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Thread: Geneva deal reached

  1. #136
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    So, what do you guys think of the framework deal?
    The better option is to keep sanctions on them indefinitely. That doesn't stop them from getting nukes, but Iran wouldn't ever open that genie with their whole economy in shambles. That'd bring way too much heat on them. But I don't think the Asian nations (India, China, etc) are going to go for that. Given that sanctions regimes are impossible to keep up forever, and you need to use your leverage to extract some sort of deal, this is probably the best you can hope for. You're limiting the Iranian production capacity and getting snap inspections essentially everywhere. You can bet your ass Iran is going to cheat, but as long as you can detect it before they get enough material to get a bomb, you're still in good shape.

    Military option isn't a useful option either. Can't kill all the scientists. Basically have to constantly bomb them and paralyze the whole country. I don't think Americans are going to sign up for a Forever Air War against Iran.

    Iran doesn't need to convince us, anyways. They need to convince their neighbors. They are the ones that say they'll get nukes if Iran gets nukes. The Mideast is primed for its own 30 Years War and Iran is severely outgunned.
    Last edited by GVChamp; 05 Apr 15, at 14:04.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  2. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    Any thoughts on the 'Daily Beast' report of Iran outsourcing its weapons grade manufacture to Nth Korea?
    NK's nukes are Pu based. Iran is going the U-235 design.
    Chimo

  3. #138
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    All we have is a joint statement since Thursday.

    And an iranian report of the above.

    We will now work to write the text of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action including its technical details in the coming weeks and months at the political and experts levels. We are committed to complete our efforts by June 30th.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 05 Apr 15, at 20:28.

  4. #139
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    NK's nukes are Pu based. Iran is going the U-235 design.
    Plus you're never getting a ship out of North Korea if anyone thinks it has enriched materials on board. Automatic search and seizure are allowed per UN sanctions, far as I know. Pretty sure the Chinese aren't going to allow any shipments through their borders either.

    "oh yeah, this trainload coming out of the heavy water reactor is fine quality North Korean bread. Nothing to see here."

    Plus, the breakout period for an Iranian nuke is a year. Less after 10 years. If Iran really needs nukes for some reason? They can get them relatively quick. No point "outsourcing" to North Korea.

    No, your real problem is that every Arab country is going to want the same deal as Iran. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan all have plans in the works for their own enrichment facilities and their own reactors. Now, every nation in the Middle East is going to be 12 months away from a bomb!

    Thirty Year's War. With nukes.

    Yay!

    EDIT: My Wife's opinion is that they are going to build them anyways. Might as well just give them money and let them do it faster. I bet we can get that through Congress as long as we promise jobs in all 50 states.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  5. #140
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    I think this article puts the problem nicely:

    Obama's next Iran challenge even thornier than nukes

    OK, you've dialed back the nuke timeline in Iran by 10 years and put the breakout time back to at least 1 year, but now the sanctions regime is going to end, and we are going to face an imperialistic Iran on the ascendency with much more resources available and potentially much stronger economy going forward.

    Russia gains an extra revenue stream to fund its defense technology development, and will be exporting said technology to an Iran that will be more able to pay. AA/AD challenges will come to the Persian Gulf, and Iran's ballistic missile program could gain steam.

    So, we've forestalled the nuclear challenges, but the conventional and asymmetric challenges are going to become more difficult. On the other hand, the alternative of war with Iran is not so great either.

    The US needs to convince Israel and Arab allies on this deal, but the conversation is not going to be one about nukes. It will be: what is the comprehensive strategy that the US will commit to to contain Iranian imperialism, its proxies, and its increased capabilities going forward?
    Last edited by citanon; 07 Apr 15, at 01:20.

