Iran Deal Surrender Confirmed
June 12, 2015
Among the many promises made
by the Obama administration after the framework nuclear deal was announced in
April was a commitment to insisting that Iran come clean on all its past work on
military dimensions of its nuclear project. Secretary of State John Kerry
explicitly promised that Iran had to provide all this information to the West
before the final version of the agreement could be put on paper and signed prior
to the June 30th deadline. Though it was feared that President Obamaís
commitment to getting a nuclear deal at any price would lead to such an
important aspect of an agreement being jettisoned, we were reassured that the
administration would stick to its demands. But now it appears that those
promises were worthless. As
the Associated Press reports, U.S. and Western diplomats are now
saying they ďare prepared to accept a nuclear agreement with Iran that
doesnít immediately answer questions about past atomic weapons work.Ē That
leaves us wondering what other concessions are also imminent and whether
Congress will consider, as it should, this abject surrender to be a sufficient
reason to reject the pact when it comes before them for approval.
Lest there be any doubt about
the administrationís promise to get Iran to open up about its military work,
hereís what Secretary of State John Kerry said about the issue
in an interview on PBSís News Hour with Judy Woodruff on April 8:
Woodruff: Still, another
issue; the International Atomic Energy Agency has said for a long time that
it wants Iran to disclose past military-related nuclear activities. Iran is
increasingly looking like itís not going to do this. Is the U.S. prepared
to accept that?
Kerry: No. They have to do it.
It will be done. If thereís going to be a deal; it will be done.
Woodruff: Because itís not
Kerry: It will be done.
Woodruff: So that information
will be released before June 30th, will be available.
Kerry: It will be part of a
final agreement. It has to be.
What makes this surrender so
appalling is that it is just the latest of a long string of Western concessions
to Iran. At every point during the last two years of negotiations, the United
States has backed down on key demands on allowing Iran the right to enrich
uranium, the scale of the nuclear infrastructure it is allowed and virtually
every other vital aspect of the issue. Whereas in the fall of 2012, President
Obama was promising Americans during his foreign policy debate with Mitt Romney
that any deal would involved the end of Iranís nuclear program, by this year
that position had evolved to one that granted it the right to go on enriching
uranium and keeping thousands of centrifuges spinning in an agreement that would
expire after a set number of years rather than constituting a permanent
stricture on Tehranís ability to produce a bomb.
The reason for these
concessions was explained away by claiming that the original demands were
unrealistic and that a deal that didnít include them was better than no deal
at all. That appears to be the same dynamic that is driving the West to back
down on Iran revealing its past military work.
Why is this important? The
answer is that, without such information, the West can have no real idea about
how close the Iranians are to building a weapon. The entire conceit of the
current deal is a belief that the structure it imposes on Iran lengthens the
period during which they could ďbreak outĒ to a nuclear weapon supposedly
leaving the U.S. sufficient time to detect the violations and then take action
to stop it. But if the exact level of Iranís military development is unknown
then talk about a coherent response to a breakout is meaningless. Far from a
meaningless detail, Kerry was right in April to say that a deal wouldnít be
possible without this information. But faced with an intransigent Iran that is
confident that President Obama will blink any time the deal is threatened, the
West has once again backed down.
The commitment to getting
complete information about Iranís military research and development wasnít
the only such pledge since at the time of the announcement other important
details of the pact, such as provisions for lifting and possibly snapping back
sanctions, the disposition of Iranís stockpile of nuclear fuel and rigorous
inspections of its facilities were also unresolved. To make matters worse, Iran
soon made it clear it had no intention of agreeing to any of the Westís
requests in order to get a deal signed. Though the administration has continued
saying that it will insist on these points, the concession on military research
shows that such promises canít be trusted.
Over the course of the past
two years, President Obama has consistently demonstrated that his priority is dťtente
with Iran, not stopping its nuclear program as he had promised. Where once he
and Kerry insisted that no deal is better than a bad deal, itís now abundantly
clear that getting a terrible deal at any price is their only objective.
Congress should be paying attention to this dispiriting display and send an
equally clear message to the White House that it will block adoption of any
agreement with Iran that doesnít fulfill the administrationís own pledges.