by Leonora Cravotta
Clash Daily Contributor
There is no pussyfooting around it, the Iran nuclear deal is a terrible deal. What were Obama and Kerry thinking? The U.S. gave up every ounce of leverage we had with Iran. And what did we receive in exchange? A toothless agreement which just increases the likelihood of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. Of course, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is grinning from ear to ear because he got everything he wanted.
So how did the United States lose its way? Let’s review. We caved on every major component of the agreement. First of all, back in 2012, then National Security Council spokesperson Tommy Vietor stated that Iran must execute a “full suspension of uranium enrichment.” Bear in mind, Vietor is the individual who famously went on Fox News and responded to Bret Baier’s questions about Benghazi by saying, “Dude, this was like two years ago.” (But I digress).
In keeping with the stated goal that Iran must suspend uranium enrichment, the US set a ceiling of 500 to 1500 centrifuges dedicated to enriching uranium. Supposedly this low level of centrifuges would be sufficient for peaceful industrial enrichment. However, in the agreement, Iran is reducing its centrifuges by two thirds from 19,000 to 6000 and limiting enrichment to 3.67% for at least fifteen years. 6000 centrifuges is four times the original proposed ceiling of 1500. And of course, just because the centrifuge quantity is reduced, that does not mean the Iranians will actually get rid of the equipment. There are risks everywhere in this deal.
Secondly, back in December 2013, Obama said that the Iranians do not need the enrichment facility at Fordow for a peaceful uranium nuclear program. Guess what, in the new deal Fordow remains open, ostensibly for scientific research. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. Recently, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Senate “Under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on Iran relative to ballistic missile and arms trafficking.” Again, the deal eliminates the UN embargo on conventional arms sales within five years and ballistic missiles within eight years. So much for tough negotiations. Furthermore, just a few months ago, Obama claimed that US inspectors would have unfettered access to Iranian facilities. However, in the new deal, Iran can delay inspections for up to 24 days. Hardly “anytime anywhere” inspections.
However, we really gave away the farm with sanction relief. In six months to a year, the sanctions will be lifted and Iran will have access to $100 billion to $150 billion in unfrozen assets. As recently as a few months ago, Obama claimed that if Iran violates the deal, the sanctions would be reinstated immediately. The reality is that in order to re-impose the sanctions, the US would have to obtain a majority vote from an international panel. Since the international panel would have to include the US, Russia, China and Iran, to secure the majority the US would have to involve Great Britain, France, Germany and the European Union. Since the US won’t have an iron clad way to ascertain whether Iran is violating the nuclear agreement, removing the sanctions seamlessly would be a near impossibility.
Furthermore, most of the deal’s restrictions end after ten years. So even if Iran does not cheat (and that is a big if), Iran will have had billions of dollars invested in their economy and plenty of time to stockpile and hide ballistic weapons. All of which brings them closer to developing a nuclear weapon.
At the end of the day, the US gave up all of our bargaining chips and literally made it easier for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. Obama also weakened our relationship with Israel, our strongest ally in the Middle East. Good going Obama, under your watch the US has gone from being perceived as a super power to being perceived as a “sucker”. No wonder the streets of Iran are filled with Iranian citizens chanting “Rouhani, we thank you.”
Congress needs to fight back. We cannot let this Faustian nuclear deal see the light of day.
Leonora Cravotta is the lead writer/editor for BugleCall.org; and the Co-Host for the Scott Adams Show, a political radio talk show. Her professional background includes over fifteen years in corporate and nonprofit marketing. She holds a B.A. in English and French from Denison University, an M.A. in English from University of Kentucky and an M.B.A. from Fordham University. The Scott Adams show is available on Buglecall.org, Red State Talk Radio, iTunes, Tune-In, Spreaker, Stitcher and Soundcloud.