As we go to press, the Obama administration seems to be hurtling towards a bad deal with Iran. The administration will claim the agreement freezes and indeed sets back the Iranian nuclear program. But even the New York Times acknowledges that “only some elements are frozen, and rollbacks in the initial agreement are relatively minor” and can be easily reversed. Furthermore, the “deal” would mean the United States would retreat from its previous clear red line—one embodied in repeated U.N. Security Council resolutions—of requiring that Iran stop enrichment. It would allow Iran to move ever closer to nuclear weapons while getting significant sanctions relief. Some deal! In truth, it’s not a deal in the usual meaning of the term. It’s an accommodation. It’s a way for the Obama administration to avoid confronting Iran, and to buy time to acclimate the world to accepting a nuclear Iran.
What will the Obama administration’s leading lights say when this becomes obvious? When he sees his grand diplomatic achievement crumbling around him, will Secretary of State John Kerry join his counterpart, Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius, in sighing and exclaiming with pithy eloquence, “Uh-oh”? Will President Barack Obama offer the same apology to the Israelis that he has to Americans who held insurance policies they liked: “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me”? As the implementation of the Iran agreement goes the way of the implementation of Obamacare, will his reaction be to say, “We’re going to have to, obviously, re-market and re-brand”?