If all the reports and leaks are accurate, the typical Obama Administration round of secret negotiations with the Iranians will result on March 24th with a triumphant announcement that a deal has been reached between the six powers and Iran.  The terms will be that there will be changes in the Iranian processes to reach nuclear threshold that will delay that by about one year.  Greater access will be granted to IAEA investigators to verify that.  Also, IRAN WILL AGREE TO JOIN IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE ISLAMIC STATE!  First of all, Iran is already hyper-active in the whole area from the Iranian border with Iraq to the Mediterranean, passing through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, as indicated by the death of a high-ranking Quds Force general in an Israeli air attack on a Hezbollah convoy in the Golan.  Secondly the whole concept is idiotic, because it is the equivalent of inviting the fox into the chicken coop to help protect the chickens.
     In return, the sanctions regime will be dismantled.
     it is difficult to believe that this, if the reports are correct, is anything but a bad joke. If any such agreement is announced it will face a firestorm from the U.S. Congress and Israel among others.
     The Administration has already admitted that it has not kept Israel or Congress informed of the meetings leading up to March 24th, which should remind us of the five meetings in Oman between Iran and the Administration prior to the original five plus one meeting in November 2013 which led tro the interminable talks and delays which the sanctions regime was substantially weakened  and the centrifuges kept spinning.
     Obama is desperate for a foreign-policy “triumph” to change the perception that his foreign policy up to now has been an unmitigated disaster.  If this “deal” is announced, it will have the opposite effect, even if China, Russia, Great Britain, France and Germany agree.  In the case of the first two, this is a sure thing, but one or more of the European powers may balk.  It should be remembered that France walked out of the first meeting in November, 2013, declaring what the Administration had agreed with Iran was a “fool’s agreement”.  So much more so this time.
     With all the bad publicity, which could be expected to culminate with the Israeli prime minister’s speech to Congress in early March, it is conceivable that even this Administration will pull back and simply suggest a further extension of the deadline for agreement.

Norman A. Bailey

Norman A Bailey is the author of numerous books and articles and recipient of several honorary degrees, medals and awards and two orders of knighthood. He also teaches economic statecraft at The Institute of World Politics and has experience on the staff of the National Security Council at the White House, in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and in business, consulting and finance. He is professor emeritus in the National Security Studies Center, University of Haifa, and a columnist...

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