Obama Iran Nuclear Negotiations

Peace won. War lost. It’s as simple as that. Make no mistake, the framework agreement that was announced yesterday is nothing short of historic. A cycle of escalation has been broken – for the first time, Iran’s nuclear program will roll back, as will the sanctions Iran has been subjected too.

In 2003, as I describe in Treacherous Alliance – the Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran and the US, Iran only had 164 centrifuges. It offered to negotiate with the United States, and, but the George Bush administration refused. “We don’t talk to evil,” Vice President Dick Cheney quipped in response to the negotiation offer. Instead, the Bush administration resorted to threats of war and sanctions.

Iran, in turn, expanded its program. By 2005, it had 3,000 centrifuges. Again, it sought negotiations and offered to stop expanding its nuclear program. Again, the United States refused.

By the time President Barack Obama came to power, the Iranians were operating around 8,000 centrifuges. After his initial, limited attempt at diplomacy failed , Obama embarked on what was called the pressure track – sanctions. As the United States ramped up unprecedented sanctions, Iran accelerated its nuclear activities. By end of 2013, Iran had 22,000 centrifuges. It had a large stockpile of both low and medium enriched uranium. It had mastered the fuel cycle. It was closer to a breakout capability than ever before.