  6. #141
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    citanon,

    we are going to face an imperialistic Iran on the ascendency with much more resources available and potentially much stronger economy going forward.
    don't really see this. what's iran going to export?...oil, in a market that's already in a medium-term glut.

    we're -already- facing an imperialistic iran, and despite sanctions and those oil prices we've seen no end to their adventurism -right now-. that's also true with Russia, by the way. all of these things hurt economically but they'll squeeze the difference out of their people.

    finally, the -strategic threat- to the US, from iran, has always been nukes. not so much emanating from iran itself, but of a highly destabilizing nuclear arms race that would occur if saudi and the others decided they too had to go nuclear. remove that from the table, and the rest is fairly small ball. we're not particularly invested in the sunni-shi'a religious conflict, after all, only to the extent that the conflict causes an interruption in oil supplies. and thanks to shale, that's not really a big a concern as it was for us 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  7. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    citanon,

    don't really see this. what's iran going to export?...oil, in a market that's already in a medium-term glut.
    This is a no brainer. They will be able to extract more revenue than they can now under any scenarios. Furthermore, they have lots of natural gas and a wealth of other resources, and a well educated young populace. Lots of potential there for economic development.

    we're -already- facing an imperialistic iran, and despite sanctions and those oil prices we've seen no end to their adventurism -right now-. that's also true with Russia, by the way. all of these things hurt economically but they'll squeeze the difference out of their people.
    Exactly, and now they will have more resources to commit to these adventures.

    finally, the -strategic threat- to the US, from iran, has always been nukes.
    I don't know what strategic threat means exactly. If you mean putting us in a bad strategic position, then I would posit that being in control of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Yemen with increased AA/AD around critical transit routes in the Gulf region and a longer range strike capability comprising conventional and chem/bio MRBMs numbering hundreds or thousands is extremely bad for us and our regional allies.

    not so much emanating from iran itself, but of a highly destabilizing nuclear arms race that would occur if saudi and the others decided they too had to go nuclear.
    That was the even worse scenario that this agreement probably help pull us back from.

    remove that from the table, and the rest is fairly small ball. we're not particularly invested in the sunni-shi'a religious conflict, after all, only to the extent that the conflict causes an interruption in oil supplies. and thanks to shale, that's not really a big a concern as it was for us 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago.
    We are on the global energy market and our prices reflect the global market price. Our economy is completely interconnected with that of Europe, which is heavily dependent on ME and Russian energy supplies. The Middle East is also completely interconnected with Europe in terms of travel and economic ties. Then one cannot dismiss the connection between Russia and Iran, which are trying to establish an Axis alliance controlling energy supplies to Europe. Our energy boom has lessened some of the impact, but we have a huge stake in regional stability and regional power balances nevertheless.

    The best we can say for this agreement is that it's the lesser of several evils. Unfortunately, lesser is still pretty bad. I have little optimism that this can be changed before Obama leaves office.

  8. #143
    Senior Contributor DonBelt's Avatar
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    With the sanctions lifted and Iranian oil back on the market, the Saudis may attempt to drive down the price of oil further to take the wind out of Iran's sails. Do the Saudis have the reserves and capability to do this? And if they do, this hurts the Russians as well. Would the Russians try to push the Iranians towards open war with the Saudis with the promise of military aid and technical support?

  9. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonBelt View Post
    With the sanctions lifted and Iranian oil back on the market, the Saudis may attempt to drive down the price of oil further to take the wind out of Iran's sails. Do the Saudis have the reserves and capability to do this?
    They could try but they are hurting themselves as much as they are hurting Iran.

    And if they do, this hurts the Russians as well. Would the Russians try to push the Iranians towards open war with the Saudis with the promise of military aid and technical support?
    Russia doesn't want and cannot supply a major ME war in the near term, nor does it need to. The Saudi strategy is not aimed at Russia or Iran. It's really aimed at North Dakota. Over the long term, there is no way it can sustain unnaturally low oil prices. On the other hand, over the long term, oil prices will not come back to pre-shale levels. Russia and Iran will seek to greater influence over long term prices via increased control of Gulf states and shipping transit through the Persian Gulf. To that end, Russia will help Tehran upgrade their AA/AD capabilities and consolidate grip on Iranian proxies.

  10. #145
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    Citanon,

    this is the best we can hope for without going to war and US is not willing to go to war with Iran. Bombing will not work and will only exacerbate the problem and drive Iran to develop the bomb even more quicker. Not even Israel with all its might can stop that.

    We want to open up Iran and hopefully that change will allow the moderates to overcome the hardliners. Very few things are more powerful than money and the religious fervor in Iran has pretty much died out in the aftermath of the Iran-Iraq war when they lost 1 million men. They pretty much lost their bloodlust then. The support of Hezbollah and other groups are just a form of the geopolitical game being played out between Sunnis and Shias and battling for supremacy over the middle east. To be honest, I am way far more comfortable with Iran than I am with Saudi Arabia. The rise of ISIS and its backers has left me with the view that anything that Saudi Arabia do is not good for the welfare of the world and me.

