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Key Problems Trump Needs To Address On The Iran Nuclear Deal

Mar 02
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Forbes
By Amir Basiri
Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Iran’s recent ballistic missile test was the latest manifestation of its enmity toward the international community and its disrespect for its commitments under UN resolutions and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the nuclear deal forged between Tehran and world powers in 2015 is formally known.

Fearful of what U.S. President Donald Trump will do with the nuclear accord, proponents of the agreement have tried to frame it as a certifiable success and a historic achievement that prevented open warfare with one of the longest-standing foes of the international community and the U.S.
 
However, the Iranian regime continues to dismay them with its openly hostile behavior.
But while apologists of the appeasement policy toward Tehran tout the achievements of the JCPOA, they fail to mention any of the shortcomings and failures that have earned deal the title of “the worst deal ever negotiated.”
And on that front, handsome much can be said.
The new round of sanctions against Iranian regime individuals and entities is a positive step toward curbing Iran’s evil machinations. But there’s a lot more that needs to be done.
Here’s are the key facts that make the JCPOA a weak agreement—if not a failed one—and need to be addressed.

Uranium enrichment

Backers of the Iran deal maintain that the accord has put caps on Iran’s nuclear program by limiting its enriched uranium stockpile, level of enrichment and number of functional centrifuges. But all of those limits are predicated on hoping that the Iranian regime will keep its word, which is not saying much.
And the mere fact that an extremist regime and the leading state sponsor of terrorism is allowed to enrich uranium is in itself a failure. What’s interesting is that, before capitulating to Tehran, it was the Obama Administration’s stated position that Iran has no right to enrich uranium.
Iran could have perfectly achieved a peaceful nuclear energy program by purchasing fuel from the international market, and it would have even cost less than maintaining a domestic enrichment program. Tehran’s insistence on its “inalienable right to enrichment” further betrays its true intentions.
Having a nuclear threshold state in the Middle East will only exacerbate tensions in the neighborhood and possibly drive other nations to pursue their own nuclear program to protect themselves in case Iran does away with its commitments and breaks away toward nuclear weapons.

Sunset clause

The JCPOA provisions a sunset clause, which sets expiration dates on the limits imposed on Iran’s nuclear program.
This gives Iran the green light to extend its centrifuges beyond the current 6,000 limit after 10 years, and after 15 years it’ll be free to grow its nuclear stockpile beyond the current 300-kilogram cap as well as create heavy water reactors, which can generate weapons-grade plutonium.
Even Obama admits that in years 13, 14 and 15 of the deal, Iran’s breakout time “would have shrunk almost down to zero,” which means if Iran decides to dash for the bomb, it would have it in no time.
Proponents of the deal are hopeful that, by then, the Iranian regime will lose heart for pursuing nuclear bombs. However, statements by high Iranian authorities only prove that Tehran continues to entertain thoughts of restoring its nuclear program to its previous state—and beyond.
If the past four decades are any indication, nothing short of regime change will deter the mullahs ruling Iran from their nuclear ambitions or other evil intentions meant to preserve their power.

Non-transparent inspections

Following the forging of the pact, Obama stressed that the JCPOA does not rely on trust but on verification. The White House declared that under the new nuclear deal, “Iran has committed to extraordinary and robust monitoring, verification and inspection.”
But Iran’s written commitment, the mechanisms put in place to verify Iran’s compliance to the terms of the deal, are very weak.
Under the accord, the task of policing Iran’s nuclear activities will fall to a small band of IAEA inspectors who are supposed to have real-time access to Iran’s declared nuclear sites. However, Iran strictly limited access to its long-suspected Parchin facility, and proceeded with providing its own environmental samples of the site without inspectors physically present, the result of an alleged side deal between Washington and Tehran.
Moreover, should inspectors desire to investigate a new suspicious site, Iran can stall the process for up to 54 days, enough time to sanitize its sites and remove evidence.
Case in point: The IAEA’s first and second quarterly reports on Iran’s implementation of the nuclear deal provide less information on the regime’s nuclear activities than the reports preceding the agreement, a fact that caused worry among U.S. Senators who originally supported the deal.
And let’s not forget that Iran never officially ratified its adherence to the Additional Protocol, giving it yet another loophole to renege on its obligations at its whim.
Given Iran’s history at concealing its nuclear program, contrary to what Obama said, the current inspections regime puts too much trust in the Iranian regime.
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Last modified on Thursday, 02 March 2017 13:54

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