Pity Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council and chief cheerleader for the Iran regime. He toils tirelessly to spin arguments in favor of closing a nuclear deal with Iran by emphasizing a newfangled moderation within Iran and the need to empower Iran’s “moderates” against the uncompromising “hardliners.”
Unfortunately for him, the key player in Iran, Ali Khamenei, who under the Islamic state’s constitution basically gets the final word on almost every aspect of Iranian life, undercut Parsi yet again with another of his now-famous rants denouncing all things Parsi previously hailed as significant milestones during these three torturous years of talks.
One might feel compassion for Parsi if it wasn’t for the fact that obfuscation has become a high art form for him in defending a regime that by all objective standards is corrupt and bloodthirsty.
In a speech broadcast live on Iranian state television and widely reported in global media, Khamenei doubled down on previous demands and called for sanctions against Iran to be lifted before the regime dismantled one bolt of its nuclear infrastructure and before any verification by international inspectors takes place. He also ruled out any freeze on Iran’s nuclear enrichment for a decade – as previously announced in the interim framework agreement – and repeated his refusal to allow inspections of any military sites.
“All financial and economic sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. Congress or the U.S. government should be lifted immediately when we sign a nuclear agreement,” Khamenei said.
Khamenei’s statements, when taken into context of what it means to not suspend nuclear development and not allow international inspections, show clearly the regime’s intent of not only maintaining the capability for developing a nuclear weapon, but dramatically shorten the window from years to mere months.
In an editorial in the New York Times by Prof. Alan Kuperman of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project at the University of Texas, the good professor calculated that Iran’s breakout window actually shrinks from a proposed year to only three months.
Guy Benson in a Townhall.com piece reminds us of the perplexing revelation that during nuclear talks, Iran had actually already increased its stockpile of enriched uranium by 20 percent instead of shrinking it as previously agreed to.
Guy Taylor of the Washington Times began a series of reports examining the regime’s awful history of evasion and duplicity in hiding its nuclear program and denying access to inspections and raised red flags over the Obama administration’s assertions that it already knew for certain Iran’s prior history on nuclear development and didn’t need to know more.
“If you look forward without looking back, then you miss decades of Iranian nuclear mendacity and a well-established record of Iranian(regime’s) cheating and challenging the IAEA,” said Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, in the Washington Times report. “I think Secretary Kerry should be more cautious in assuming that the U.S. intelligence community has ‘absolute knowledge’ of Iran’s nuclear program.
“The Iranians stonewalled the IAEA for years. They’ve been denying inspectors’ access, and they’ve been building illicit nuclear facilities that we’ve been unable to detect,” he said. “We’ve gone through six separate U.N. Security Council resolutions since 2006, and time and time again, in every report, the IAEA has said it was unable to certify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful — that there are no undeclared sites or activities and there is no illicit diversion of nuclear material.”
Taylor further writes:
“Indeed, a timeline on the official website of the IAEA outlines a history of back-and-forth between the U.N. nuclear inspectors and Iranian authorities dating back to 2002.
“Although there is sporadic evidence of cooperation from Tehran over the years, the period was highlighted by repeated incidents of frustration by IAEA inspectors, who felt they were either outright blocked or intentionally misled during investigative visits to Iran.
“Such frustration reached a critical moment in 2006, when the U.N. Security Council responding by passing a resolution demanding that “Iran suspend uranium enrichment by 31 August or face possible economic [and] diplomatic sanctions.”
It is those sanctions and ones imposed by the U.S. that Khamenei has doubled down on to see removed in order to gain access to an estimated $140 billion windfall in frozen regime assets. Given the regime’s past use of funds in proxy wars and terror activities, we can only assume what a payday like that would mean to Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon, Houthi rebels in Yemen and Shiite militias in Iraq.
By Michael Tomlinson