For years the Obama line was that sanctions were the answer to get Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program. Now even sanctions aren’t the answer. Instead sanctions might upset the delicate flower of Iranian diplomacy.
And Hanoi John, a veteran of unsuccessful appeasements of the Viet Cong and the Sandanistas, who embraced monsters like Assad, is an absolute expert at not offending the people trying to kill us.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry implored Congress on Thursday not to impose tough new sanctions on Iran, warning that such a move could disrupt diplomacy over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program at a delicate moment.
“There’s an enormous amount of jockeying going on, with the obvious normal tension between hard-liners and people who want to make an agreement,” he told committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). “We don’t need to spin this up at this point in time…. You need to leave us the window to try to work the diplomatic channel.”
Kerry’s mythical moderates have yet to step up to the plate. Ever. Iran has never negotiated in good faith. No more than North Korea has. Obama Inc’s search for moderate Iranian nukemen is as productive as its search for moderate Taliban has been.
If you believe Kerry, one more set of sanctions will throw away the chance for peace, but the existing sanctions are just right to ensure peace. You can see why Israel is speaking more loudly about a unilateral strike.
The House is weighing a bill that aims to further reduce Iranian oil sales and cut non-oil trade. Sen.Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.) is sponsoring a sanctions measure, and other senators are discussing additional legislation, Menendez said.
Menendez sounded unconvinced by Kerry’s plea, saying he sees the “diplomatic window increasingly closing” and fears that Iran is close to having a nuclear weapons capability.
“I am concerned that if they can manage the present set of circumstances over the next five months or so, then we will have a real challenge,” he said.
Kerry said the administration might be open to discussing sanctions later. He declined to go into more detail about his opposition to further sanctions, saying he could talk about the subject only behind closed doors.
So Congress has to secretly negotiate sanctions with Kerry who will then negotiate them with Iran. As Obama likes to say, all options are on the table for stopping Iran. Just not military options or sanction options. But the option to have Kerry beg the Iranians not to build a bomb is absolutely on the table.