- - Tuesday, July 26, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Barack Obama may be the last man in America who actually trusts the holy men in Iran, and a secret codicil, or amendment, he made to his infamous nuclear agreement with them reveals just what happens when a president has no understanding of “the art of the deal,” or the people he makes deals with.

On the first anniversary of the signing of the agreement, Mr. Obama repeated his claim that the deal he made succeeded in “avoiding further conflict and making us safer.” The president refused to make the deal a treaty, which would have included Congress in the making of it. Almost everything the administration said about the deal is turning out to be false.

The agreement was signed by five countries that joined the United States in trying to keep the mullahs from building a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it. By Mr. Obama’s leave, the mullahs can proceed with various aspects of their bomb-making in a much shorter time than was originally claimed. Iran can begin to replace its crucial and necessary centrifuges to produce fissionable material in 2027, 11 years earlier than the date the president told the public he had established.

These new centrifuges could be up to five times more efficient than the 5,000 machines it is now permitted to use. That would permit Tehran to produce nuclear fuel at twice the current rate. The mullahs and their scientists could produce a weapon in six months, not the earlier estimate of a year as needed for the “break out.”

The U.N. Atomic Energy Agency insists that Tehran is living up to the agreement so far, but this is the same U.N. agency that failed earlier to make an accurate assessment. The clandestine activity at the Iranian installations was reported by Iranian exiles in Iraq and only then confirmed by the U.N. Atomic Energy Agency.



The document outlining the secret side agreement was obtained by The Associated Press, which says its authenticity has been confirmed by other well-informed sources. Congress passed legislation before its summer recess imposing new sanctions on Iran for continuing development and testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles, which was not forbidden by Mr. Obama’s agreement with the mullahs.

The sanctions would prohibit the purchase of so-called heavy water, a raw material used in the production of nuclear weapons. The White House has not said whether Mr. Obama will sign or veto the legislation.

The revelations follow the release by the administration of a 28-page document, part of the original congressional report on the 9/11 attacks, establishing the complicity of certain Saudi Arabian elements, perhaps including several officials of the Saudi government, in the planning of the attacks.

The White House has not explained why this document, formerly highly classified, was released now. But the release of it has added to the concern among America’s traditional Sunni allies in the region. The terrorist organization Hamas in Gaza, a creature of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood, and Hezbollah, a Shia terrorist organization, are now openly allied to the government in Tehran.

President Obama must reveal what his strategy, if any, may be in the Middle East. The most generous explanation is that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. The nation, and America’s allies in the West, are entitled to know that, too.

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