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Mort Zuckerman: Obama 'Chasing Rainbows' With Iran Talks

By    |   Saturday, 25 April 2015 11:33 AM

President Barack Obama is "chasing rainbows" in his negotiations with Iran over it's nuclear capabilities, billionaire real estate investor Mort Zuckerman, who owns the New York Daily News and U.S. News and World Report, writes in an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal on  Saturday.

"He has forsaken decades of pledges to the civilized world from presidents of both parties," said Zuckerman. "He has misled the American people in repeatedly affirming that the U.S. would never allow revolutionary Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, which would guarantee a new arms race."

He said reports suggest Pakistan is ready to ship weapons to Saudi Arabia, the Sunni nation opposed to Shiite Iran.

And while in 2013 Obama indicated that Iran was a year or more away from building bombs and "our estimate is probably more conservative than the estimates of Israeli intelligence services," Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, himself a nuclear physicist, painted a different picture this past week, Zuckerman writes.

Moniz told a Bloomberg interview that Iran is enriching nuclear material with 9,400 centrifuges out of 19,000, and it's "very little time to go forward. That's two to three months."

"What is Mr. Obama up to?" said Zuckerman. "Why was he reassuring in 2013 when he knew it was misleading? Is the declassification intended to create a false sense of urgency?"

Zuckerman also called for questions on Obama's willingness to "test" Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on keeping his promise on nuclear weapons.

Before the talks started, both the Obama Administration and the U.N. Security Council, along with a 2013 framework agreement demanded uranium enhancement be stopped, but the new deal "enshrines Iran’s right to enrich," insists Zuckerman. And further, in March, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi told state media that there would be "no question" of sending enriched uranium away to be returned as power plant fuel rods, despite the deal saying it would.

In addition, initial talks had called for cutbacks to Iran's centrifuges from 19,000 down to between 500 and 1,500, but the new agreement allows for 6,104, said Zuckerman. Also, Iran's foreign minister says advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium even faster, will go into place when the deal takes effect, Zuckerman writes.

And under the deal, the closure of nuclear sites at Fordow, Natanz, and Arak, which the United States has sought for years, won't happen, said Zuckerman, and U.S. negotiators have dropped demands that development of intercontinental ballistic missiles be stopped.

The duration and enforcement of the deal is also in question. Initially it was to last 20 years, but now it would last 10-15, said Zuckerman. Also, he points out that Iran has already been violating international agreements, and Iranian leaders are insisting that on-demand inspections won't be allowed.

The deal also gives Iran relief from sanctions, with Obama saying they could be snapped back if violations occur. But with Iran's allies being countries such as China and Russia, Zuckerman said, "it will be nearly impossible to reimpose today's sanctions" if a violation is discovered.

"So here we are at the end of the rainbow, seemingly willing to concede nuclear capacity to Iran, a country we consider a principal threat," said Zuckerman. "No wonder Saudi Arabia and Egypt are insisting on developing equivalent nuclear capabilities. America’s traditional allies have concluded that the U.S. has traded temporary cooperation from Iran for acquiescence to its ultimate hegemony."

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President Barack Obama is "chasing rainbows" in his negotiations with Iran over is nuclear capabilities, billionaire real estate investor Mort Zuckerman, who owns the New York Daily News and U.S. News and World Report, writes...
zuckerman, obama, iran, rainbows
Saturday, 25 April 2015 11:33 AM
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