The End of Obama’s Bad Deal with Iran — What’s Next?

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Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz expressed his hope that the U.S. would not make a “bad” deal with Iran regarding the nuclear negotiations.

Unfortunately, there can be no doubt about what is going to happen. The Obama Administration released five senior Talibani terrorists – and perhaps some additional ransom money – to the Taliban/Haqqani Network in return for one captured American serviceman, who may have been a deserter. Any nuclear deal between the U.S. (and others) and Iran, including an extension of the current one, produced by President Obama and his team of “smart diplomats,” will inevitably be bad.

This is President Costanza we are talking about, after all.

On July 20, 2014, the P5 + 1 nations’ Joint Plan of Action (JPA) with Iran officially ends. The JPA was the bad deal promoted by President Obama that recognized Iran’s right to enrich nuclear material and gave it relief from crippling economic sanctions in return for almost nothing of any real significance to restrict Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Under the JPA, Iran was allowed to keep every one of its 19,000 plus centrifuges spinning, and was even able to continue to construct more. Some limited caps were placed on Iran’s ability to enrich, but nothing was done to prevent it from expanding its stockpile of uranium. Meanwhile, the JPA gave the Iranian regime an economic windfall of well over $20 billion.

It must be understood that the JPA was not just a bad deal, but it was, in fact, an exceptionally bad deal from the perspective of the U.S., Israel, the Arab states, and the Western World democracies.

• According to The Tower, “Iran is now mathematically certain to have busted through the caps on energy exports set by the interim Joint Plan of Action (JPA), which had eroded the sanctions regime, despite months of promises and ongoing declarations from administration officials insisting that violations of the remaining sanctions would not be tolerated.”

•While the Iranian concessions are easily reversible, the Western concessions in the JPA are likely irreversible, meaning the existing sanctions regime was gutted with no realistic prospect of restoring those sanctions to previous levels.

•The JPA promised Iran the right to nuclear enrichment simply for good conduct over a relatively small period of time, ignoring the fact that the Iranian regime is inherently aggressive and dangerous.

•The JPA deal did nothing to stop Iran from using its new installments of cash and time to advance the weakest parts of its nuclear program — bomb technology and the ballistic missiles needed to deliver such bombs to Israel, Europe or the U.S.

•The JPA deal was in direct contravention of six U.N. resolutions, all of which stated that Iran had no right to nuclear enrichment and required that Iran dismantle its vast nuclear infrastructure.

•The JPA deal actually included a provision allowing the Iranians to veto reports of their own violations of the interim agreement.

•The JPA increased the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s access in Iran to monitor the agreement, but not enough. It still falls short of what the IAEA says it needs, and it is less than the wide-ranging inspection powers the IAEA had in Iraq in the 1990’s.

•The JPA did not allow the West access to such places like the Parchin military base in Iran, which is believed to be used as a covert nuclear weapons development site.

•Soon after the JPA’s announcement, Iranian President Rouhani – a supposed moderate – gloated on Twitter (later removed) and video about the world powers capitulating to Iran.

Now the question becomes, what will replace the JPA? According to the press, the negotiations to craft a more permanent agreement between Iran and the P5 + 1 are going nowhere, fast. Bilateral talks are springing up to complicate the negotiations. Many observers expect that the President and his team will simply agree to an extension of the interim agreement for another six months, as is provided for in the JPA.

In other words, these observers believe that the JPA will be replaced by the JPA. The same bad agreement currently in existence.

The Obama Administration will eagerly sign onto an extension, so as to prevent yet another obvious foreign policy fiasco on their watch. After all, they currently face Iraq, where a jihadist group too violent for al-Qaeda is carving out its own state and the U.S. can do nothing about it, because all of the American troops were removed by President Obama. They face Libya, where the U.S. “led from behind” to oust the dictator Gaddafi, which resulted in the collapse of the Libyan nation, the spread of U.S. weapons to jihadists groups throughout the Middle East, the seizure of parts of Mali by jihadist groups armed with American weapons that prompted French intervention, and the death of the U.S. Ambassador by elements of al-Qaeda on the anniversary of 9/11. They face Syria, where the Administration blustered with its red line against the use of chemical weapons before caving, and the dictator Assad continues to use those weapons against civilians in the bloody civil war. And there are so many more foreign policy disasters under the current Administration.

Perhaps even more importantly, the Obama Administration will sign onto an extension of the JPA as a way to facilitate plans to “open direct talks with Iran on how the two longtime foes can counter the insurgents” in Iraq. (More “smart diplomacy” in action.)

The Mullahs in Iran will also probably agree to an extension of the JPA. As we know, they are giving up almost nothing regarding their nuclear research, and getting huge benefits in time and money in return. Plus, the JPA does not seriously infringe, in any way, with the Iranian leaderships’ ability to threaten the U.S. and Jews, support terrorists and/or wars of aggression in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Yemen etc. and/or oppress its own people.

So why would the Iranians not take advantage of President Obama, if they can? Every other bad actor is doing it.

Adam Turner serves as staff counsel to the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET). He is a former counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee where he focused on national security law.

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