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The Pelosi School of Foreign Policy

By JAMES ZUMWALT, UPI Outside View Commentator   |   Feb. 4, 2014 at 12:04 AM   |   Comments

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HERNDON, Va., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- As members of the U.S. Senate indicate they favor legislation imposing stricter sanctions on Iran should it violate a nuclear accord -- the complete details of which U.S. President Barack Obama has yet to release -- and, as he threatens to veto any such legislation Congress may pass, we learn Tehran now needs only a few months to attain an objective Obama assured us it never would.

Obama used his State of the Union address to defend the secret agreement -- one he vowed to enforce regardless of bipartisan actions in Congress to the contrary.

Shockingly, after 12 years of Iranian deceit on the nuclear issue, Obama suggested, "For the sake of our national security, we must give diplomacy a chance to succeed."

Obama either lacks confidence in the American people and their legislators to understand the nuclear deal's intimate details or has some unknown motivation for making an agreement with Iranian leaders who have done everything to lie, cheat and steal their way into becoming a nuclear armed power.

Obama seems to suggest we are unappreciative and simply accept the Nancy Pelosi approach to this deal. In 2010, while Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., criticized people for not appreciating Obamacare; but, when pressed for details, she only offered, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it away from the fog of the controversy."

We struggle today from Obamacare fallout; we can ill afford to await the fallout of Iran's nuclear program.

In conducting his foreign policy, Obama has been more honest with the United States' adversaries than with the American people.

This was evidenced in March 2012 when meeting in Seoul with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Obama was running for re-election; Medvedev would soon be stepping down to allow Vladimir Putin to become president.

The two issued a joint statement, reporting discussions on the sensitive issue of a European missile defense would continue later. The reason became clear from an open microphone comment Obama made to Medvedev.

Obama promised, "On all these issues, but particularly missile defense ... this can be solved but it's important for him (Putin) to give me space ...This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility."

The underlying message Obama was, what Obama was willing to do vis-a-vis the European missile defense wouldn't endear him to U.S. voters and could hurt his re-election campaign. Therefore, he would delay any further discussions until after he won.

Obama used this same approach, deceiving American voters on missile defense, as the Iranians regularly use to deceive him about their nuclear intentions. The Iranian term for it is taqqiya, which sanctions lying to opponents to advance one's position.

Members of Congress and experts on Iran's nuclear program slam Obama's secrecy on the deal's terms. And those who have read it see little about which to get enthusiastic.

House Committee on Foreign Affairs member Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., criticizes Obama for his "cone of silence" and keeping the agreement at "a super-secret location."

Ros-Lehtinen suggests: "If this is such a great deal and so good for peace and diplomacy in our time why is it held in secret? If the administration is proud of it ... they should highlight it."

Having read the agreement, she describes it as "quite eye opening ... It's a very easy to read document; one doesn't have to be as expert."

She urges fellow HFAC members to review it as well.

What has been shared about it tells us, despite last year's assurances by the Obama administration such an agreement with Iran wouldn't allow retention of its ability to build a bomb, it does.

Further, Ros-Lehtinen reports, "There is no mechanism that allows for adjudication of violations in this deal and that is very troublesome."

Nuclear expert Gregory Jones is bothered too by the administration's secrecy, suggesting "It appears to me the administration has negotiated an agreement it does not fully understand..."

He cannot see how it prevents Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

Jones also criticizes Obama for engaging in "mischaracterization of the deal's benefits and the denial of the deal's great flaw." The flaw is Iran can build one nuclear weapon within two months and as many as four within the next five-month period.

Jones adds although: "President Obama has said that the deal has 'cut off Iran's most likely paths to a bomb,' this is not true. Before the current nuclear deal, Iran could produce the highly enriched uranium -- HEU -- for a nuclear weapon in just six weeks. Over the next six months, the joint plan of action will increase this interval only slightly to eight weeks."

Further underscoring Obama's lack of comprehension of the deal, Jones says, "Iran's stockpile of this material (enriched uranium) will continue to grow during the course of this nuclear deal, though several White House statements, as well as Secretary (of State John) Kerry, have incorrectly claimed otherwise."

The agreement has received bilateral criticism. Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., described it as a "terrible mistake ... naïve ... wrongheaded."

In a rare moment of honesty by Iran, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told CNN the deal description given by Obama in his address was meant for "domestic consumption" as it didn't accurately represent its terms.

Either Obama failed to heed technical experts on the deal or is motivated for unknown reasons to place the United States at risk.

In either case, Obama's comment the deal is "for the sake of our national security" isn't true. We cannot follow the Pelosi School of Foreign Policy approach to determine what we have negotiated -- for doing so will leave us looking down an Iranian nuclear gun barrel.

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(A retired U.S. Marine, Lt. Col. James Zumwalt served in the Vietnam War, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf War. He has written "Bare Feet, Iron Will -- Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran -- The Clock is Ticking.")

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(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

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