Apparently everybody who is paying even the slightest attention has figured out the Iranian ploy at the talks which presumably began with the premise of reining in the Iranian nuclear weapons research and imminent production along with reducing stockpiles of uranium and the nuclear related equipment starting with the centrifuges. There was also the necessity of forcing the Iranian leaders to come forth with all information of any military research had been done and experiments or development of related issues such as work on the nuclear trigger, compression sequencing which controls how the detonations are timed to maximize or control yield, and any work on making devices such as using a nuclear weapon for maximizing the EMP feasibility which makes a device which has a maximum Gama ray yield which results in a much lesser explosion but gives a yield of Gama radiation which can destroy all electronic devices for hundreds of miles, or neutron bomb which kills people and other living things but causes minimal damage to buildings and structures, the hydrogen bomb also called a thermonuclear bomb which uses an atomic bomb to trigger a fusion reaction which vastly increases the energy yield making the bomb many magnitudes more destructive and other specialty weapon based on the atomic bomb. Thus far the Iranians have walked back every proposal though initially it appeared that the Iranians were being overly cautious about their pushing and applying pressure to arrive at a better deal but as time approached the deadline for a deal the Iranians began to increase their demands for items to be weakened, removed or severely watered down. When they were still pressing for a number of such alterations to the agreement the United States gave the Iranians the greatest gift with still weeks left before the set deadline for an agreement, they proposed the deadline be pushed six months further into the future, a change in the rules even the Iranians had not pressed believing that the much vaunted and threatened military option was removable from the table and put into use, an action which likely troubled Tehran but after the first extension the Iranians realized there was never going to be anything beyond endless negotiations and they could relax and run the clock out repeatedly with last minute demands which also garnered them the most results and then the extension to a new date. With President Obama desperate for a deal, any deal, the Iranians assumed their position in the catbird seat and began to drive the agreement over the cliff, through the woods and so far beyond reasonable it could only be phrased as they took things beyond the cusp into a place where only the strangest of things occur.
Deliberations continued and the six month extensions were coming along just fine and the Iranians had mastered their technique of not even bothering to negotiate for five of the months and then being impossible arrogant demanding several rewrites of entire sections of the agreement when President Obama and team made their next present to the Iranians as they feared an agreement might not be reached before President Obama leaves office, a consideration too horrific for President Obama to contemplate. The extension went from half a year to months to half a month to weeks and on to days and now it appears the deadline is reaching being extended the few hours or even less as team Obama are turning frantic. The deadline is now a permanently flowing target which remains just out of reach just as the end of Iranian demands also never quite ends. It is like an inside joke a friend and I have which fits so I guess this will introduce a new phrase which now fits the negations to a tee, we call it the “one more door” situation which came from playing one of those computer adventure games where there is always that next door or level to reach and it was getting late but one of us, not me, insisted on continuing through the next door thus the phrase, “one more door” syndrome. This is where the negotiations have reached as even when the news gets to the media that an agreement has been completed, then the Iranians bring the next “one more door” alteration, refinement or outright demand. The latest of these was yesterday when an agreement was presumably reached and then the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters from his hotel balcony, according to the Reuters news agency, “We still have got work to do tomorrow. No deal today.” So the deadline pushing continued and on to the next door.
This time the demand is another big one; it will push President Obama into that position where he is all but guaranteed to fail, crossing a red line he promised would never be crossed without grave and serious consequences and possibly a deal breaker resulting in the possible use of the military option which, as we have been told ad-nauseum, is still on the table. Yes, we know it is still on the table and are suspecting it is irremovable from said table. We have also heard that the deal they are working on is over a hundred pages in length, probably so Nancy Pelosi will run around screaming that the agreement must be ratified so they can find out what is in it. You have to love politicians of both parties as they make their actions so easy to ridicule just as George H. W. Bush claimed during his campaign a promise that likely guaranteed he would not be reelected when he crossed that red line and caved in after pledging, “No new taxes.” His only defense was to obfuscate the issue claiming he did not allow a “new” tax by just a necessary raising of already existing taxes in order to get his budget passed. That dog did not walk and he lost the election to Bill Clinton and the rest is a confusing mass of Hillary later on.
Back on track here. The latest demand from the Iranian side is for the agreement to abrogate and nullify not just the United Nation economic sanctions which were levied for offences having nothing to do with the Iranian nuclear issue but stemmed from Iranian interferences in Lebanon and Syria and against others using proxies such as Hezballah that Iran necessarily needed to be refrained and have her fangs dulled. This brought economic sanctions which Iran has already been given relief from in the agreement but also had imposed weapons sanctions on Iran which was done in part to prevent Russia from selling Iran the S-300 series (NATO names SA-10 Grumble) anti-aircraft and anti-missile systems, considered one of the preeminent anti-missile systems at the time especially effective against cruise missiles and one of the main reasons the United States pressed to prevent the sale by going to the United Nations and forcing the arms embargo onto the Iranians. Now the Iranians are insisting that the arms embargo also be lifted and annulled. The fear now is by lifting the arms embargo which also technically forbid Iran from providing weapons to other entities such as in Yemen currently not to mention Syria and Hezballah, both of which Iran has simply ignored any restrictions and often got around them by paying for weapons ordered presumably by other entities. Now Iran is insisting the arms embargo also be lifted. The way these negotiations are going one might conclude that by the time there is an agreement it will be approaching a thousand pages and the last six or seven hundred pages will constitute items that the United States and Europe give to Iran simply because we all desire to be friends and Iran could be so much more friendly with ‘X,’ ‘Y,’ and ‘Z.’ With the deadlines now so fluid that they simple fold under each suggestion that Iran needs a few more hours, nay, minutes to think up their next insignificant concession and surrender that I would not be surprised if by the time the deal is sealed and signed the United States will have surrendered Guam, Midway and the Hawaiian Islands to Iran in exchange for their good intentions and possibly the Bikini Atolls for testing purposes, why stop at reasonable and even absurd on this agreement and not go to completely ludicrous, after all, you are now entering the Beyond the Cusp Zone, or at least Secretary of State Kerry and his team of folding negotiators have gone there and unfortunately will come out the other side proclaiming while raising a very heavy multi-thousand page agreement overhead, I hold here a small book with President ‘Smiling Cheshire Man’* Rouhani’s signature on it bringing us “Peace in our time.” Can this entire boondoggle get any more ridiculously, incredulously ludicrous? I believe it can though exactly how is beyond my ability to reason or divine, can you? Make your prediction, if you like, as to what may end up being the last demand the Iranians will make that President Obama will grant as when it comes to Iran the President just cannot say no. Perhaps the Americans can restart with a twist the Nancy Regan War on Drugs campaign and start demanding of the White House, “Just say ‘No!’”
Beyond the Cusp