer to 30 or 40, and I do not think they've mastered thermonuclear weapons yet. To me, that is fledgling. Boosted-fission is well and good, but not enough for what they might need.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

That would depend on what ethno-nationality you claimed to be supporting.

The one every ethno-nationalist should support: their own. In my case, it is Anglo-American.

Kyzer SoSay said...

"Additionally, once the IAEA requests access to a site, or provides notification about a concern, it is likely that the agency will access increased satellite coverage of an area. This will provide clarity about any actions Iran may take to sanitize a site or remove equipment. "

Likely isn't good enough for me. Honestly, I think just about the only thing that would satisfy me in this regard is the ability of the IAEA to maintain 24/7 drone coverage (unarmed) over Iran with immediate tasking capability. Say, 12 or 13 Global Hawks, with 2 in the air all the time - increasing to 4 if we suspect something is up.

Unreasonable? Maybe. But I don't like trying to reason with religious zealots who have a history of taking Americans hostage.

Kyzer SoSay said...

"The one every ethno-nationalist should support: their own. In my case, it is Anglo-American."

FYI - since I actually pay attention to what everyone here writes, this has been clear to me for a while. I beleive The Wall and his other immigration policies were the major reason you voted for Trump in the first place, correct?

J. Farmer said...

@Kyzer SoSay:

Likely isn't good enough for me.

In that case, it is hard to imagine any scenario in which you would be satisfied. Even if the regime in Tehran was overthrown, how would we know what would come next? Or that the predecessor state would not be fanatical about wanting nuclear weapons technology?

Honestly, I think just about the only thing that would satisfy me in this regard is the ability of the IAEA to maintain 24/7 drone coverage (unarmed) over Iran with immediate tasking capability

Unreasonable? Yes, but not that far afield from the actual verification measurements in place. Electronic seals on stockpiles and 24/7 video surveillance of nuclear test sites. In addition, it is not merely a matter of undeclared sites. In order for Iran to pursue a covert option, it would need to create a completely covert and independent nuclear supply chain, including obtain uranium, converting it to gas, and then enriching it. It couldn't even do this covertly with no inspections regime. It seems highly improbable that it could accomplish it with one.

I beleive The Wall and his other immigration policies were the major reason you voted for Trump in the first place, correct?

Yes, I have made that point regularly. And even then I consider it a hail marry pass since I think we are probably past the point of no return.

Rusty said...

Uh oh. J.s gonna be pissed.
Another Obama half baked legacy rescinded.

J. Farmer said...

@Kyser SoSay:

I doubt you can accurately prove most of this. I think they're closer to 30 or 40, and I do not think they've mastered thermonuclear weapons yet. To me, that is fledgling. Boosted-fission is well and good, but not enough for what they might need.

Well, "prove" is obviously setting the bar quite high. As you are aware, Israel officially lies about its nuclear program. My primary source of information on the subject is Avner Cohen's Israel and the Bomb and his subsequent writing on the subject.

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

Uh oh. J.s gonna be pissed.
Another Obama half baked legacy rescinded.


Care to name another "Obama half baked legacy" I have supported? The fact that you can't separate your opinion of Obama from something that was accomplished under his administration. Let me try to make it really clear for you. Some things Clinton did were good; some were bad. Some things Bush did were good; some were bad. Some things Obama did were good; some were bad. Some things Trump does are good; some are bad. It really is that simple.

Birkel said...

After only five or ten decades of failure from the State Department, I am willing to follow whatever they say.

John Kerry hasn't been right about anything of note since 1971.

They are due for a win. I trust them now.

/sarc

Gahrie said...

As you are aware, Israel officially lies about its nuclear program

Well of course they do.

But Iran or North Korea would never ever do such a thing. Nope, never.

Kyzer SoSay said...

"Electronic seals on stockpiles and 24/7 video surveillance of nuclear test sites."

I wish I could have as much faith in these systems as you do. Personally, I think that ever since the Iranian program was sabotaged a few years back, they've dumped a lot of money and talent into trying to circumvent these types of monitors and safeguards. I could be wrong, but I worry.

