In the Washington Times, I explain why the Iran nuclear deal is much worse than most people realize:
Most Americans know that Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran is bad, but few are aware that it’s this bad. I explain why fully in my book “The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran” — and here are some of the deal’s very worst aspects:
1. The expiration dates: While the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement is called, does include real restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities, these are all slated to expire within a period of years. The agreement anticipates the “conclusion of consideration of the Iran nuclear issue by the U.N. Security Council 10 years after the Adoption Day” — that is, the adoption of the agreement itself on July 14, 2015. It contains stipulations such as this: “There will be no additional heavy water reactors or accumulation of heavy water in Iran for 15 years.” What about after that? The agreement doesn’t say. Apparently, at that point anything goes.
2. The delay in inspections: The day after the conclusion of the JCPOA, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu observed: “Iran has two paths to the bomb: One if they keep the deal, the other if they cheat on the deal.” They can get the bomb even if they keep the deal because the JCPOA contains the provision that Iran can delay requested International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections for up to 24 days — ample time to clean up for the inspectors.
3. The removal of sanctions: Even before the deal, it was questionable how effective the economic sanctions that the United States and U.N. had placed upon Iran really were: In March 2015, Thomas Erdbrink, Tehran bureau chief of The New York Times and longtime resident of Iran, remarked, “As the politicians are talking for months to end the sanctions, my shopkeeper tells me he has more foreign products for sale than ever.”
Nonetheless, the JCPOA is quite definite about removing all economic sanctions on Iran. This included the removal of sanctions that had originally been intended to be removed only when Iran definitively gave up its nuclear program; now the Islamic Republic was being given sanctions relief and allowed to continue its nuclear program, only with certain restrictions that would all eventually expire anyway.
4. The lack of any consequences for breaking the agreement: The 159-page Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action goes into tremendous detail about the Iranian nuclear program and how it is to be temporarily restricted in various ways. It also expatiates at length on exactly which sanctions are to be removed. But it is conspicuously lacking in specifying penalties for Iran’s not holding to the agreement. There is vague talk about the sanctions being reimposed — but once money held in the sanctions is given to Iran, it cannot be recovered.
5. Americans will not be allowed to inspect Iran’s nuclear sites: On July 30, 2015, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi pointed out, “American and Canadian inspectors cannot be sent to Iran. It is mentioned in the deal that inspectors should be from countries that have diplomatic relations with Islamic Republic of Iran.” IAEA inspectors, he added, would not be given access to “sensitive and military documents.”
In an interview with Al Jazeera the following day, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, further broadened these restrictions to apply to other signatories to the deal as well: “Regardless of how the P5+1 countries interpret the nuclear agreement, their entry into our military sites is absolutely forbidden.”
Who, then, will be inspecting Iran’s nuclear sites? Why, Iran itself.
6. Iran can inspect its own sites: On Aug. 19, 2015, the Associated Press dropped a bombshell. Confirming rumors that had circulated since the agreement was signed, it reported that a secret side deal between the IAEA and Iran allowed the Iranians to conduct their own inspections of their own sites:
“Iran, in an unusual arrangement, will be allowed to use its own experts to inspect a site it allegedly used to develop nuclear arms under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work.”
What could possibly go wrong?
These terms are almost absurdly easy on Iran. In the unlikely very worst case scenario for the Iranians, they may possibly find themselves in just as bad a position as they were before the JCPOA. What exactly is the rest of the world getting out of this agreement? Only a newly flush and increasingly bellicose Iran, possibly soon threatening the world with nuclear arms.