The Iran Nuclear Agreement, A Ticking Time-Bomb, Part II

A must read to understand in depth what lies behind the agreement and the opposition to it.

Mark Silverberg,

OpEds Mark Silverberg
Mark Silverberg

For part I, click here.

Abbas Araghchi, the deputy Iranian foreign minister who led the negotiations for Mr. Obama’s deal admitted that, despite the Agreement, Iran will continue to buy all the arms it wants, from whomever it wants, and if the rest of the world doesn’t like it - too bad. He vowed that Iran would “buy weapons from wherever possible, and will provide weapons to whomever and wherever it considers appropriate.”

Nor is he alone. Iran´s Supreme Leader Khamenei gave a particularly inflammatory speech just days after the deal, stating that the Islamic Republic´s policies toward the U.S. have not changed. "We will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon," he continued, referring to the Iranian terror axis in the Middle East. "Even after this deal, our policy towards the arrogant U.S. will not change."

Two years ago, the Iranian economy was collapsing under the weight of international economic sanctions and it is conceivable that Iran’s Islamic regime would have collapsed as well had the sanctions been rigorously applied. But the Agreement has now given the mullahs a new lease on life. Their economic situation will be completely transformed. A gold rush to Iran will now take place. Profits and the promise of jobs in stressed European and Russian economies will create powerful interest groups and popular sentiment against doing anything to upset the status quo.

Thus, counting on “snapping back” the sanctions that in reality contain neither “snap” nor “back” is a fantasy of fools even when (not if) Tehran opts to use its soon-to-be vast financial resources to dramatically increase its support for Hezbollah and Hamas, the Assad regime in Syria, and the Houthi rebellion in Yemen – which is assured. The Iranians know the U.S. is unprepared to use force, and with the tens of billions in funds and unlocked oil revenues handed over to Iran to acquire weapons that can be used to strike at America and its allies, it knows that the United States will be even less willing to act militarily at “break-out time” than it is now.

Wishful thinking is no basis for a foreign policy

In his June 2009 address in Cairo, President Obama said: “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles - principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings”…….. and in a January 2014 interview in the New Yorker, he added: “If we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion - not funding terrorist organizations, not trying to stir up sectarian discontent in other countries, and not developing a nuclear weapon - you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran.”

President Obama seems to believe Iran’s government is capable not only of rational analysis, but of transforming itself into a reasonable and responsible international player...
Obama’s aspiration for equilibrium, however, is based on his conviction that Iran will voluntarily come to place limits on its own ambitions. To him, therefore, the nuclear deal is not an end in itself; it is a means to establish the larger end of a strategic partnership that will accomplish his sought-for “equilibrium” in the Middle East. If, as President Obama seems to believe, Iran’s government is capable not only of rational analysis, but of transforming itself into a reasonable and responsible international player, its possession of a nuclear program would not be so troubling.

But allowing a genocidal, tyrannical, xenophobic, terrorism-sponsoring, jihadist Islamic regime that is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and which is theologically committed to achieving regional and ultimately global Islamic hegemony, and is pledged to the destruction of Israel to have a nuclear weapons program - is sheer madness.

Therefore, the basic premise of this deal is seriously flawed. In order to believe that such a change is possible, we must forget everything we know about the nature of this Islamic regime - that it is inherently aggressive and motivated by an extreme religious ideology that sees moderate Arabs, the West, the United States and Israel as enemies to be destroyed - not partners for peace and cooperation.

President Barack Obama has harmed the world by abandoning his own red lines - against the emphatic advice of his own military advisors. In doing so, he has bestowed ideological legitimacy on the Islamic Republic's radical theocracy, and consigned the people of Iran to near permanent rule under the iron fist of Shi'a Islam.

The Agreement does not insist that Iran cease its threats to annihilate the state of Israel, abandon public rallies calling for “death to America,” end support for terrorist organizations abroad, publicly reject the absurdities of Holocaust denial, release American political prisoners, or end violations of human rights at home.

Furthermore, this Agreement will lead to a nuclear arms race in the Sunni Arab world. Saudi Arabia has already signed a $12B deal with France for two sophisticated nuclear reactors and they are also reaching out to Russia and South Korea to insure they’re not left behind in Iran’s quest for regional hegemony. As Mark Hanna notes in PJ Media: “A U.S.-approved deal sends the unequivocal message that unless you are a rogue nuclear nation, you’re not going to get the payoffs, U.S. protection and privileges Obama just afforded the Iranians”.

Iran will also have been rewarded for having violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and will be given a red carpeted fast-track to complete its nuclear bomb and to construct intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that will be capable of reaching Israel, the Sunni Arab states of the Middle East, Europe and even America.

The President also maintains that the alternative to this deal is war. That claim is blatantly false. Prof. Fred Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute points out that there is a historical precedent for tougher diplomacy that works. The U.S. Senate refused to ratify SALT II, ending the SALT process, but war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union did not ensue. Both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan instead increased the pressure on the Soviet
The President also maintains that the alternative to this deal is war. That claim is blatantly false.
Union dramatically. The lesson is that walking away from bad deals does not inevitably lead either to war or to the end of negotiations.

The short of it is that Iran will neither stop its nuclear development, nor change its jihadist aggression, nor surrender. Instead of lifting the sanctions and guaranteeing the survival of the Islamic regime, the U.S. should be increasing and enforcing them, for even if a fraction of the revenues to be returned to Iran are allocated to expanding Islamic terrorism beyond its borders (as is expected), the U.S. will have subsidized the expansion of its worst nightmare.

The Iran deal, as presently constructed, is a mistake of historic proportions. It meets zero of the criteria for a good deal. It is not enforceable, it is not verifiable, nor is it in America's national security interest. The world’s largest state sponsor of terror got everything it wanted and the free world got a ticking time-bomb.

As Alan Dershowitz wrote recently: “The gamble is that by the time the most restrictive provisions of the deal expire, Iran will be a different country with more reasonable leaders. But can the world and especially the nations most at risk from an Iranian nuclear arsenal depend on faith, bets and dice, when they know that the last time the nuclear dice were rolled ….. North Korea ended up with nuclear weapons?”

The Agreement reached with Iran is bad for the United States, for its Sunni Arab allies, for the West, for Israel and for the world, and for these reasons the U.S. Congress must reject it.