" In order for Iran to pursue a covert option, it would need to create a completely covert and independent nuclear supply chain, including obtain uranium, converting it to gas, and then enriching it. It couldn't even do this covertly with no inspections regime. "

This is not correct. Iran DID accomplish this covertly - to a point. They were found out, true, but not until they had made some decent progress. I agree it would be difficult for them to do it again, but I do not think it is impossible. The question is, how bad do they want to??

"As you are aware, Israel officially lies about its nuclear program. My primary source of information on the subject is Avner Cohen's Israel and the Bomb and his subsequent writing on the subject."

Probably a decent source, but I tend to beleive that most Israeli sources who speak about Tel Aviv's nuke stockpile are exaggerating to make themselves more fearsome, rather than downplaying.

Kyzer SoSay said...

I would be interested in hearing what issues you have with this nuclear agreement, Farmer. Is there anything you don't like about it? Anything you think we should try to negotiate an improvement on? Anything you think could represent a loophole? I ask this in good faith.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

Well of course they do.

But Iran or North Korea would never ever do such a thing. Nope, never.


Except Iran has lied about a nuclear weapons program. This is well known, well attested, and broadly accepted. That was the entire point of sanctions and an intrusive inspections regime. And it is also what made Netanyahu's presentation so lame. It was old news. The point that Iran covertly pursued a nuclear weapons program is the exact reason to keep the JCPOA, not abandon it.

Original Mike said...

”As you are aware, Israel officially lies about its nuclear program”

“Officially lies” seems like an oxymoron.

I am willing to cut Israel a lot of slack. Their neighbors, including Iran, have vowed to destroy them. Israel and Iran are not symmetric in this respect.

NC William said...

I know you think you are approaching this logically. But since you stipulate that Iran is dishonest and prone to cheating on this agreement (and any other international obligation), then the only question is the efficacy of the verification scheme.

This one isn't nearly intense enough (none would be) considering the stakes.

J. Farmer said...

@Kyzer SoSay:

Personally, I think that ever since the Iranian program was sabotaged a few years back, they've dumped a lot of money and talent into trying to circumvent these types of monitors and safeguards. I could be wrong, but I worry.

It is fine to be cautious, but that needs to be grounded in some empirical reality. Simply believing that Iran may or may not have done something with zero evidence is not much of an argument.

Probably a decent source, but I tend to beleive that most Israeli sources who speak about Tel Aviv's nuke stockpile are exaggerating to make themselves more fearsome, rather than downplaying.

That is certainly a possibility and would be in Israel's self-interest to do so, but I found Cohen to be a pretty careful scholar.

I would be interested in hearing what issues you have with this nuclear agreement, Farmer. Is there anything you don't like about it? Anything you think we should try to negotiate an improvement on? Anything you think could represent a loophole? I ask this in good faith.

Any deal could be made better, and any deal requires concessions. For this comments section here, I have a pretty heretical point-of-view, though one I think completely born out by the facts on the ground. For one, Iran was negotiating from a place of weakness. Ahmadinejad had left the country in an economically bad spot, sanctions were biting after UN 1929, and Rouhani had been eager for a rapprochement with the West.

The deals most obvious weaknesses are the ones that have been most flogged. The first is the sunetting of certain provisions (though this has been exaggerated because only some parts of the agree sunset; others continue in perpetuity). The other is the 24/7 immediate inspection demands. Obviously such a provision would be great, but it's difficult to see any government agreeing to this. Essentially allowing inspectors to any facility anywhere or anytime, especially given that previous inspections programs have had issues with covert spying by foreign governments.

But I think the answer to these weaknesses, some of which I have reproduced here and many of which can be read at the links I provided, are adequate.

J. Farmer said...

@Original Mike:

“Officially lies” seems like an oxymoron.

I am willing to cut Israel a lot of slack. Their neighbors, including Iran, have vowed to destroy them. Israel and Iran are not symmetric in this respect.


