Ten Things You Should Know About the Iran Nuke Deal
1. Alternatives to this deal. War is not the only alternative as some pundits warn. The alternative is a better deal taking into account differences in Iranian and US interpretations as well as obvious flaws and the fact that sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table.
2. Security Council Resolutions. In allowing Iran to operate about 6,000 centrifuges and to continue other nuclear activities, the framework agreement is legitimizing Iran’s consistent violation of UN Security Council Resolutions which are binding in terms of Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Resolution 1696 of July 2006 demanded that Iran suspend ALL enrichment-related and reprocessing activities. Nine additional resolutions were subsequently passed in response to Iran’s failure to meet requirements of the IAEA and to comply with resolution 1696.
3. The stockpile grows. Iran Watch of April 2, 2015 reported that Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium has been growing during the talks and that Iran agrees to limit its existing stockpile of about 10,000 kg of low-enriched uranium, to 300 kg for a period of 15 years. But Iran Watch asks what happens to the rest of the stockpile? Will it be shipped out of the country or will Iran dilute the material and keep it in the country? The stockpile is sufficient to fuel about seven nuclear weapons, with further enrichment and processing. If the material remains in the country (especially in diluted gaseous form), it could provide Iran with the building blocks for a small nuclear arsenal.
4. About Rouhani. Hassan Rouhani’s election as Iranian president is perceived as positive in comparison to his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But Reuters suggests that Rouhani’s earlier comments offer an intriguing window into his thinking, a warning that his apparent moderate attitude could be deceptive. For example, as President-elect on June 17, 2013, Rouhani told the media that he approved of concealing Iran’s nuclear program. And according to The Telegraph of June 17, 2013 he ruled out halting Iran’s controversial uranium enrichment program.
5. Concealment. Consistent with Iran’s admitted propensity for concealment, a clandestine underground uranium enrichment facility was revealed in August 2002 by The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) (one of two parliaments in exile of the Iranian Resistance) and its existence was acknowledged by Iran in February 2003. (Iran Watch)
According to AFP as reported in Arabian business.com (Feb. 21, 2008) Mohammad Mohadessin, a leader of NCRI reported that Iran is actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program on an operational nuclear-warhead development site. Accompanied by satellite photographs he said information had been collected on two top secret studies on nuclear warheads. A new center, code-named Lavizan-2, was established at Mojdeh and a missile-research site at Khojir was actively developing a nuclear warhead for medium range missiles. Information had come from “hundreds” of sources including people working at the sites and within offices of the Iranian leadership.
In a speech to the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council when he was National Security Council Secretary, Rouhani admitted that in the summer of 1382 (2003) IAEA inspectors found traces of 70 percent and 80 percent enriched uranium which he explained as contamination. He said:
By contamination, I mean we have traces of uranium that has been enriched more than 50 percent in our facilities. Having uranium that has been enriched more than 20% means a country is trying to build weapons.
Rouhani claimed Iran was not responsible and some people in Iran argued that the IAEA inspectors, influenced by the United States, brought contaminated handkerchiefs and presented them as false evidence . (“Beyond the Challenges Facing Iran and the IAEA Concerning the Nuclear Dossier” Rahbord (in Persian)), 30 September 2005
6. Lack of cooperation. According to the IAEA report of February 19, 2015, Iran has not yet provided any explanations that enable the IAEA to clarify two outstanding practical measures, nor has it proposed any new practical measures in the next step of the Framework for Cooperation.
7. Iran’s tentacles of terror. It is difficult to understand why advantage was not taken during the negotiations of the unique opportunity to deal with Iran’s promotion of terrorism as a step towards establishing a new working relationship with the West. The P5 appear to be unconcerned about Iran’s openly declared intentions as expressed in Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei chanting “Death to America” as recently as March 23 2015, even while his foreign minister was negotiating with them.
On February 11, 2015 Fox News reported:
Secret Iranian unit fueling Mideast bloodshed with illicit arms shipments
As conflicts and civil wars rage across the Middle East and North Africa, a shadowy covert cell operating under the Iranian government is fueling the bloodshed. The Quds Force moves weapons to Hezbollah, Hamas and now the Houthis in Yemen. It runs a network of straw companies which skirt sanctions.
In January 2013, the US Navy intercepted 40 tons of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles on a boat destined for the Houthis who have now taken control of Yemen’s capital, forcing the evacuation of the US Embassy. Last May the US State Department reported that Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism has reached a tempo unseen since the 1990s.
Iran is implicated in providing financial, material and logistical support for terror attacks in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa and it was known that certain terrorist groups have expressed interest in using a nuclear device. A terrorist nuclear explosion could kill hundreds of thousands and destroy the economy of a country.
8. Iran claims US is lying. On April 2, the Washington Free Beacon reported that after the announcement of the framework, Iran’s leading negotiator Javad Zarif accused the Obama administration of lying and of misleading both the American people and Congress. A headline declared:
Iran Brags About Nuke Concessions. Sanctions to be terminated, no nuke sites closed, research and development to continue.
Zarif also revealed that Iran will be allowed to sell enriched uranium in the international market.
The report added that allowing Iran to keep centrifuges at Fordow, has elicited concern that Tehran could ramp up its nuclear work with ease.
9. Differences about what was agreed on lifting of sanctions. Zarif said the US promised an immediate termination of sanctions, thereby directly contradicting Secretary Kerry’s statement that sanctions relief would be implemented in a phased fashion only after Iran verifies it is not conducting any work on nuclear weapons. Zarif also told reporters that the agreement allows Iran to keep operating its nuclear program. He said:
None of those measures intended to scale back Iran’s program include closing any of our facilities. We will continue enriching; we will continue research and development.
10. Arab opposition to the framework
The Guardian headlined:
Arab nations alarmed by prospect of US nuclear deal with Iran
And The Wall Street Journal reported that Arab officials and people across the region say the agreement with Iran, a country deeply involved in the Middle East’s web of bloody conflicts, is unlikely to help defuse the region’s sectarian wars and could even widen fault lines.
Egyptian daily Al-Wafd reported:
Politicians: Obama’s deal with Iran threatens Arab world
Some Arab countries are opposed to the nuclear deal because it poses a threat to their interests.
Hani al-Jamal, an Egyptian political and regional researcher was quoted as saying:
The deal means that the international community has accepted Iran as a nuclear power. He predicted that the framework agreement would put Iran and some Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt on a collision course.