Dear Friend of Israel:
I'm no fan of Donald Trump, but I can't help but be lured by his incessant criticism of President Obama for being a poor negotiator—and paying this jab off
at every turn by extolling his own (of course) "legendary" negotiating skills.
As the Iran nuclear negotiations grind to what will likely be a disastrous conclusion, I can't help but wish "the Donald"—or anyone with an above-average track record—were heading up John Kerry's Iran negotiating team.
In any case, it's time to brace ourselves: Any minute now the Obama administration will unveil Kerry's deal with Iran. While we've long predicted a terrible deal, fair is fair: Let's read it first.
However, from publication of the preliminary understanding published in April to revelations leaking out just this past weekend, we know enough to fear the
worst. The deal already abandons President Obama's sworn pledge to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear arms. Apparently the latest giveaway—in a long string
granted by Kerry & Co.—is our former red-line imperative for "anytime, anywhere" inspections of Iran's nuclear and military installations.
Above all, the minute the deal is revealed we've got to be ready to analyze it and respond. Congress will have 60 days to evaluate and get feedback from
us—pro-Israel activists—and the rest of the American public on the deal. We'll have to know what we're talking about, and we'll have to raise an unprecedented hue and cry.
For make no mistake: This Iran Deal is the most important foreign policy initiative of this century—for the U.S., for Israel, for our Middle East allies
and for the entire world. If it's a bad deal, Congress has to have the guts and the support from voters to kill it. That's where we come in.
To prepare you for this mission, this week's FLAME Hotline puts two resources in your hands: First, the article reprinted below by pro-Israel
commentator Charles Krauthammer outlines the alarming concessions already granted by Mr. Obama's negotiators.
Second, in the P.S. to this letter, just below, you'll find a link to one of FLAME's most recent editorial ads, which has appeared in media nationwide,
outlining the seven most critical criteria that must be met in the Iran Deal to make it acceptable.
These two documents will help you compose your opinions on the deal—which I strongly urge you to deliver to your U.S. Representative and Senators.
In short, this Iran Deal bears the likely possibility of empowering with nuclear weapons a terror state that vows to "annihilate Israel" and whose Supreme
Leader routinely leads his people in chants of "Death to America." Please take just five minutes to review these two resources. Then get ready to act.
Thanks for your support of FLAME and of Israel!
Vice President, Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)
The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history
By Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, July 2, 2015
The devil is not in the details. It's in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama's fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could
achieve detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and
In pursuit of his desire to make the Islamic Republic into an accepted, normalized "successful regional power," Obama decided to take over the nuclear
negotiations. At the time,
Tehran was reeling—the rial plunging, inflation skyrocketing, the economy contracting—under a regime of international sanctions painstakingly constructed over a decade.
Then, instead of welcoming Congress' attempt to tighten sanctions
to increase the pressure on the mullahs, Obama began the negotiations by
loosening sanctions, injecting billions into the Iranian economy (which
began growing again in 2014) and conceding in advance an Iranian right to enrich uranium.
It's been downhill ever since. Desperate for a legacy deal, Obama has played the supplicant, abandoning every red line his administration had declared
essential to any acceptable deal.
They were to be anywhere, anytime, unimpeded. Now? Total cave. Unfettered access has become "managed access." Nuclear inspectors will have to negotiate and receive Iranian approval for inspections. Which allows them denial and/or crucial delay for concealing any
To give a flavor of the degree of our capitulation, the administration played Iran's lawyer on this one, explaining that, after all, "the United States of America wouldn't allow anybody to get into every military site, so that's not appropriate." Apart from the absurdity of morally
equating America with the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism, if we were going to parrot the Iranian position, why wait 19 months to do so - after
repeatedly insisting on free access as essential to any inspection regime?
Coming clean on past nuclear activity.
current interim agreement
that governed the past 19 months of negotiation required Iran to do exactly that. Tehran has offered nothing. The administration had insisted that this
accounting was essential because how can you verify future illegal advances in Iran's nuclear program if you have no baseline?
After continually demanding access to their scientists, plans and weaponization facilities, Secretary of State John Kerry two weeks ago
airily dismissed the need, saying he is focused on the future, "not fixated" on the past. And that we have "absolute knowledge" of the Iranian program anyway—a whopper that his
staffers had to spend days walking back.
Not to worry, we are told. The accounting will be done after the final deal is signed. Which is ridiculous. If the Iranians haven't budged on disclosing
previous work under the current sanctions regime, by what logic will they comply after sanctions are lifted?
These were to be gradual and staged as the International Atomic Energy Agency certified Iranian compliance over time. Now we're going to be
releasing up to $150 billion
as an upfront signing bonus. That's
25 times the annual budget
of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Enough to fuel a generation of intensified Iranian aggression from Yemen to Lebanon to Bahrain.
Yet three months ago,
Obama expressed nonchalance
about immediate sanctions relief. It's not the issue, he said. The real issue is "snap-back" sanctions to be reimposed if Iran is found in violation.
Good grief. Iran won't be found in violation. The inspection regime is laughable and the bureaucratic procedures endless. Moreover, does anyone imagine
that Russia and China will reimpose sanctions? Or that the myriad European businesses preparing to join the Iranian gold rush the day the deal is signed
will simply turn around and go home?
The administration insisted that the nuclear talks
would not affect separate sanctions
imposed because of Iranian aggression and terrorism. That was then. The administration is now leaking that everything will be lifted.
Taken together, the catalog of capitulations is breathtaking: spot inspections, disclosure of previous nuclear activity, gradual sanctions relief,
retention of nonnuclear sanctions.
What's left? A surrender document of the kind offered by defeated nations suing for peace. Consider: The strongest military and economic power on earth,
backed by the five other major powers, armed with what had been a crushing sanctions regime, is about to sign the worst international agreement in U.S.
How did it come to this?
With every concession, Obama and Kerry made clear they were desperate for a deal.
And they will get it. Obama will get his "legacy." Kerry will get his Nobel. And Iran will get the bomb.