"Official lies" are a quite common feature of national security. (1) Israel's nuclear weapons program is well known; (2) Israel officially denies having one. Perhaps one can use a euphemism for lies, but I don't know why.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...

Here's a real easy way to test that proposition, Michael. Quote something I have said and explain why it is factually wrong.

Done.

Because it isn't true. As I said on the issue of proxy wars earlier: "It is completely false to say that Iran is "running proxy wars."

Here we go.

Iran's involvement in Syria is in support of its legitimate government against jihadist insurgent forces.

Obviously self refuting. You just admitted Iran is running a proxy war in Syria.

Similarly, they support a friendly government in Baghdad against similar forces in the western Iraq.

American soldiers were killed by this Iranian support of a friendly government. I have a friend who has an Iranian made EFP slug that missed his head by a foot.

You just admitted to the second proxy war.

The war in Yemen is also not a proxy war run by Iran but rather an aggressive war led by the Saudis in an effort to reimpose the rule of an ousted government. Iran does not control the Houthis."

This is pure bad faith. You say control because you know Iran is giving the Houthis weapons and money and training and has agents in Yemen.

i.e. they are fighting a proxy war. The definition of.

I note that you left out Gaza and Lebanon. Not even you are willing to lie that brazenly.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...

It is fine to be cautious, but that needs to be grounded in some empirical reality. Simply believing that Iran may or may not have done something with zero evidence is not much of an argument.

We know for a fact they want to destroy Israel utterly and they are causing multiple wars in the region.

We know for a fact the UN and the IAEA do not have the best interests of the US at heart.

We know for a fact that the current leadership in Israel and Saudi Arabia and the UAE want the middle east to modernize and join the civilized world.

It is clearly in our best interests to support Israel and Saudi Arabia and to oppose Iran.

Kyzer SoSay said...

@ Farmer,

Thank you for your response. I am still far more skeptical of the strength of this agreement than I feel you are (based on your answers), but it's nice to see you admit that there are flaws and/or things that could be improved upon.

I suggest in future discussions like this that you lead off with those types of thoughts. Too many commenters here, either due to personal reasons (watching comrades-in-arms lose lives or limbs to Iranian-made IEDS overseas) or basic knee-jerk reaction, or personal antipathy to you (for no reason other than they can't engage you in a factual argument), are prone to simply attacking you.

Maybe leading off with what you DON'T LIKE about the Iran agreement would mitigate that. Or maybe not. I dunno. Personally, I am still not a big fan of the agreement as it exists today, but I admit that I would rather see it improved and made more secure than simply scrap it and ready ourselves for another war in the Middle East.

Rusty said...


"It is fine to be cautious, but that needs to be grounded in some empirical reality. Simply believing that Iran may or may not have done something with zero evidence is not much of an argument."

But you're asking us to do the same thing with this current agreement. An agreement president Obama lied to the American people about.
As I've said before. If Obama had a hand in it it's flawed in a very basic way. I much rather have trump put the screws to them and come up with something that is actually verifiable by United States personnel.
making an atomic bomb is really a rather simple undertaking. All the hard work has already been done so it's just a matter of chemistry and mechanics. If you're buying fissionable material from a friend it's even easier.
Hell. If the kid from Grosse Pointe, or where ever he was in Michigan, hadn't confided in his teacher he'd still be building his nuclear pile.
It isn't difficult to hide such activity if you really don't want to be found out. To think you can is naive.

Kyzer SoSay said...

@ Achilles (1:06)

Yeah, I do believe you've got him there.

But at this point, given the venom spewed at Farmer, I'm gonna cut him a bit of slack. I think he was at the point where he was just being contrarian about the "proxy war" thing, especially given the personal attacks that others here levelled at him.

PS - sorry about your friend. Here's hoping that EFP-IED missed him clean, and he's alive and well today. Thank him for his service if you get the chance, on behalf of an expectant father-to-be in Central Illinois who greatly appreciates his sacrifice.

Caldwell P. Titcomb IV said...

