- Final deal unverifiable, allows Iran to expand support for terror and instability across Middle East
The final deal, reached today between the P5+1 and Iran in Vienna, lifts the arms embargo on Iran in 5 years and allows Iran to stonewall the IAEA’s request for access to suspect sites for up to 24 days. The deal was met with bipartisan criticism as well as opposition from US regional allies. Although Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz told lawmakers in April to expect anytime, anywhere inspections, the deal envisions a long process of consultation, arbitration, and implementation. 24 days is more than enough time for Iran to conceal any illicit activity. Moreover, Tehran can further delay the process because it would have the right to challenge a UN request to visit a site and would sit on the arbitration board that settles disputes on inspections.
Nonproliferation and Iran experts have insisted that granting Iran the ability to manage access will severely undermine the IAEA’s ability to verify an agreement. Former Deputy Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency Olli Heinonen has warned that inspections must not be subject to a dispute resolution mechanism because it would hinder IAEA access. President of the Institute for Science and International Security, David Albright, has similarly argued that given Iran’s history of deceiving the international community and “abusing the consultation process with the inspectors,” a deal must ensure anytime anywhere inspections. The deal falls far short of that, and thus will not prevent Iran from violating its terms.
Furthermore, the UN arms embargo on Iran, which bans Iran from exporting arms and importing major arms, will be lifted in 5 years, regardless of Iran’s behavior. The ban could even be lifted earlier if the IAEA grants permission to do so. This will facilitate Iran’s attempts to expand its support for terrorist proxies and other allies that destabilize the Middle East. Iran will also be able to acquire sophisticated weapons from other countries like Russia and China. Just last week at a Senate hearing, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey testified that “[u]nder no circumstances should we relieve pressure on Iran relative to ballistic missile capabilities and arms trafficking.”
Additionally, this deal ends the ban on ballistic missile trade in 8 years, possibly earlier, though administration officials originally promised that existing restrictions would remain in place. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter testified last week about the threat Iran’s ICBMs pose to the United States, stating “The reason that we want to stop Iran from having an ICBM program is that the ‘I’ in ICBM stands for ‘intercontinental,’ which means having the capability of flying from Iran to the United States.” The deal stands to weaken US national security, as well as the security of our allies.
Today’s announcement of this nuclear agreement with Iran is a realization of the deepest fears and the most dire predictions of skeptics who have, for two years, been warning against exactly this outcome — a bad deal that both enriches this tyrannical regime and fails to strip Iran of nuclear weapons capability. The deal will give Iran billions in cash and sanctions relief to fuel its terror and war machines, shred the hard-won sanctions regime beyond repair, and enable the Iranians to get away with hiding the full extent of their nuclear work, infrastructure, and know-how. It will not have an enforceable inspections regime or a workable way to re-impose pressure on Iran when it cheats.
And then, after just over a decade, most of this deal will expire, and Iran will be allowed to have a full-blown nuclear program– a screw’s turn away from a nuclear weapon.
It is important to ask: if a 3-month nuclear breakout by Iran is a problem today, why are we giving the Mullah’s in Tehran hundreds of billions of dollars, all so Iran will have a zero break out time, according to President Obama himself, in just over a decade?
Iran’s repressive regime needs economic relief far more than we need an agreement by these terms. Prior to this round of talks in September 2013, Iran was six-months from a balance of payments crisis and total economic calamity. Rather than leveraging that pressure to stop Iran and dismantle its program, President Obama relieved it prematurely in order to secure an agreement that will midwife an era of nuclear terror and tyranny, at the expense of freedom, human rights, and American national security.
At the beginning of these talks, President Obama promised Congress and the American people that he would secure a good deal or walk away. He couldn’t bring home a good deal and he couldn’t bring himself to walk away. Instead, he walked away from every key position demanding the shuttering or dismantlement of Iran’s military nuclear infrastructure — including their fortified enrichment bunker, buried under a mountain, on a military base, where Iran will be permitted to continue enriching and developing its ability to spin faster and more advanced centrifuges.
To believe this is a good deal, you have to trust Iran. The American people, and their lawmakers, rightly, do not.
Over the next 60 days, Congress will review this accord, acknowledge that the President has, unfortunately, not lived up to the promises that he made, and instead delivered a deal that will make America, our children, and the world less safe.
The American people deserve better. Our negotiators can do better. Congress must insist on it, and reject this bad deal. (via TheTower.org)