Tags: America's Forum | Exclusive Interviews | Iran | Israel | Middle East | War on Terrorism | Eric Edelman

Ex-Amb. to Turkey: Obama 'Roped Off' Iran's Bad Behavior

By    |   Friday, 03 April 2015 11:49 AM

The Obama administration's decision to give Iran a pass on taking ownership of its long-standing practice of sponsoring terrorism as part of the proposed nuclear deal is yet another example of how Washington has capitulated to Tehran, Eric Edelman, former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, said Friday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

"The administration has roped off this deal from other elements of Iran's behavior, including its threats against Israel, repeated within even the last few days," said Edelman. "They've always tried to fence the negotiations on the nuclear deal off from these other elements."

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"They have dumbed down the criteria that they've been using to judge the deal. They initially said they wanted to stop Iran from having a nuclear weapons capability. Now, they're saying they want to keep them from being able to have a nuclear weapon within 12 months. It's a very different standard."

The deal reflects "a number of contradictions in the administration's approach to this issue," he added, such as that the only options are this deal or war.

The accord has caused "a lot of anxiety" in the region, according to Edelman, who said that in addition to Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, and other Sunni Muslim allies have cause for concern.

Turkey has adopted a watch-and-wait posture about Iran's nuclear developments, he said, although if Iran begins to "move closer to a nuclear weapon, it will be very troublesome to Turkey, and Turkey, like other countries in the region, is hedging its bet by pursuing civilian nuclear energy."

"Doing so would give it a basis for getting out of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) if they ever decided to do so and if they start to get a nuclear arms race in the region," he said.

One of the agreement's major flaws, according to Edelman, is that "through a series of concessions by the U.S." it provides an "international ratification for Iran essentially becoming a nuclear threshold state."

"It might delay the point in which they could develop a nuclear weapon, but it allows them to maintain the infrastructure and engage in research and development if they decide to do so," he said.

Iran has used to its advantage the knowledge that "the Obama administration is desperate for a legacy-enhancing nuclear deal at almost any cost," Edelman said.

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The Obama administration's decision to give Iran a pass on taking ownership of its long-standing practice of sponsoring terrorism as part of the proposed nuclear deal is yet another example of how Washington has capitulated to Tehran, Eric Edelman, former . . .
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Friday, 03 April 2015 11:49 AM
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