Ayatollah Khameini, Iran' Supreme Leader, was quoted last week while his negotiators were trying to broker a deal with John Kerry, EU leaders and China to relax sanctions as follows: "Zionist officials cannot be called human, they are like animals, some of them....The Israeli regime is doomed to failure and annihilation." He referred to the regime as the "rabid dog of the region". It's pretty reasonable to conclude that any agreement to which this lunatic concurs is implicitly bad for the party on the table's other side.
Leaders of the West, particularly Barack Obama, have stated that any relaxation of sanctions would have to be accompanied by a process by which Iran would be required to dismantle its enrichment infrastructure and ship near-weapons grade uranium to outside partners for storage/destruction. but none of that has happened here. Instead, we are treated to reports of the benefits of a six month agreement that doesn't require Iran to stop construction of centrifuges and doesn't require Iran to open up all suspected nuclear sites for inspection.
Why the sudden rush to head to Geneva in the middle of the night to conclude such a short term agreement? Why do the Chinese and Russians seem so anxious to get this thing approved and, all of a sudden, are so supportive of John Kerry's efforts? The obvious answer is because once there is agreement to relax sanctions - under whatever circumstances - there is no chance that those sanctions will be reimposed under any circumstances. The Chinese and Russians will invent unending rationale to explain why some conditions might have been breached or that these requirements were not clearly defined in the agreement, etc. For all intents and purposes, the economic sanctions against Iran have ended and the country has emerged as a member of the nuclear club.
We have seen ample evidence that when America creates a power vacuum that space is quickly
occupied by China or Russia. Egypt in the case of the former and Syria the latter. The Russians have
played an essential role in Iran's quest for nuclear power and the Chinese have been happy to buy their oil, even in the face of international sanctions. It is equally reasonable to conclude, given the Russians' support for Iran and Assad, that as Iran's influence grows, so does Russia's. With the American departure in Iraq and the growing influence of the Shi'a, and the looming departure from Afghanistan, it is likely that the Russians will have an influence in the region that their years in Afghanistan could not secure. All of this alarms the Sunni world enormously, increases Saudi interest to join the nuclear club (which Pakistan joined with Saudi financing), and fundamentally undermines the interests of the US which is perceived as weakened and crippled by domestic dispute.
Bibi Netanyahu as usual does not shrink from controversy and calls 'em like he sees 'em. He characterizes this interim deal as a "historic mistake" which, in my humble view, only adds to the litany already accomplished by the Obama administration. After the Ayatollah made the statements I referenced earlier, Bibi said, "The public responded to him with calls of 'Death to America! Death to Israel!' Doesn't this sound familiar to you? This is the real Iran. We are not confused." Nor should we be.