Kyzer SoSay said...
@ Farmer,
Thank you for your response


#metoo

J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

My claim: It is completely false to say that Iran is "running proxy wars."

Obviously self refuting. You just admitted Iran is running a proxy war in Syria.

No, it is not "running a proxy war." The conflict in Syria began when Saudi Arabia and the UAE and later with American help, provided money, training, and arms to radical groups in Syria to make war against the Syrian government. This was the proximate cause of the rise of ISIS, which then spread to western Iraq.

You just admitted to the second proxy war.

So, you think it's a bad thing that Iran is helping Iraq to defeat a violent Sunni insurgency in its country. We're doing the same thing in Iraq.

This is pure bad faith. You say control because you know Iran is giving the Houthis weapons and money and training and has agents in Yemen.

No, I say control because the claim was that Iran was "running proxy wars."

The problem with Yemen is that it is being attacked by an aggressive outside power. Yemen is already one of the poorest middle east nations, and Saudi Arabia is pursuing a policy designed to starve its population into submission, including blockading food imports and bombing farms and agricultural facilities.

We know for a fact that the current leadership in Israel and Saudi Arabia and the UAE want the middle east to modernize and join the civilized world.

I would love to know how you "know for a fact" what is in the mind of the Saudi and Emirates monarchs. Instead of relying on lip service that the Saudi monarch has paid to credulous Western audiences, how about looking at what he has actually done. So Saudi Arabia funds and arms violent Sunni jihadists groups, abets the rise of ISIS, has empowered Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in its attacks on Yemen, and is attempting to isolate Qatar, a key regional client of the US.



Robert Cook said...

"J. Farmer will be insisting that Iran has no plans to develop a nuclear weapon right up to the point that Tel Aviv starts glowing, then he will switch to explaining why Israel deserved it."

If Tel Aviv ever starts glowing, the first speculation must be whether they accidentally blew up one or more of their own undeclared nukes.

Robert Cook said...

" would add that, given the likely inevitable nature of the Iranian nuclear program, we ought to do more to bolster Israel's fledgling nuclear arsenal...."

"Fledgling?" They've had nukes for decades, hunnids (sic) of them! They're a major nuclear power!

Kyzer SoSay said...

"making an atomic bomb is really a rather simple undertaking. All the hard work has already been done so it's just a matter of chemistry and mechanics. If you're buying fissionable material from a friend it's even easier. "

While I agree with you to a point, and probably think it is easier than Farmer gives it credit for, this is not technically true. The material properties require a huge level of caution. Machining uranium (not to mention actually enriching it and purifying it to usable form) is a very difficult task. It becomes even more difficult if we're talking about plutonium, which has incredible properties including multiple phase/density changes below melting point. These are dangerous materials to work with, and must be soooo carefully machined . . . I think you UNDERESTIMATE the difficulty to the same degree that Farmer OVERESTIMATES the difficulty.

" If Obama had a hand in it it's flawed in a very basic way."

I agree. But that's also not enough. Name the flaw. Show your cards, or leave the table.

" If the kid from Grosse Pointe, or where ever he was in Michigan, hadn't confided in his teacher he'd still be building his nuclear pile."

Yes, and it would have still been detected. David Hahn was using isotopes unsuitable for bomb-making, in truly miniscule quantities, was not interested in making a bomb at all (he wanted to build his own breeder reactor for unlimited energy), and did more harm to himself than anyone or anything else. And he was caught by the police due to a concerned call from a neighbor who'd seen him acting strangely, not by a tip from his teacher.

J. Farmer said...

@Rusty:

But you're asking us to do the same thing with this current agreement.

No, I am not. I am making an argument that Iran has kept its side of the bargain, and I have provided numerous links to support that case. If you want to claim that Iran is violating the agreement, then you need to provide evidence of the violation.

It isn't difficult to hide such activity if you really don't want to be found out. To think you can is naive.

How to Find a Hidden Nuclear Facility

Kyzer SoSay said...

" They've had nukes for decades, hunnids (sic) of them! They're a major nuclear power!"

