The Obama administration’s…naiveté…would be cute if it weren’t so dangerous.
Against the backdrop of an Institute for Science and International Security report acknowledging that Iran is within weeks, not months, of being able to produce enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear bomb, and Israel’s repeat of their widespread statement that they cannot allow Iran to get nuclear weapons—Israel’s own existence depends on it—the Obama administration
is asking Congress to hold off on enacting new sanctions against Iran, arguing that a pause in the push to impose new penalties would give negotiators flexibility in talks now underway to get Iran to comply with demands it prove its nuclear program is peaceful.
No, that would simply play into Iran’s standard use of “negotiations” to stall and to gain time. It’s a major contributor to the progress the Iranians already have made toward getting nuclear weapons.
More to the point, this request for retreat lessens our flexibility. What this would do would be to leave us, after the talks have failed, in the position of threatening to increase sanctions if the Iranians don’t comply. The much stronger position—and strength is the only place from which flexibility can come—is to be able to offer to ease sanctions, to offer to not take military action, on concrete evidence of actual compliance.