Richard Perle: Obama 'Not Prepared' to Stop Iran Nuclear Program

Friday, 08 Nov 2013 05:11 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The Obama administration's push for a nuclear disarmament deal with Iran is mostly smoke and mirrors, Richard Perle, former chairman of the Defense Policy Board and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, tells Newsmax.

"President [Barack] Obama is not prepared to take any action to stop the Iranian nuclear program," Perle told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"So one way to avoid taking action is to reach an agreement and claim it solves the problem — whether it solves it or not."

Story continues below video.

"If you define the problem correctly, it is ending the Iranian nuclear weapons program and an agreement that fails to do that may satisfy the president's requirement for an excuse to do nothing, but it isn't going to solve the problem."

It is doubtful that Iran can be trusted in any kind of deal with the United States despite the ongoing, intensive negotiations between the two countries in Geneva, Perle believes.

"There are many issues between Iran and the civilized world and Iran and the United States of which their nuclear weapons ambitions are only one," he said.

"There's the Iranian involvement in terrorism. They are the No. 1 sponsor of terrorism around the world. Just look at Hezbollah, for example. So we have a lot of issues with Iran."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday that he "utterly rejects" the impending agreement, calling it a "bad deal." And he reiterated that Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself.

Israel believes Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon, and says international pressure should be stepped up, not eased, in order to force Iran to dismantle its nuclear program. Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to attack Iran, unilaterally if necessary, if he concludes that diplomatic pressure on Iran has failed.

"I understand the Iranians are walking around very satisfied in Geneva as well they should because they got everything and paid nothing," Netanyahu told reporters, according to The Associated Press.

"They wanted relief of sanctions after years of grueling sanctions — they got that. They paid nothing because they are not reducing in any way their nuclear enrichment capability. So Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal," Netanyahu said.

"This is a very bad deal and Israel utterly rejects it. Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself and defend the security of its people," he said.

Perle said Netanyahu is right to question the deal.

"I expect that the Israeli prime minister is looking at one question and that is, does this stop the Iranian program or not? And I'm afraid the answer is, it doesn't. So he's looking at the right question. He's raising the right issue," said Perle, a former assistant Secretary of Defense.

"Interim agreements in situations like this are always hazardous. The hope is always that it will last for a little while bridging a permanent agreement that does meet one's needs, and the need here is to stop the Iranian program. But it rarely works out that way. So I would have to agree that this is a very doubtful deal from the point of view of all of us who are endangered by an Iranian nuclear weapon, and it's not just Israelis, it's the whole world, really."

Secretary of State John Kerry was in Geneva along with European officials to meet with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as hopes of reaching an initial agreement reached a "critical stage."

Perle said if Iran becomes a nuclear weapon state, "it will do even more of the dangerous and provocative destabilizing things it's been doing in the region and around the world."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.

See "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

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