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A nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to the United States, our allies and the world as a whole. While resolving this crisis diplomatically is in everyone's best interest, the framework the Obama administration has presented gives little confidence that the agreement under consideration is the right solution.

In fact, every news leak confirms fears that we are headed in the wrong direction. In the years since the P5+1 negotiations began, the goalposts have moved from dismantling Iran's clandestine nuclear-weapons program to containing it.

That's not what the President told us these talks were going to accomplish. That's not what six UN resolutions intended to prevent. And that is certainly not a position from which we can declare the Iranian nuclear threat has been eliminated.

In the fall of 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry told a national TV audience that the Obama administration would walk away from negotiations with Iran over its illicit nuclear program if the talks did not meet our demands.

His exact words were, "We need to get the right deal. No deal is better than a bad deal. And we are certainly adhering to that concept."

"Adhering to" is an interesting choice of words. It literally means "to stick to something" or "to stay attached." It is a phrase that is meant to convey a sense of resolve and position of strength, none of which applies to what is transpiring as the president rushes to reach an accord with the international community and Iran.

It seems that not a day goes by where we don't learn of another Obama administration concession to Iran.

For example, Associated Press headlines report that the news agency obtained a leaked document that suggests the U.S. and other world powers would actually help perfect Iran's nuclear program rather than dismantle it. Referred to as the "Civil Nuclear Cooperation," this provision would greenlight a range of nuclear technology such as "high-tech reactors and other state-of-the-art equipment" that some members of the P5+1 would be required to provide to Iran.

Furthermore, President Barack Obama now is backtracking from our requirement that Iran reveal any possible military dimensions (PMD) of its nuclear program--past, current or future.

Secretary Kerry claimed that we "have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in" and instead of requiring disclosure of past and current military capabilities, the administration will focus on what the future holds.

The notion that an understanding of past PMDs was even possible was immediately rebuffed. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that it's impossible. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said three months ago that "what we don't know [is] whether they have undeclared activities or something else. We don't know what they did in the past ... we cannot tell we know all their activities."

If President Obama has his way, we will never know.

This comes on the heels of the major concessions already granted to the Iranian regime that were once thought to be unacceptable.

The president already caved to allowing the Iranians to maintain the capacity to continue enrichment activities at Fordow. This is no ordinary site. It is a fortified, underground military bunker built into the side of a mountain. It was constructed in secret and serves one purpose--to covertly produce weapons-grade highly enriched uranium.

This shows how far away negotiations have moved from the Obama administration's original position that Fordow must be shuttered.

The president argues that surprise inspections will prevent Fordow from being used for military purposes, but the idea that will compel compliance puts far too much trust in a regime that regularly deploys double-talk, delay tactics and manipulation when it comes to dealing with the international community. There is absolutely no reason, given the regime's history, to believe that international inspectors will have the ability to honestly see what is going on at Fordow. None.

Clearly, the way this agreement is shaping up, there is no way we will achieve what the president promised at the onset of entering these talks.

Our long-standing policy that the Iranian regime must abandon its nuclear ambitions is itself being abandoned.

If the administration truly was "adhering to" the concept of "no deal is better than a bad deal," we would have walked away from these negotiations long ago.

The regime in Teheran is clearly in the driver's seat, and the president is just along for the ride. The danger is obvious. In a push to cement his legacy, President Obama is willing to concede just about every demand with which we started out.

Unless we walk away, the end result will be chaos for the region, and the world at large, for years to come.

John Boozman is the senior U.S. senator for the state of Arkansas.

Editorial on 07/06/2015

Print Headline: Just walk away


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Archived Comments

  • Nodmcm
    July 6, 2015 at 4:58 a.m.

    If there is no agreement with Iran, then Iran will just go right ahead and build a few nuclear weapons. Obama will not invade Iran, and by the time Jeb Bush takes office in 2017, the Iranians will be ready to vaporize a US military invasion force on its border with one of their nuclear weapons. The real risk of Iranian nuclear weapons is to an American invasion army on Iran's border. So it looks like Iran is going to get some nukes, and America will not be able to invade and conquer Iran and institute "regime change." All of the blame for this outcome can be squarely laid at the feet of George W. Bush, who wrecked the economy in 2008. As a result, President Obama was elected. Had Bush not wrecked the economy, maybe John McCain would have won, and he would have already invaded Iran. So you could say that George W. Bush handed Iran nuclear weapons when he wrecked the economy in 2008.

  • WGT
    July 6, 2015 at 7:42 a.m.

