U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in needing to provide some damage control on the loosening of U.S. sanctions on Iran, decided that the best course of action would be to blame the Bush administration. Kerry defended the Geneva agreement on Iran’s nuclear program on the ABC News show This week.
“In 2003, Iran made an offer to the Bush administration, that they would, in fact, do major things with respect to their program. They had 164 centrifuges. Nobody took–nothing has happened. Therefore here we are in 2013, they have 19,000 centrifuges, and they’re closer to a weapon. You cannot sit there and pretend that you’re just going to get the thing you want while they continue to move towards the program that they’ve been chasing,” claimed Kerry on This Week.
Kerry’s response to criticism surrounding Obama’s lackluster deal with the Iranian government overlooks the fact that Iran cannot be trusted to abide by international agreements. Almost any offer that Iran has ever made regarding its nuclear capabilities has been broken.
The only incentive that has consistently worked against Iran has been the threat of overt military force. For example, the 2003 invasion of Iraq saw the direct curtailing of nuclear research and proliferation in Iran.
Kerry’s claim that the Bush administration did nothing to deal with the prospect of a nuclear Iran, and even stood by as more and more centrifuges were built, is abjectly false. The Bush administration pushed for U.N. Security Council resolutions that banned the enrichment of nuclear materials inside of Iran.
Joel Pollak of Breitbart notes that, “That [increased U.N. resolutions] set the stage for the increased international sanctions on Iran. For which the Obama administration takes credit but which it has tried to slow down ever since taking office.”
Many see the Obama administration’s deal with Iran as a complete foreign policy failure. Kerry sees things a completely different way though. Somehow, the U.S. is on the losing end of sanctions talks with Iran because Bush let the state of the Middle East devolve to this point.
The United States, and more importantly, Israel, is on the losing end of the Geneva agreement.
The United States will provide $6 to $7 billion in sanction relief to Iran in exchange for a promise from Iran to freeze some aspects its nuclear program and for the removal of uranium enriched to 20% purity out of Iran. Essentially, Iran is having sanctions removed because it promises to do things it most likely will not do.
“Israel cannot participate in the international celebration, which is based on Iranian deception and the world self-delusion,” stated Yuval Steinitz, minister of strategic and intelligence affairs responsible for international relations of Israel. Steinitz provides a reasonable response to the announcement of new agreements between Iran and the U.S., as it is questionable whether or not Iran can be trusted.
Even if Kerry does not actually believe that Iran will uphold its end of the bargain, he somehow believes that this bargain is Bush’s fault. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to most people following the Obama presidency. If there is one thing the Obama administration is good at, it’s playing the blame game.