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July 9, 2015 10:31 am

We Must Stop a Bad Iran Deal, or Forever Live With the Consequences

avatar by Bob Feferman

The Iranian nuclear program's water reactor at Arak. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Iranian nuclear program’s water reactor at Arak. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

For nearly a decade, thousands of citizen-activists have been involved in the efforts to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. They have organized and attended rallies, worked to support legislation at the state level, and lobbied their representatives in the U.S. Congress. Indeed, Presidents Bush and Obama and the U.S. Congress have dedicated countless hours to imposing tough economic sanctions on Iran. How tragic would it be, if after all these efforts—due to either resignation or fatigue— we fail to raise our voices and demand a deal that actually prevents a nuclear-armed Iran?

The list of concessions already made to Iran by the P5+1 is long and deeply troubling. From the outset, the current negotiations have been disconnected from Iran’s support for terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, and disconnected from its ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.

Moreover, these negotiations have not even touched upon Iran’s abysmal human rights record, its support for the brutal Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, and the repeated threats of Iranian leaders to destroy Israel.

Now we are on the eve of an agreement that will leave Iran with all of its nuclear infrastructure intact. Meaningful restrictions on the size and scope of Iran’s nuclear program will then largely “sunset” after a period of 10 to 15 years.

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In the meantime, Iran will be rewarded with more than $100 billion dollars in frozen oil revenues while aggressively expanding its domination of the Middle East and remaining the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.

With this in mind, it is essential that we raise our voices and demand from our representatives in Congress that they fulfill their oversight role embodied in the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015 (the Corker-Menendez bill) to hold the line against an unacceptable deal.

In a recent informational campaign, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) outlined four parameters that an acceptable deal must include:

  • Full access to Iranian facilities for nuclear inspectors. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must be able to interview scientists and officials, and visit military facilities as part of its investigation of Iran’s previous work on nuclear weapons development.
  • IAEA inspectors must also be able to do “challenge inspections” of any suspected nuclear facilities – including military facilities – within a timely manner.
  • The phased termination of existing international economic sanctions to match Iran’s compliance with its obligations, rather than the lifting of sanctions upon the signing of a deal.
  • The immediate re-imposition of economic sanctions should Iran be found in violation of the agreement.

If an agreement reached in Vienna between Iran and the P5+1 fails to meet these minimal standards, then all of our efforts to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran will have been in vain.

Simply limiting Iran’s nuclear program for 10-15 years and hoping that Iran complies in the meantime is not a strategy for preventing a state sponsor of terrorism from acquiring nuclear weapons. This is especially true given the fact that Iran has deceived the international community on multiple occasions.

History will not judge us by our hopes and dreams for a better world, but rather by our clear-headed thinking and our willingness to act. At this crucial time in our history, we must take action and demand that our representative in Congress hold the line and not allow a deal that caves in to Iran.

Bob Feferman is Outreach Coordinator for the non-partisan advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI).

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