Pat Buchanan: Obama's moment — a deal with Iran
In his second term, Ronald Reagan had Iran-Contra, but also a treaty eliminating U.S. and Soviet missiles in Europe, his "tear-down-this-wall" moment in Berlin and his lead role in ending the Cold War.
Obama's second-term scandals — IRS, Benghazi, wiretapping The Associated Press and Fox — are in the low-kiloton range compared to the resignation of Nixon or the impeachment of Clinton.
Two opportunities beckon. First, the mirage — a Middle East peace. Essential to any treaty, however, is a withdrawal of Israeli "settlers" from the West Bank, a sharing of Jerusalem, Palestinian acceptance of Israel as a "Jewish state" and Arab repudiation of the "right of return."
Hence Obama's legacy hopes lie not in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in Washington this week, but in what is happening in Iran — the inauguration of the president who replaces Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Yet the only way he can achieve these goals is to come to terms with Obama on Iran's nuclear program. And as he was once Iran's lead negotiator on that program, Rouhani knows exactly what is required.
Iran wants its rights under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — to peaceful nuclear research and nuclear power — recognized by the United States. And it wants U.S.-UN sanctions lifted.
As Reagan said, trust but verify.
Despite the hysteria about Iran's "mad dash" to an atom bomb, Tehran has never tested a bomb and never produced the 90-percent-enriched uranium needed for a bomb, and does not have sufficient 20-percent uranium to further enrich for a bomb test.
Moreover, Khamenei has declared nuclear weapons anti-Islamic, and U.S intelligence agencies have never retracted their declarations of 2007 and 2011 that Iran has made no decision to build a bomb.
That would be the crown jewel of Obama's second term.
Who would be against such a deal? Bibi and the War Party that wants Iran smashed, as we smashed Iraq, even if that means another trillion-dollar unnecessary war.
Pat Buchanan is a former Republican and Reform Party candidate for President, an adviser to two Presidents, a syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C., and the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?"
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