By Michael B. Mukasey
‘We couldn’t have negotiated a better deal.” That is one of the two pillars of the Obama administration’s argument in favor of its nuclear arrangement with Iran, the other being, “there’s no alternative but war.” Those two propositions appear to have won the day—at least with enough Democrats in Congress to prevent a vote disapproving of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The Iran deal remains deeply unpopular with the American public and with the Republican majority in Congress.
Over the past few months, the two propositions regarding the deal left opponents sputtering a catalog of its numerous defects. But it must be admitted that the first proposition—“we couldn’t have negotiated a better deal”—is plainly true.
Consider who the “we” are. President Obama, the deal’s principal proponent, has repeatedly refused to recognize the existence of Islamist radicalism and failed to enforce even his own red line against Bashar Assad’s use of poison gas in Syria.
The leader of the U.S. delegation, Secretary of State John Kerry , airily endorsed an inspections regimen agreed to between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency—an agreement whose wording he concedes the U.S. doesn’t have, although he thinks one member of the U.S. delegation may have seen it. Not providing the text of this side deal to Congress violates directly the statutory requirement that the administration supply “annexes, appendices, side agreements” and “any related agreements.”
Mr. Kerry also concedes that Iran will prevent access to what it calls defense sites. These include the Parchin facility, where Iran carries out weaponization experiments, and at which Iran will be permitted to take its own soil samples for presentation to the IAEA.
Finally, there is Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator. What was her response to the suggestion that Congress should have had a chance to review the deal—as the president promised and U.S. law requires—before it was submitted to the U.N. Security Council? “It would have been a little difficult when all of the members of the P5+1 wanted to go to the United Nations to get an endorsement . . . for us to say, ‘Well excuse me, the world, you should wait for the United States Congress.’ ”
Given that team, “we” really could not have negotiated a better agreement and can’t now. (my emphasis)
READ all of Michael Mukasey’s comments from The Wall Street Journal here .