Iran Nuclear Deal

iran nukes

We have been told that the Iran Nuclear Deal allows the United States to closely monitor and guide Iran's eventual acquisition of nuclear technology including the development of bombs. Or we have been told Barack Obama has negotiated a deal that will keep this from happening. It all depends from where you get your information. The liberal Huffington Post reported that the deal "promises to curb Tehran’s controversial nuclear program in exchange for economic sanctions relief" (ref) Secretary of State John Kerry even said it is "the good deal that we have sought". But what was actually negotiated?

IRAN DEAL: Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

The full text of the deal can be found here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/271540447/Iran-nuclear-deal-text
A summary of the 159 page document is that:

  1. "[the plan]...will ensure that Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful, and mark a fundamental shift in their approach to this issue"
  2. "[the plan]...will positively contribute to regional and international peace and security"
  3. "[the plan]...reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons"
  4. "[the plan]...will allow [Iran] to move forward with an exclusively peaceful, indigenous nuclear programme, in line with scientific and economic considerations"
  5. "[the plan]...will produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme"
  6. "The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be requested to monitor and verify the voluntary nuclear-related measures..."
  7. "Iran will not engage in activities, including at the R&D level, that could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device...
  8. "If a law at the state or local level in the United States is preventing the implementation of the sanctions lifting as specified in this JCPOA, the United States will take appropriate steps, taking into account all available authorities, with a view to achieving such implementation..."
  9. "If Iran believed that any or all of the [other parties, ie U.S.] were not meeting their commitments under this JCPOA, Iran could refer the issue to the Joint Commission for resolution; similarly, if any of the [other parties] believed that Iran was not meeting its commitments under this JCPOA, any of the [other parties] could do the same.."
  10. [After about 80 days of process]...if the complaining participant deems the issue to constitute significant non-performance, then that participant could treat the unresolved issue as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part and/or notify the UN Security Council that it believes the issue constitutes significant non-performance...

OBJECTIONS

If the deal actually curbs Iran from developing nuclear capabilities, then what are the objections? As you can see from the summary above, there is nothing besides a promise that Iran will comply that keeps Iran from stringing the "other parties" along until Iran decides to kick out the IAEA inspectors and develop nukes anyway. We tried this same sort of thing with Iraq and North Korea and both reneged on the plan. North Korea went on to actually develop nuclear weapons (ref).


Further, the lifting of sanctions BEFORE any good faith actions by Iran is a bad move. Point 8 in the summary seems rather counter-American, since the U.S. government is not a totalitarian structure where a president can "take appropriate steps" to force other branches of the government to comply. We have a system of checks and balances. This slight has been exacerbated by the fact that Obama is seeking U.N. approval before U.S. Congress approval.
Points 9-10, seem to easily allow Iran to drop the agreement at any moment if feels like it no longer wants to be monitored by the IAEA.
Lastly, the United States had the perfect opportunity to negotiate the release of several hostages or "detainees" as some within Obama's administration call them. (ref). It seems the U.S. gets nothing out of the "deal", except an unreliable promise that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons for 8 to 25 years depending on how you read the document.

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