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Washington Post Critical of Iran-West Deal

The deal with Iran "makes several major concessions to Tehran," warns the Washington Post.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/1/2013, 5:46 AM

John Kerry, en route to Geneva
John Kerry, en route to Geneva
Flash 90

The Washington Post has come out against the deal that was signed between Iran and the West in Geneva last weekend.

In an editorial published Thursday, the newspaper noted that the fact sheet distributed by the Obama administration about the agreement with Iran “is notable for its omissions.”

“What the White House didn’t report is that the text of the accord makes several major concessions to Tehran on the terms of a planned second-stage agreement,” said The Washington Post.

“Though White House officials and Secretary of State John F. Kerry repeatedly said that Iran’s assertion of a ‘right to enrich’ uranium would not be recognized in an interim deal, the text says the ‘comprehensive solution’ will ‘involve a mutually defined enrichment program with mutually agreed parameters.’

“In other words,” warned the newspaper, “the United States and its partners have already agreed that Iranian enrichment activity will continue indefinitely. In contrast, a long-standing U.S. demand that an underground enrichment facility be closed is not mentioned.”

Furthermore, the editorial pointed out, “Obama and other U.S. officials have spoken about a six-month time frame for completing negotiations, but the agreement says the six-month arrangement can be renewed ‘by mutual consent’ and that ‘the parties aim to conclude negotiating and commence implementing [in] no more than one year.’

“It also states that ‘there would be additional steps in between the initial measures and the final step,’ including ‘addressing the UN Security Council resolutions.’ Those resolutions order Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, but the agreement does not say whether those demands will be enforced,” noted the newspaper.

The most troubling part of the document, according to The Washington Post, “provides for what amounts to a sunset clause in the comprehensive agreement. It says the final deal will ‘have a specified long-term duration to be agreed upon,’ and that once that time period is complete, ‘the Iranian nuclear program will be treated in the same manner as that of any non-nuclear weapon state party’ to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

“Iran thus could look forward to a time when there would be no sanctions and no special restrictions on its nuclear capacity; it could install an unlimited number of centrifuges and produce plutonium without violating any international accord,” warned the editorial.

“Whatever the final compromise, it would be dangerous to allow this Iranian regime to have an unrestricted nuclear program at any time — and it surely would be unacceptable to Israel and Iran’s Arab neighbors,” the editorial went on to say.

“The United States should retain the ability to block the expiration of controls with its veto in the UN Security Council.”

“The interim arrangement, as we have said, is worthy because it checks Iran’s progress toward a bomb and is far preferable to the military action that otherwise might have been necessary. But the agreement leaves the United States and its partners at a disadvantage in negotiating the comprehensive settlement. The concessions made to Iran will have to be balanced by a major rollback of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure — with no automatic expiration date,” it said.

Israeli leaders have been critical of the deal, which they argue left Iran dangerously close to obtaining a nuclear weapon.

In fact, a report Thursday in the same Washington Post indicated that as a result of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s constant warnings that the deal was a dangerous one, President Barack Obama had asked him to “take a breather” from his criticism of the deal.

U.S. lawmakers from both parties have been weary of the deal is well. Soon after the deal was signed, a group of 15 senators declared they would push for more sanctions on Iran.

The Obama administration has been waging a very aggressive campaign to dissuade senators from pursuing new sanctions.

According to some senators, during one briefing Kerry repeatedly told lawmakers to “ignore the Israelis” about Iran.