Negotiations with Iran Are Reaching the Point of No Return

If the U.S. signs an agreement with Iran, argues Max Boot, the damage done will be irreversible, even by a Republican president disposed to “tear up the treaty”:

Iran, as its leaders have made clear, is expecting an immediate payoff from signing the [nuclear] accords—a payoff that President Obama has vowed to deliver. If leaks are accurate, the President is offering Iran a $50 billion “signing bonus” by offering to unfreeze a large portion of the Iranian oil funds held overseas. . . . While President Obama cannot formally repeal all U.S. sanctions without legislative action, he can suspend most of them, and our allies will eagerly follow suit.

President Obama assures us that if Iran is caught cheating, the sanctions will “snap back,” but it’s impossible to imagine this president ever admitting that his signature achievement—a nuclear accord with Iran—has unraveled. [And even if a subsequent president were to] decide to put all of the U.S. sanctions back into place, . . . Iran could then sprint ahead with a nuclear breakout and lay the blame on the U.S. in the court of international public opinion. In any case, the next president would not be able to reapply the multilateral sanctions that have been the most important element in applying pressure to Iran. . . .

The U.S. would then get the worst of both worlds: Iran already would have been enriched by hundreds of billions of dollars of sanctions relief—and it would be well on its way to fielding nuclear weapons with de-facto permission from the international community. . . .

That makes it all the more imperative to stop a bad agreement now—not two years from now.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Barack Obama, Iran nuclear program, Politics & Current Affairs, Republicans, U.S. Foreign policy

An Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Violate International Law

 The IDF announced on Thursday that it is safe for residents to return to some of the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip that have been abandoned since October 7. Yet on the same day, rocket sirens sounded in one of those communities, Kibbutz Mefalsim. To help ensure security in the area, Israel is considering the creation of a buffer zone within the Strip that would be closed to Palestinian civilians and buildings. The U.S. has indicated, however, that it would not look favorably on such a step.

Avraham Shalev explains why it’s necessary:

The creation of a security buffer along the Gaza-Israel border serves the purpose of destroying Hamas’s infrastructure and eliminating the threat to Israel. . . . Some Palestinian structures are practically on the border, and only several hundred yards away from Israeli communities such as Kfar Aza, Kerem Shalom, and Sderot. The Palestinian terrorists that carried out the murderous October 7 attacks crossed into Israel from many of these border-adjacent areas. Hamas officials have already vowed that “we will do this again and again. The al-Aqsa Flood [the October 7th massacre] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”

In 2018 and 2019, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized mass marches towards the Israeli border with the goal of breaking into Israel. Billed by Palestinians as “the Great March of Return,” its name reveals its purpose—invasion. Although the marches were supposedly non-violent, they featured largescale attacks on Israeli forces as well as arson and damage to Israeli agriculture and civilian communities. Moreover, the October 7 massacre was made possible by Hamas’s prepositioning military hardware along the border under false cover of civilian activity. The security perimeter is intended to prevent a reprise of these events.

Shalev goes on to dismantle the arguments put forth about why international law prohibits Israel from creating the buffer zone. He notes:

By way of comparison, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, France occupied the Saar [River Valley] directly until 1947 and then indirectly until reintegration with Germany in 1957, and the Allied occupation of Berlin continued until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Allies maintained their occupation long after the fall of the Nazi regime, due to the threat of Soviet invasion and conquest of West Berlin, and by extension Western Europe.

Read more at Kohelet

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, International Law, Israeli Security