You have no idea how many bombs they have or do not have.

I tend to think the real number is less than 50 - possibly as low as 20.

They honestly wouldn't need many more.

Michael K said...

So Saudi Arabia funds and arms violent Sunni jihadists groups, abets the rise of ISIS, has empowered Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in its attacks on Yemen, and is attempting to isolate Qatar, a key regional client of the US.

We are hoping MBS will survive and continue his reforms. Mean while, Qatar is the center of most terrorist funding these days.


As a "regional client" they are a very bad one.

More reading material for Farmer, which he won't read as he knows all there is to know.

I am not an expert, Farmer., I just read and rely on them.

Robert Cook said...

"You have no idea how many bombs they have or do not have.

"I tend to think the real number is less than 50 - possibly as low as 20.

"They honestly wouldn't need many more."


You're right, I don't know; I was just throwing a possibility,given the various estimates that have been made.

Does any country really need any more than 20 to 50 nukes...or any?

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

Mean while, Qatar is the center of most terrorist funding these days.

Center? What is the source for this? There are issues of permissiveness in Qatar as wealthy individuals funnel money to preferred causes, but this is true throughout Gulf region. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey all provided significant aid to jihadist forces in Syria.

As a "regional client" they are a very bad one.

They also host the forward headquarters to US Central Command and more than 10,000 US military personnel.

I am not an expert, Farmer., I just read and rely on them.

Oh boy. Yes, I rely on Tarot cards and telepathy. I don't try to read reputable sources and make my mind up in a reasonable way. No sir.

More reading material for Farmer, which he won't read as he knows all there is to know.

Well, the article begins with a caption that says every time John Kerry lies his chin grows longer. So right out of the gate I am expecting really professional, dispassionate analysis.

One of the posts in your link, "Claims That Iran’s Complying With The JCPOA Aren’t True," It says, in part, "Despite the what the JCPOA states, the Iranian authorities claim military sites are off limits to the IAEA. And the IAEA refuses to push the point because they don’t want Iran to seem non-compliant. A key result of this refusal involves “Section T” of the deal."

But then, wonder of wonders, here is another group of experts, saying something completely different. They say, in part, "Recent allegations that Iran is not adhering to them or that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is not monitoring and verifying Iranian compliance certainly would be cause for concern if accurate, but they are not."

There Is No Crisis in JCPOA Section T

Jim at said...

When Cookie is rushing to your defense, it might be a good time to re-evaluate your position.

I know I would.

Birkel said...

It's so hard to hide a nuclear program that only Libya, South Africa, Israel, Pakistan and India managed to develop nuclear weapons programs without significant detection.

But other than that.

Robert Cook said...

"When Cookie is rushing to your defense, it might be a good time to re-evaluate your position."

I am hardly rushing to Farmer's "defense," as he does not need defending: no one here has even tried, much has succeeded, in refuting or undermining Farmer's arguments. They merely offer childish scorn, insults, and peevishness.

I'm just applauding someone who argues using reason and the available facts, and who maintains a calm and dispassionate manner, unlike those who imagine they are somehow showing him up. Ha! As if!

Kyzer SoSay said...

@ Cook:
"You're right, I don't know"

Yeah, no shit. Should've just left it at that.

Kyzer SoSay said...

@ Michael K:

Reading the links you posted, it seems true that Iran DID exceed the allowable quantities of heavy water allowed by the agreement. Per the agreement, Iran is allowed to have up to 130 tons of D2O. In Feb of 2016, they had stockpiled 130.9 tons. They then shipped a whole bunch out of Iran under the eye of international observers. In Nov 2016, they had stockpiled 130.1 tons. Again, they arranged to ship the excess out, under the eye of observers.

So, yeah. Tehcnically, that's a violation, but it's still pretty weak sauce. Personally, I'd love to slam the book down on Tehran for those issues, but I can understand why it hasn't happened.

