What began as talks by an international coalition to deny Iran a military nuclear option has devolved to the Obama administration negotiating with Tehran to limit its nuclear stash, an approach that "will be to move from preventing proliferation to managing it," former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
In an editorial on Kissinger’s Jan. 29 remarks to the Senate, The Wall Street Journal points out that "the dean of American strategists who negotiated nuclear pacts with the Soviets in the 1970s," who "always speaks with care not to undermine a U.S. administration" — has voiced grave concerns about the Obama administration’s anemic negotiations with Iran.
"[Kissinger] is clearly worried about how far the U.S. has moved from its original negotiating position that Iran cannot enrich uranium or maintain thousands of centrifuges," according to Journal.
"And he is concerned that these concessions will lead the world to perceive that such a deal would put Iran on the cusp of being a nuclear power."
Talks have been ongoing since an interim accord was reached in November 2013.
Even if the world believes Iran’s nuclear sites have undergone valid inspections and all of its capabilities are known, it will forever alter the region, Kissinger said.
"If the other countries in the region conclude that America has approved the development of an enrichment capability within one year of a nuclear weapon, and if they then insist on building the same capability, we will live in a proliferated world in which everybody — even if that agreement is maintained — will be very close to the trigger point," he said.
According to the Journal, by allowing Iran to have nukes, "the Obama administration may be underwriting a new era of global nuclear proliferation."
Saudi Arabia could buy a bomb from Pakistan, according to the Journal, and Turkey, who "won’t sit by and let Shiite Iran dominate the region," would surely become nuclear. Add in Egypt, "which has long viewed itself as the leading Arab state; and perhaps one or more of the Gulf emirates, which may not trust the Saudis.
"That’s in addition to Israel, which is assumed to have had a bomb for many years without posing a regional threat."
Kissinger’s sage concerns and the newspaper’s certitude that President Barack Obama is "so bent on an Iran deal that he will make almost any concession to get one," are further evidence that Congress needs to "vote on any agreement."
"This is a very different world than the one we have been living in since the dawn of the nuclear age," the Journal said. "A world with multiple nuclear states, including some with revolutionary religious impulses or hegemonic ambitions, is a very dangerous place.
"A proliferated world would limit the credibility of U.S. deterrence on behalf of allies. It would also imperil U.S. forces and even the homeland via ballistic missiles that Iran
is developing but are not part of the U.S.-Iran talks."