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May 19, 2015

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates Echoes Netanyahu on Iran Negotiations

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In an interview with Bob Schieffer on CBS Face the Nation, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates offered his perspective on negotiations with Iran. The relevant portions of the interview are copied below:

ROBERT GATES (Former Defense Secretary): Well, first of all, getting the Iranians to the negotiating table in the first place was a success for U.S. foreign policy. They didn't come to the table at a goodwill. They came to the table because their economy was being strangled and the leadership was afraid they might get overthrown. So they are there because they have to be there.

I think that the agreement there're some specifics in the agreement that are very encouraging, but I-- I have several concerns that I hope can be addressed in the negotiations between now and June the first is the timing of the lifting of the sanctions. Is it-- are they going to be lifted right away as long as the Iranians agree to implement the agreement. Or will be-- they be phased over time based on performance which has been our position all along.

The second is verification. Unless we have sort of on-demand inspection at all facilities, including military facilities, I think, there is a great potential to cheat.

Third, I think that this-- the-- the idea of being able to have these snapback sanctions, that sanctions could be re-imposed once lifted is very unrealistic.

I think that the pursuit of the agreement is based on the President's hope that over a ten-year period with the sanctions being lifted that the Iranians will become a constructive stakeholder in the international community. That-- that as their economy begins to grow again, that-- that they will abandon their ideology, their theology, their revolutionary principles, their meddling in various parts of the region. And, frankly, I believe that's very unrealistic.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What if we can't get a deal? With is the alternative?

ROBERT GATES: Well, I don't think the alternative is war. One alternative is better deal [emphasis added]. I think that you go back to the sanctions, I think you reinforce the sanctions, and you basically say, here are the additional things we need for this agreement to work and to be worthwhile, and an agreement that reassures our allies or at least doesn't scare them half to death.

If they choose not to come back to the negotiations, but to race to a nuclear weapon, well my guess is that will show that they intended to do that all along. Despite all their protestations, that they have no interest in a nuclear weapon, but I think-- I think that there is a potential for a better deal [emphasis added].

Gates, who served as Secretary of Defense under both George Bush and Barack Obama, shares the same concerns and appears to favor the same course of action as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Will the New York Times or the Washington Post or CNN or NPR or the BBC or Fox cover the story that a former senior official of the Obama administration, one who is highly regarded by the mainstream media, sees the negotiations with Iran as Netanyahu does?

Posted by SS at May 19, 2015 03:07 PM

Comments

Gates hits the nail on the head. War is not the only possibility if we do not get an arrangement and I would go further a malformed peace created simply to assuage Pro-Islamic extremist sensitivities might even be more dangerous ion the long run than immediate military options we could apply as a deterrence.
Unfortunately, the O admin doesn't seem to have use or knowledge of the word deterrence and apply it to the size of American forces and limitations on deployments that might upset the military as an annex of the welfare state.
That the general feedback I get from the mentally deranged left pro-Islamists.

Posted by: jeb stuart at May 22, 2015 05:04 PM

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