EMET Calls the Nuclear Agreement with Iran a Diplomatic Disaster of Historic Proportions
(July 15, 2015, Washington, DC)- Today, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) announced its profound disappointment that the Obama administration has entered into a nuclear deal between the P5+1 powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran that is more deplorable than we had even anticipated. The deal threatens the security of the United States, the security of our ally Israel, and the security of the entire Middle East region. For a regime that dubs the United States “The Great Satan,” has killed and injured thousands of Americans, is the leading state sponsor of terrorism, and consistently calls for the destruction of our strong ally, Israel, it is imperative that any final nuclear deal actually prevents Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. This deal, which does not, absolutely deserves to be rejected by the U.S. Congress.
For the duration of the nearly two years of negotiations, Iran has been unwilling to concede to the most basic requests by the P5+1. As even the UN has agreed, Iran has no right to nuclear enrichment, no right to nuclear weapons, and no need for nuclear power. Thus, the Obama Administration started the talks by delineating strong criteria that any final nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and Iran must meet. At the end of the process, unfortunately, this Administration has caved on almost every one.
Ayatollah Khamenei, the clerical dictator of Iran, meanwhile, has kept to all of his red lines, even when his red lines were contrary to UN Resolutions. He demanded immediate sanctions relief from the deal. He will get that. He refused “anytime-anywhere” inspections. The deal allows for only limited inspections, with a “process” to be followed, which will allow Iran to stall or hide when the West wants to inspect for a period of up to 65 days. From the beginning, the Ayatollah also adhered to the belief that the closure of any site was out of question. Indeed, none of these will be closed. One such site, Fordo, is an underground, fortified facility carved into a mountain. This secretive facility will consequently remain open and operational. The Arak heavy water reactor – used to produce radioactive plutonium – will also be allowed to remain open. Arak became operational in 2006 and continues to produce radioactive plutonium despite repeated resolutions passed by the United Nations to shut it down. The Iranian leadership made it clear it would not reveal its nuclear development history. So now, after Secretary Kerry decided that we know enough about their program, and don’t really need full disclosure (a statement contradicted by former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden), Iran has only made vague promises which it will likely not follow through with. Ayatollah Khamenei insisted that 10 years was too long for any nuclear restrictions. Now, the West has agreed to cap the deal at only eight years.
There remain several other aspects of this deal that are particularly appalling. For one, Iran, even though it has no right to enrich, according to the Non Proliferation Treaty to which it is a signatory, will still be able to keep a stockpile of over 5,000 centrifuges. This number is more than enough for Iran to develop nuclear weapons. In fact, reports indicate that Pakistan was able to test and produce a nuclear weapon with the limited capacity of only 3,000 centrifuges. Centrifuges of this number are too few for any practical civilian purposes, but quite sufficient for nuclear weapons pursuits.
Additionally, under this deal, the breakout time – i.e., the time required to acquire enough nuclear material for one nuclear weapon – still would be an extremely short time – as little as a few months. Prior to this deal, Iran could produce enough nuclear material to fuel a bomb in as little as two months. President Obama’s main pitch for the nuclear deal has been that it would extend the breakout time to about one year. However, as this former Democratic U.S. Senate Staffer has written, “Unfortunately, that claim is false…By my calculations, Iran’s actual breakout time under the deal would be approximately three months — not over a year.” In other words, the deal would likely provide just one extra month before an Iranian nuclear breakout.
Further, the potentially up-to-$150 billion in frozen funds that the West will release to the Iranian regime as a “signing bonus” from this deal will only be used to reinforce the growing Iranian threat that it is developing in the Middle East. This money will not be used for roads, education, development, welfare programs or other social programs. Instead, much of these funds will be used to support Iranian proxy armies throughout the Middle East. In fact, Iranian Quds Force commander Gen. Suleimani is personally named in the final agreement and will be removed from sanctions, allowing him to continue and potentially increase his destabilization of the Middle East. The Shia extremist group Hezbollah will unquestionably benefit from this deal, presumably receiving increased funding to continue to carry out its terrorist operations in Lebanon and Syria. Prior to 911, Hezbollah was responsible for more American deaths than any other terrorist organization. Hezbollah’s missile stockpile, now numbering in the tens of thousands, will be able to advance technologically and numerically. 100,000 of these weapons remain pointed directly at Israel. In war-torn Iraq, new Iranian money will be used to support Shia militias that seek to dominate that state. These are the same Shia militias that killed or injured thousands of American soldiers between 2003 and 2011. In Yemen, new Iranian money will allow Houthi rebels to continue to press their war against Yemen’s pro-American government. If the Houthis remain in control of much of Yemen, Islamist Iran will then be able to retain its stranglehold over the oil lanes in both the Persian Gulf AND the Bab al Mandeb. This allows them to disrupt the oil industry at the time of their choosing. In Syria, more money for Iran will translate into more Iranian troops and supplies for the embattled Bashar al-Assad regime, a government that is responsible for the deaths of 250,000 civilians, many of them killed by chemical weapons. Iran will also use its money to continue to support Palestinian terror groups, including Hamas in Gaza, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which in 2014 attacked worshippers in a Jerusalem synagogue and killed three Americans.
Also, the deal will reportedly provide the Iranian regime with nuclear technology and information from the P5+1 in exchange for its supposed cooperation. Thus, the U.S. and the West will actually be subsidizing future Iranian development of nuclear weapons. Further, if advanced, sensitive information is given to Iran about nuclear technology, it will not stay in Tehran. The Islamic Republic has had longstanding relations with North Korea, as well as Syria and Hezbollah. It would only be a matter of time before this technology is shared with these rogue entities.
Finally, the final deal, also relaxes sanctions placed on Iranian ballistic missile systems and partially lifts the UN embargo on conventional arms to Iran. This is in direct contradiction of President Obama’s earlier promise to keep non-nuclear topics separate from the negotiations and final deal.
Needless to say, this final deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran will allow that rogue nation to develop nuclear weapons, and the ballistic missiles they need to threaten the entire world. It will inevitably lead to more violence in the Middle East, as the protection given to Iran by nuclear weapons will allow them to be more aggressive and open about their sponsorship of terror and rebellion. It will allow them to damage the international oil industry, as they already have at various times by firing on or otherwise threatening merchant ships in the Persian Gulf. It will also lead to the proliferation of nuclear arms throughout the region, as Saudi Arabia has already vowed to follow Iran by developing nuclear weapons, and the other Gulf states, Egypt, Turkey, and perhaps others will do as well. And it could well end with nuclear war, and millions of deaths.
Sarah Stern, EMET Founder and President, said: “Iran is seeking nuclear weapons to threaten the United States, conquer its neighbors in the Middle East, and obliterate the United States’ strongest ally in the region, Israel. But the deal negotiated by the Obama Administration to stop them from developing weapons will do no such thing. It is a bad deal. We all understand and appreciate that Americans are not eager for armed conflict, but willfully blinding ourselves to the reality of a bad deal does not prevent war. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said, “The alternative to a bad deal is not war; the alternative to a bad deal is a good deal.” Moreover, history has taught us that a bad deal actually is the one greatest single factor that generates war. It reinforces the appetite of the enemy. One has to look no further than the Treaty of Versailles, which neither pacified nor weakened Germany, and led to its avarice and the tremendous human devastation of World War II. The ball now is in Congress’ court. We will do everything in our power to ensure that our elected representatives in Congress will put America on the side of what is moral and what is right. History will be there to judge us.”
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