    Okay Mr. Boozman,
    As a citizen of Arkansas, I beseech you to get up off your rear end and go HELP President Obama instead of berating him. If you have a plan worth a got dam wits sense, show it to us. Since you and your rightwing obstructionist cohorts are SO bent on derailing the President, show us what you've got. Go on! Can you? Have YOU got the balls to go sit in Mr. Kerry's seat and hammer out a plan? I don't see you in the limelight. You're here in your cozy office spouting off what ifs and shoulda woulda couldas. Get out!

  • carpenterretired
    July 6, 2015 at 8:32 a.m.

    Well if a deal is made and sanctions are lifted than you have a oil rich nation without a single Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart bosses may realize the opportunity and call Boozman and tell him to run to the Iranian deal .After all Boozman won his election by promising to be against anything Obama was for, yet with the Pacific trade deal Boozman as well as young Tom climbed in bed with Obama and you had three men in a tub, rub a dub dub. But perhaps as with taxing internet sales( even as Boozman had promised to never raise taxes ) when Wal-Mart calls John will flip flop.

  • WhododueDiligence
    July 6, 2015 at 10:05 a.m.

    The paragraph in this column about whether " understanding of past PMDs [possible military dimensions] was even possible..." is extremely unclear. It's less clear than Donald Rumsfeld's 2002 statement about known knowns, known unknowns, and unkown unknowns, because in contingency planning and intelligence gathering, an awareness that there are unknown unknowns does make some sense. Rumsfeld made that statement during the national debate over whether or not to invade Iraq, and because of the decision to invade, some of the unknown unknowns of 2002 are unfortunately all too clear as known knowns in 2015.
    That paragraph in question is followed by this statement: "If President Obama has his way, we will never know." That may be true. But if President Obama doesn't have his way and we don't have any deal, we won't be any more likely to ever know.
    This unclear line of thinking seems to be something out of Bibi Netenyahu's obstructionist playbook. In his 2002 statements to the US Congress, Netenyahu strongly advocated regime change both in Iraq and Iran. Netenyahu was spectacularly wrong in his prediction that the Iraqis would welcome our invasion with open arms. He could also be wrong about the unknowns of a regime change military invasion of Iran and about the unknowns of how to ensure the long-term security of Israel.

  • Pobucker
    July 6, 2015 at 10:37 a.m.

    I am not disappointed with the knee-jerk rending given to Boozman's thoughtful comments by the slavishly loyal liberal sycophancy.

  • 3WorldState1
    July 6, 2015 at 10:54 a.m.

    I must have missed Boozman's plan. Maybe I didnt read the article all the way through??
    So, dont do anything and let Iran get a nuke? This is exactly why the GOP wont win the WH. Zero ideas.

  • PopMom
    July 6, 2015 at 11:23 a.m.

    The ability to inspect is far superior to not being able to inspect. What is Boozman suggesting? We can't just "walk away." If we can't reach an agreement, the only alternative is war.

  • Pobucker
    July 6, 2015 at 11:55 a.m.

    You can lead a lib to water, but they won't drink it if it offends their preconceived notions against war, any war for any reason. Keeping a boot on Iran's neck is worthy of war. If it was my boot, I'd be pressing until the head popped off. Wars are won when the spirit of the opposing civilian population is broken. We only lose wars when our spirits are broken by the Nay-Sayers. The whole idea of "non-combatants" is kind of screwy. Civilians populate the domestic war machine. Collateral damage happens. War is hell. It's that way so we don't begin to enjoy it.
    Don't you always yell at the TV cop, "Don't put your gun down, dumbass."?
    If you can see the mistake there...

  • carpenterretired
    July 6, 2015 at 12:07 p.m.

    In Clawsewitz view it is absurd to try to win wars by military means alone "no major plan of war can be made without political understanding and insight "true in Iraq and Afghanistan and Vietnam . However as a guy that played Razorback football for two years before dropping out of UAF and going to an eye doc trade school Boozman may know more about war than Clawsewitz .

  • 3WorldState1
    July 6, 2015 at 12:51 p.m.

    I suppose we could go to war with all nations that has a nuclear war head. Pakistan has hundreds and they are batcrap crazy (Prob the real reason we were in Afghanistan to being with.) Why arent you screaming war against them? What about Japan? They attacked us!!!!!!! What about Russia? Putin is the Devil reincarnated (guess that's why the GOP loves his "leadership" skills). How come we arent going to war with them? They are a huge threat, remember? Or maybe you are just like the rest of the poor folk that get their news and talking points from one source? That's why you know you have to go to war with Iran.
    Do yourself a favor. Go look up Maliki, the guy the Bush administration put in charge of Iraq. And how he was hiding out in Iran and was very friendly with Iran. So the GOP put a Iran supporter in charge of Iraq...hense your civil war and ISIS and all the other crap that comes with war. Yeah, let's get into some more wars.