However, Doc, the issues raised by this link (http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/update-on-irans-compliance-with-the-jcpoa-nuclear-limits/) which is at the source you mentioned DO seem to be pretty serious, and make me really wonder if this agreement is in any way feasible. I'd like to see what Farmer has to say about the information, but I personally am beginning to think that Iran will be allowed to make these violations become a commonplace thing due to the international community's reluctance to admit either outright defeat or incompetence on the part of the "watchers".

Kyzer SoSay said...

Ouch. Sorry to say this Farmer, but even China apparrently doesn't share your view that Iran is cooperating. At the link I just posted, I'm reading this:

"Arak Fuel Design Controversy

In the summer, controversy developed on proposed Iranian changes to the fuel design for the modified Arak reactor. China objected to the Iranian modifications in the fuel specification as stated in the attachment to Annex I of the JCPOA, in particular the number of pins per assembly and the diameter of the fuel pellets. China stated that the changes do not offer any technical advantages over the design laid out in the attachment, and they will bring about various uncertainties in political, technical, and practical terms. Because this modified fuel would require additional development and testing to ensure it is safe and reliable, China stated it was not willing to fabricate the Iranian-designed fuel. This issue was likely resolved but we do not know what the resolution entailed. In any case, it shows that Iran is willing to ignore limits clearly stated in the JCPOA in order to pursue its agenda, whatever it may have been in this case."

Yeah, sorry dude, but the evidence is stacking up against the claims that you and your chosen experts are making. I think you ought to look outside your comfort zone at some other interpretations and factor them into your conclusions, which are beginning to look like the view of Tehran through rose-colored glasses.

Kyzer SoSay said...

Oh, nevermind, looks like Trump nuked the deal anyway.

Honestly, while I'd prefer an attempt at renegotiation, I think this move is the very next best thing, as it could very well result in an enhanced deal further down the line.

Robert Cook said...

"Yeah, no shit. Should've just left it at that."

Geez...so pissy, and with so little basis! You don't know that their stockpile is as low as 20 to 50 any more than I know it's in the "hunnids." There is a wide range of estimates, and my own was within (and taken from) that range of existing estimates. I'm as likely to be correct as you, and you are as likely to be wrong as I...or, we could be both be wrong. A little humility is always recommended, Kay Kayser.

Sheridan said...

J. Farmer - Michael K.'s comment at 1:46 PM ("I am not an expert, Farmer".)is interesting to me. In regards to your many detailed comments regarding the "deal" (not a Treaty) with Iran you don't come across to me as some dilettante who knows just enough about a topic to be dangerous. You have a vibe of either a consultant or a direct functionary with insiders knowledge about the totality of the deal. You reference chapter, verse, paragraph and sub-section of the deal (and do so within seconds of posts from other commenters) and you present context to your details as if you were in the room, in real time, when the original discussions/negotiations were being conducted. You could be a world class dilettante but I don't think so. Nor do you come across as a second-tier academic who wrote a paper on the deal and is now just parroting the detailed thoughts and arguments of other, more knowledgeable people. So my question to you is - "were you in the room when the deal was struck?" If you were it wouldn't change the opinions of many of the folks commenting here. It wouldn't change my opinion as I'm cynical about the intentions and motivations of any government and public institution(s) "ours or theirs". But if your answer to my question is "yes" it would allow me at least to better contextualize your responses within the intentions and motivations of the Obama Administration as I have come to view them.

Kyzer SoSay said...

I don't practice humility when engaging with socialists. It's a strain to practice tolerance in said circumstance, but I manage as well as I care to.

Kyzer SoSay said...

Oh, and one of Kay Kyser's first film credits was the prewar musical "That's Right - You're Wrong". Even though I am not him, that's still basically how I feel about roughly 95% of what you type, Cookie.

Robert Cook said...

Weak tea, KayKay!

Kyzer SoSay said...

Looks like the golden 5% will continue eluding you.

PackerBronco said...

The U.S. is withdrawing from nothing. This was a private deal between Obama and Iran. If you want to commit the nation to a treaty, next time send it to the Senate.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...
@Achilles:

My claim: It is completely false to say that Iran is "running proxy wars."


