The Iran Deal

We thought the negotiations would never end, as deadlines passed and were extended again and again.  After ten years of talks and 23 months of the current phase, finally a deal has been agreed and now we are going to see if it can be implemented.  For many people, notably the Republican Congress, the Israeli PM and the Saudis, the deal obtained by the international community (USA, EU, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) with Iran is a bad deal that will not prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons, something that the deal was supposed to absolutely prevent.

There are several bad aspects to this deal:  1. It does not take into consideration that Iran is a foremost terrorist power, carrying out terrorism from Argentina to Yemen; 2. Pres. Obama stressed that the deal is based on verification, but if you could not trust Nazi Germany, nor N. Korea, why would you believe you can trust Iran to keep its agreement.  Also, the deal gives Iran the right to refuse IAEA inspectors access to “military sites” ; 3.  It allows Iran to continue to carry out nuclear research and development and leaves the entire Iranian nuclear industry intact;  4.  It does not increase the “break-out” time that Iran would need to obtain a nuclear weapon (ca. 1 year); 5.  It allows Iran after the end of the deal (10 years) to continue legitimately to obtain a nuclear weapon; 6.  What is most objectionable is that the sanctions that were hurting Iran’s economy will be lifted and they will receive ca. b$100 in frozen assets when the deal is approved.   There is no limitation on their using this money to fund terrorism.   This allowed Iranian Pres. Rouhani to boast “we have achieved all our objectives, the lifting of the sanctions and the continuation of our nuclear program.”

Meanwhile Pres. Obama hailed the deal as the best one that could be obtained and that could prevent a war in the Middle East and stop the spread of nuclear weapons.   Perhaps he overlooked the fact that there is already a major war going on in the ME, with hundreds of thousands dead, and that this deal will definitely empower one side in that war (the Iran-Syria-Hizbollah-Houthi Shia axis).  Members of the Republican Congress and PM Netanyahu have made their rejection of this deal very public.  Netanyahu said that Israel will not be bound by this deal and that the fact that Iran’s leaders speak every day about eliminating Israel only means that Israel must consider all options for its defence.   The deal must first be ratified by the UN Security Council once Iran takes certain steps to reduce their stockpile of uranium and will go to Congress for its consideration.  If it is rejected by a majority then Pres. Obama can veto it, but it can then again be rejected if a majority can over-ride the President’s veto.

What is most galling about this deal is that it was arrived at between Iran and Russia and China, both of which have powerful economic incentives and conflicts of interest in trying to achieve the lifting of sanctions, and the EU nations that prefer compromise with Iran.  They side with Obama in his drive to try to show that the US and the West are not so bad.   They would do a deal with the devil and not notice the smell and the heat.  I wouldn’t worry so much if the speech that Pres. Obama made was not almost identical to that made by Pres. Clinton in 1994 after his deal with N. Korea (http://www.thejc.com/news/world-news/139607/obama-iran-clinton-north-korea-compare-and-contrast), that was followed a few years later by their successful testing of a nuclear device.  This deal represents a historic retraction of US and Western power in the ME and the reassertion of Iranian power.  Today they are celebrating in the streets of Tehran.  This story is far from over.

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