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US President Barack Obama speaks on the negotiations with Iran.

{Originally posted to author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah}

The destruction of Israel is nonnegotiable. Commander of Iran’s Basij force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi has said that ‘erasing Israel off the map is nonnegotiable.’ He also said, ‘Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region…’


That echoes similar statements made by Ali Hosseini Khamenei – the second and current Supreme Leader of Iran and a Shia cleric. This is an unconscionable statement to anyone who has the slightest inkling of what threatening the annihilation of large swaths of world Jewry means. And it has been the policy of this Shia Muslim nation since the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979. Let us recall that under the Shah Israel and Iran actually had diplomatic relations. Israel had an embassy there and El Al scheduled regular flights to and from Iran. The Jews of Iran flourished at the time… and had done so for centuries. Iran was also one of the closest allies the United States had in that region. . That all ended with the revolution.

Religious fanatics took control, made hostages out of American Embassy personnel,and has been shouting Death to America ever since. As recently as a few days ago. Instead of having diplomatic relations with the Jewish State, their religious leaders have declared it a virtual religious obligation to wipe it off the map. And they have done everything they could to try and make that happen. It is Iran that supplies Hamas and Hezbollah with the rockets they use to shoot indiscriminately into the Jewish State.

Iran not only hates the ‘Little Satan’, Israel, – they hate the ‘Great Satan’, the US too. And just as desirous of its destruction. That’s what shouting, ‘Death to America’ means. Besides spreading terror, all over the world they are also spreading their influence wherever they see an opening. As they recently have in Yemen supporting the Houthi rebels – Shia Muslims that overthrew Yemen’s weak Sunni government. They will no doubt use Yemen as a base for operations against the Sunni led governments of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States. And that’s why they are fighting Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. Islamic State is Sunni.

This is the government that the US is making deals with.

I bring all of this up in light of the framework agreement reached last Friday between the United States and Iran. A deal that is so bad that the US congress is currently trying to pass a bill that will prevent the President from doing it. A bill that may actually be veto proof . (The President has already said he would veto it.) According to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Bob Corker, there are at least 65 senators committed to passing it. 67 are needed to over-ride a Presidential veto.

Not a single centrifuge will be dismantled. After a 10 or 15 year period Iran will be able pick up where they left off and enrich uranium to weapons grade level. That should be a grave concern for everyone. It is certainly of grave concern to other Muslim Gulf States. In what has to be the first time in the history of the Middle East – both Israel and Saudi Arabia are on the same side of an issue. That’s because they both have the most to lose by allowing Iran an eventual path to build the bomb. For which they already have missiles to attack regionally. They are also in the process of developing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that can reach the Great Satan. And this deal allows them to do it.

What Iran has actually agreed to depends on whose narrative you listen to. Sanctions will be removed immediately according to Iran – gradually according to the US. Iran is claiming that all of their nuclear facilities will remain intact. They will. The ‘Heavy Water’ reactor in Arak which converts plutonium to weapons grade uranium will be ‘modernized’ according to Iran and converted to peaceful purposes according to the US.

The inspections program will not allow spot checking. Even if the inspections regime were to be successful – in 10 or 15 years the infrastructure will be still be in place to build the bomb.

This is an terrible deal for the US to accept. The Obama administration is too eager to get a deal and has given up far too much without Iran giving up much at all. Which is why Iran has exploded in celebration.

For argument’s sake, let us say that this will delay a nuclear bomb from appearing for 15 years. Left unaddressed is that Iran will continue as a terror spreading nation as before. There is no provision stopping it. Giving Iran the means to spread terror – an Iran whose goal is to destroy a nation of 6 million Jews – and that has been screaming death to America since 1979 is mindbogglingly stupid. The US and the major world powers involved in those negotiations are doing exactly what Neville Chamberlain did. And no I am absolutely not comparing the two. But the lessons of appeasement seem not to have been learned.

Chamberlain was so desperate to make a deal with Hitler that he believed him when he said that all he wanted was a piece of Czechoslovakia claiming it was rightfully German territory. Hitler promised him that he would not go to war if he got that.

History is replete with dictators making promises that they don’t keep. Recall the negotiations the Clinton administration made with North Korea. They touted it as a major foreign policy success – preventing a rogue nation from acquiring a nuclear weapon. We all know how that ended up. That’s right. Korea reneged on their promise and now has nuclear weapons.

Imagine if what we know now about Hitler’s genocidal intention to annihilate the Jews of Europe – was known then. Would any sane leader have tried to negotiate a deal with him of any kind? Let alone allow him even the remotest capacity of building a bomb? Imagine what would have happened in WWII had Hitler built a bomb. Does anyone seriously think he wouldn’t have used it to further his cherished goals? And Hitler wasn’t even a religious fanatic who believed he was doing it for God which always ups the ante.

What we didn’t know about Hitler’s intentions in pre WWII Europe, we now know about present day Iran. They keep trumpeting their intentions of wiping Israel off the map and wishing death to America. Had the US made Iran’s recognition of Israel part of the deal, Iran would never have agreed. And yet the Obama administration is so wedded to the notion a deal that they are willfully ignoring that.

The sanctions against Iran were crippling. This is what brought them to the table. But instead of increasing the sanctions they started letting them up. If the deal is eventually consummated (and that is far from clear right now) – those sanctions will be removed pretty quickly giving Iran billions of dollars to further their terrorist ends.

The President keeps saying that this is a good deal – and is challenging those who oppose it to come up with a better alternative. He doesn’t think there is one. But he is plumb wrong. As Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said, a better deal can be reached.

No one, not even Netanyahu wants to go to war with Iran (although that option has not been removed from the table even by the US). If those crippling sanctions brought Iran to the table, then they should have been increased until Iran agreed to the nonnegotiable terms of destroying all of its entire nuclear program. Iran should be brought their knees, not just to the bargaining table.

For those who think that Iran would never give up that program, the same thing was said about Syria’s dictator Bashar Assad. No one believed he would ever agree to give up Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons. But after the international community applied enough pressure, he agreed. Syria’s chemical weapons were removed under international supervision. Iran could be pressured to do the same with its nuclear program.

But instead the sanctions will be lifted and Iran will be able use the billions of dollars of sanctions relief towards spreading even more terror and influence. All while leaving their uranium enrichment facilities intact. And that will no doubt encourage the Gulf states to pursue their own nuclear weapons program. Can anyone imagine a worse scenario than an unstable Middle East riddled with nuclear weapons?

This is a bad deal which should be rejected by congress and the American people. The international community ought to step away from it and apply more sanctions until Iran is so desperate to remove them that they will agree to our terms. Anything less than that is foolhardy. And in light of their spreading terrorism all over the world – immoral. Lest someone think that Iran will never give up its nuclear program and will eventually go to war with the nations if the sanctions become too unbearable, let them try.

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Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at [email protected].