  11. #146
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    No, your real problem is that every Arab country is going to want the same deal as Iran. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan all have plans in the works for their own enrichment facilities and their own reactors. Now, every nation in the Middle East is going to be 12 months away from a bomb!
    No AQ Khan to help so call their bluff.

    If they want civil reactors they can have them. What more can they do.

    What these countries already have and what Iran has to work over the next ten years or more to obtain is trust.

    So what 'same deal' are they talking about ?

    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    The US needs to convince Israel and Arab allies on this deal, but the conversation is not going to be one about nukes. It will be: what is the comprehensive strategy that the US will commit to to contain Iranian imperialism, its proxies, and its increased capabilities going forward?
    critical. If this deal is to promote stability in the region it requires buy in. It has to be successfully marketed to these parties.

    How they will do that with Bibi warning of an iranian nuke just 2 to 3 years away since 1992(!) remains to be seen.

    This comprehensive strategy is going to require a seperate dept within the state dept to manage sunni shia rivalry. What happens if the deal is successful poses its own questions.

    US had a twin pillar security strategy in the Gulf region, it was the Saudis and the Shah. Mostly the Shah. Shah went away so US started to create bases and work with the Arabs.

    Now how to incorporate Iran into the mix. That in itself is going to be challenging.

    Its still early days though. We have no text just some broad contours of what the eventual solution will be. And when this agreement materialises is anybody guess. Don't hold your breath for Jun 30. its likely to be extended further.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonBelt View Post
    With the sanctions lifted and Iranian oil back on the market, the Saudis may attempt to drive down the price of oil further to take the wind out of Iran's sails. Do the Saudis have the reserves and capability to do this? And if they do, this hurts the Russians as well. Would the Russians try to push the Iranians towards open war with the Saudis with the promise of military aid and technical support?
    it will take some time for Iranian oil to get back on the market. They won't be in a hurry either.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 07 Apr 15, at 11:56.

  12. #147
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Two talks i've listened to recently which have informed my thinking on this subject.



    Gary Sick's answers how to deal with the Arabs wanting the same deal as well as republicans threaten to derail any agreement by comparing with the Algiers accord which Carter signed and candidate Reagan threatened to discontinue but ended up sticking to when he became president.

    The Iran Nuclear Talks and Their Implications: An Indian Perspective | Carnegie | Mar 17
    Audio only.

    Have seen AMB KC singh on indian channels but the format did not allow him to speak for long, here he has the floor for a half hour and questions for another 45 minutes. Remarkable insights into Iran where he served between 2003-05 and how things can change if a deal is successful.

    a rebalancing is how he put it. Where have we heard that word before.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 07 Apr 15, at 12:16.

  13. #148
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    No AQ Khan to help so call their bluff.

    If they want civil reactors they can have them. What more can they do.

    What these countries already have and what Iran has to work over the next ten years or more to obtain is trust.

    So what 'same deal' are they talking about ?
    They are going to want to become nuclear threshold states, just like Iran. They already have plans for civil reactors, but the real problems come when Saudi Arabia starts looking for its own yellowcake dealer and starts investing in enrichment capacity, or they start looking at heavy water reactors.

    We're not in a much better position if multiple states in the MidEast are nuclear threshold states. Our real challenge is convincing our Arab allies that they don't need to do that, more so than checking Iranian expansion in Syria or Iraq, because as Astralis already pointed out, we don't really have a dog in this whole Shi'a vs. Sunni thing.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  14. #149
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Wanting to and being able to are not the same. So they invest in enrichment, what pretext do they give to go more than 5%. Then who is going to do the weapons design. lots of hoops to jump through and they don't have the skills to do it.

    Call their bluff. All of them have ratified the NPT.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 07 Apr 15, at 16:57.

  15. #150
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    None of what you just listed is an insurmountable obstacle. I understand your point, but if you are honestly of the opinion that a Middle East where every state has their own well-developed nuclear infrastructure is just as safe as Year-2000 Middle East where there was no nuclear infrastructure at all outside Israel, I sincerely doubt your sanity.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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