We’ve officially stepped on the dance floor, and now we’re in lock step with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Who would have ever thought the Western world would make an official nuclear deal with Iran? Somehow with all the lying, cheating, misinformation, and scandal surrounding Iran’s nuclear program and their overall global terror network, the White House administration decided it would be better to hug it out, shake hands, and make a deal.
The nuclear deal negotiations dragged on for two years and each deadline that was established seemed to have been adjusted and pushed back for further negotiations. Here’s what I believe we got: temporary changes for permanent relief. That is Iran’s sanctions will be lifted, they will receive $100 – $150 billion dollars upfront no strings attached, new contracts with businesses anxious to do business with Tehran and economic growth for just a few years of limited uranium enrichment. They don’t have to change their behavior in the Middle East, they don’t have to stop funding Hezbollah, Hamas, and the like, and they don’t have to tone down their destructive rhetoric toward Israel and the Western Powers.
So what’s in the deal?
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First, the deal seriously limits the grade level of uranium for the next 15 years. It doesn’t prevent them from enriching uranium, but it does limit them to enriching to 3.67%, which is a grade to create “peaceful” nuclear power and research. The deal limits Iran’s enrichment well below medical research grade (20%) and weapons grade enrichment (90%).
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It sounds good, that Iran can only proceed with peaceful nuclear ambitions, but to create enough uranium to power a nuclear power plant you need at least 200,000 centrifuges, which the deal only permits them to have 6000 centrifuges. And having 6000 centrifuges is way more than what’s needed to for any peaceful purposes. Fred Fleitz from the National Review writes, “… it would be far more economical for Iran to purchase reactor fuel rods, fuel plates, and medical isotopes from other countries.” So why continue enrichment with restrictions and the option to buy what you need from other countries in clear view of the IAEA?
Probably the craziest part of the deal has to do with the nuclear inspections. We were all hoping for anytime/anywhere inspections, but we had to settle for 24-day interim period. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz who was a part of the negotiations argued that 24 days is plenty of time. He said, “The 24-day period breaks down by allowing a 14-day period for the IAEA to determine if an inspection is needed, seven days for the P5+1 countries to rule for access, and a three-day period for Iran to provide that access, said Moniz.”
The problem I have with this lag time are the meetings and permission needed to acquire IAEA inspection. I love what Stephen Carter of the the Bloomberg View wrote concerning the bureaucratic nightmare to get a simple inspection if the U.S. believes Iran is cheating,
“Presumably the U.S. passes the information along to the IAEA inspectors. The next part of the process is guided by Part Q of Annex I of the action plan. Under paragraph 75, the IAEA will ask Iran for “clarification.” If the explanation is not satisfactory, paragraph 76 allows the inspectors to “request access” to Site X. Paragraph 77 entitles Iran to offer an “alternative means” rather than inspection to resolve the issue. For example, Iran might say that Site X is militarily sensitive, but propose copying the hard drives of all the computers for the IAEA to study. The inspectors will have no way of knowing whether they have copies of all the drives, and might not be able to tell whether the copies have been altered, and so will insist on full access instead. If the parties reach an impasse, the bureaucratic wheels begin to turn.
Additionally, it seems the IAEA will not be permitted to access Iranian military sites for inspections, which really defeats the purpose of trying to find out what Iran was trying to accomplish in the first place with the nuclear program..
Finally, what really scares me the most is the White House administration’s potential negligence to impose the “snapback” sanctions on Iran. We have heard threat after threat that if Iran fails to meet the guidelines agreed to by the parties, swift sanctions will return to Iran.
I don’t believe the White House administration, specifically President Obama, has the wherewithal to reimpose Iranian sanctions as he has threatened. Too often we have seen him make international threats, only to be trampled over by his own words. For instance, President Obama’s “red line” on Assad’s chemical weapons use. Assad walked right across that “red line” and what does President Obama do? Nothing.
Personally, I believe Iran will cheat while President Obama is in office. I believe they will break the agreement he worked vigorously to make possible and the White House will do nothing to reimpose sanctions, or they will simply pass it off as a strike one.
I don’t see this presidential “legacy” deal disappearing because Iran got in the way with their cheating. I mean, how else are the President or his secretary of state able to overlook Iran’s daily statements of “Death to America,” “Death to Israel”? Or Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s Twitter page showing an image of President Obama committing suicide? Or that this deal according to Ayatollah Khamenei does nothing to change Iran’s menacing position in the Middle East or towards the “arrogant U.S.”? It would be one thing if a fringe group of radical Iranians made such claims, but this is the Supreme Leader of the Iranian people prodding at the deal and the leaders of the U.S. But, this is who we made a deal with.