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By Jay B Gaskill


Today AP exclusively reveals heretofore secret details of the Obama-Iran atomic bomb program “negotiations” with the Islamic Republic of Iran.


I must quote Charlie Brown: “Oh good grief!”


Under the deal, it appears that Iran will keep 6,000 centrifuges and the most punishing sanctions will be lifted. No intrusive inspections will be allowed by the regime.  And Iran gets to keep its missile program. 


Details will follow, but I am reminded of a quip from my closest friend in the practice – this was during my “life of crime days” as an urban public defender. This was the era when dark humor was a lifeboat to those of us who toiled in a toxic moral environment. The topic of the morning was the prospect of plea bargain in a death penalty multiple murder case with a hard-nosed prosecutor and a client whose very visage would chill the heart of any juror. This was the era when electrocution was the still method of execution in California. With his trademark irony, Hal, my friend and colleague, noted that the electric chair used about 2,300 volts.


Maybe we could deal it to 1,900 volts.” Such a deal.


Talk about bargaining from a position of weakness. Leading up to the administration’s relaxation of the crippling sanctions that prompted the talks in the first place, Iran agreed to dilute half of its stock of 20% enriched uranium.  No one  is talking, but what happened to the other half? The enrichment time starting from 20% (well above the 5% needed for a peaceful power plant) to the 90% enrichment needed for an atomic bomb is almost an order of magnitude shorter that it takes to fuel a bomb from raw uranium. Here is the last line from the AP story: “Iran already can produce the equivalent of one weapon’s worth of enriched uranium with the centrifuges it now runs. However, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, spoke of eventually operating enough centrifuges to produce what 190,000 of its current models churn out.”


But we should not be bargaining from a position of weakness. The sanctions had Iran on the ropes before Mr. Obama relaxed them. And we have the military capability, using mostly air power, to destroy and degrade all of the uranium enrichment sites in Iran.  Not only has this administration refused to even entertain doing this, Mr. Obama has made it clear that we will not lend or sell the bunker-busting technology to Israel, nor even offer basic logistic and intelligence support if or when that tiny country, her back to the wall, decides to try to degrade Iran’s nuclear bomb capability before it is too late.


And here’s the irony: Saudi Arabia and Jordan, appalled by our president’s naiveté, weakness and irresolution, will support the Israelis on this.

I fondly remember a time when democrats, thinking of Harry Truman and Henry Scoop Jackson were tougher on foreign policy, national security and defending Israel from another holocaust, than the republicans. JFK was a hawk. This president … is clearly cut from softer cloth.


My readers are aware of the rest of the story.  If you are new, please read my two most recent articles, Tick Tick Tisk { }, and Waiting for Moderate Iran { }.


Years ago when the Israeli homeland was under missile attack by the client terrorists of Iran, I wrote, Pray for peace, but first pray for Israel { }.  Little has changed since then except the threat from Iran has reached the point where only the hard-nosed realists among us can prevent a holocaust.




A license to link to this article or to publish pull quotes from it (with full attribution) is hereby granted. For all other permissions and comments, please contact the author via email at The author served as the chief Public Defender for the County of Alameda, CA, headquartered in Oakland for 10 years, following a long career as an Assistant Public Defender. Then, Gaskill left his “life of crime” to devote more time to writing.  Learn more about Jay B Gaskill, attorney, analyst and author, at




More from the referenced AP Article


AP Exclusive: Iran limited to 6K centrifuges in draft accord



Mar. 19, 2015 11:42 AM EDT


LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A draft nuclear accord now being negotiated between the United States … offering the Iranians immediate relief from sanctions that have crippled their economy, officials told The Associated Press on Thursday. As an added enticement, elements of a U.N. arms embargo against Iran could be rolled back.


Officials said the tentative deal imposes new limits on the number of centrifuges Iran can operate to enrich uranium, a process that can lead to nuclear weapons-grade material.


The sides are zeroing in on a cap of 6,000 centrifuges, officials said, down from the 6,500 they spoke of in recent weeks. That’s also less than the 10,000 such machines Tehran now runs, yet substantially more than the 500 to 1,500 that Washington originally wanted as a ceiling. Only a year ago, U.S. officials floated 4,000 as a possible compromise.


… Washington believes it can extend the time Tehran would need to produce a nuclear weapon to at least a year for the 10 years it is under the moratorium. Right now, Iran would require only two to three months to amass enough material if it covertly seeks to “break out” toward the bomb.


It’s unclear how complete the draft agreement is. Iran’s deeply buried underground enrichment plant remains a problem, officials said, with Washington demanding the facility be repurposed and Tehran insisting it be able to run hundreds of centrifuges there. Iran says it wants to use the machines for scientific research; the Americans fear they could be quickly retooled for enrichment.


Iran already can produce the equivalent of one weapon’s worth of enriched uranium with the centrifuges it now runs. However, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, spoke of eventually operating enough centrifuges to produce what 190,000 of its current models churn out.



Copyright © 2015 Associated Press, Inc.



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