It is OK to admit you are wrong sometimes.


Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...
@Michael K:

Mean while, Qatar is the center of most terrorist funding these days.

Center? What is the source for this? There are issues of permissiveness in Qatar as wealthy individuals funnel money to preferred causes, but this is true throughout Gulf region. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Turkey all provided significant aid to jihadist forces in Syria.

Farmer is right. Qatar is a bit player.

Iran is the cause of most of the conflict in the ME.

Birkel said...

Smug? Wrong? Admission?

Does. Not. Compute.

Achilles said...

Robert Cook said...

Does any country really need any more than 20 to 50 nukes...or any?

If the US didn't have nukes the socialists would have been killing people with them.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...

No, I am not. I am making an argument that Iran has kept its side of the bargain, and I have provided numerous links to support that case. If you want to claim that Iran is violating the agreement, then you need to provide evidence of the violation.

The only time we should believe the UN, globalists, democrats etc. is when they say Iran isn't trying to get nukes and is abiding by an agreement.

err wait what?

It is OK to admit you are wrong sometimes.

tim in vermont said...

After Israel’s Netanyahu unveiled 100,000 files proving the existence of Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program, the Iran Deal’s defenders insisted that they had always known that Iran was lying. . - David Greenfield, Frontpage Mag

What I find kind of infuriating (no literally) is when J. Farmer asserts some point based on some ill defined term based more on judgment than empirically verifiable fact and uses it as some kind of piton, as if it were solidly set into rock, words like “credible” and then imagines that these words can serve as the lynchpin for a rigorous argument.

I long ago learned about words like that when doing requirements for complex computer programs. You learn to jump all over vaguely defined or otherwise nebulous terms because they come back and cost you time and money later. Everybody “feels” like they know what they mean, but when it comes time to lay down the actual code...

tim in vermont said...

When you point out where they have clearly violated the agreement, J. Farmer says “That doesn’t matter” then he goes on to say that they didn’t violate the agreement because he doesn’t think the violations “matter.”

See my comment above on using nebulous words to support a “rigorous” argument. All they really do is fool people. In computer programming, they fool people into thinking that the problem is actually understood completely.

Sprezzatura said...

"You reference chapter, verse, paragraph and sub-section of the deal (and do so within seconds of posts from other commenters)"


Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

That's right Farmer, we are unable to read the relevant text. We can only repeat what Fox News et. al. say, rather than read (/think) for ourselves.

Tell us the troooth, what are you: a wizard or John Kerry himself?

Sprezzatura said...

https://vimeo.com/165171240

PM said...

I'm betting on any horse named Stuxnet 2.0

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

3:05 p.m.

Iran’s president is saying there’s a “short time” to negotiate with the countries remaining in the nuclear deal, warning his country could start enriching uranium more than ever in the coming weeks.

President Hassan Rouhani (hah-SAHN’ roh-HAH’-nee) made the statement Tuesday immediately after President Donald Trump said he was pulling the U.S. out of the nuclear deal.

Rouhani spoke live on Iranian state television. He says he will be sending Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to countries remaining in the accord.

He says, “I have ordered Iran’s atomic organization that whenever it is needed, we will start enriching uranium more than before.” He says Iran would start this “in the next weeks.”


Wow - More than before

Achilles said...

tim in vermont said...
When you point out where they have clearly violated the agreement, J. Farmer says “That doesn’t matter” then he goes on to say that they didn’t violate the agreement because he doesn’t think the violations “matter.”

While we are talking about doesn't matter.

Then there is the fact that this "agreement" would never be ratified by the Senate.

Ever.

They wouldn't even bring it to a vote because it was so humiliating.

It was written by people who hated the United States and the sole purpose was to provide cover for Iran's Nuke program.

The JCPOA should never have even been acknowledged. The people who treacherously sent pallets of cash to our enemies in Iran under more than dubious circumstances should be tried for Treason.

And John Kerry is out there right now providing aid and comfort to our enemies.

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