It has been one year since the Iran nuclear deal was agreed approved and freed the Iranian regime from a host of economic sanctions, as well as gave itself truckloads of political and diplomatic capital it has spread around the world in support of three proxy wars it is now waging.
By any objective standard, the Iranian nuclear deal has been a failure because it never was tied to modifying the behavior of the mullahs in Tehran. If the mullahs suffer no consequences for actions to support terror, commit cruel human rights violations and continue to build the infrastructure necessary to deliver a nuclear warhead to a target, then they are going to continue with that abhorrent behavior.
Nowhere was that point made more clear than in revelations by the Associated Press that in a secret side deal with the Iranian regime granted by the Obama administration, key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will start to ease years before the publicly-stated 15 year accord’s expiration, thus allowing the regime to pursue full development of a nuclear bomb well before the end of the pact.
The confidential document is the only text linked to last year’s deal between Iran and six foreign powers that hasn’t been made public, although U.S. officials say members of Congress who expressed interest were briefed on its substance. It was given to the AP by a diplomat whose work has focused on Iran’s nuclear program for more than a decade, and its authenticity was confirmed by another diplomat who possesses the same document.
although some of the constraints extend for 15 years, documents in the public domain are short on details of what happens with Iran’s most proliferation-prone nuclear activity — its uranium enrichment — beyond the first 10 years of the agreement.
The document obtained by the AP fills in the gap. It says that as of January 2027 — 11 years after the deal was implemented — Iran will start replacing its mainstay centrifuges with thousands of advanced machines.
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Centrifuges churn out uranium to levels that can range from use as reactor fuel and for medical and research purposes to much higher levels for the core of a nuclear warhead. From year 11 to 13, says the document, Iran will install centrifuges up to five times as efficient as the 5,060 machines it is now restricted to using.
Those new models will number less than those being used now, ranging between 2,500 and 3,500, depending on their efficiency, according to the document. But because they are more effective, they will allow Iran to enrich at more than twice the rate it is doing now, according to the New York Times.
The blockbuster revelations mean that Iran can massively expand its uranium enrichment capacity to produce several nuclear warheads within a time frame as little as 10 years, which contradicts virtually every public reassurance uttered by Iran lobby proponents such as the National Iranian American Council and Ploughshares Fund.
The NIAC’s deliberate misleading of the public continued during a briefing on Capitol Hill in which the NIAC was represented by noted regime apologists Reza Marashi and Tyler Cullis. Also attending were Suzanne DiMaggio of New America and Lawrence Korb of the Center for American Progress.
DiMaggio was especially adept at turning verbal gymnastics in trying to pound home the idea that the nuclear agreement should not be tied to other issues such as Iran’s consistent support for the Assad regime as it busily wipes out virtually the entire civilian population of Syria.
It is funny DiMaggio also mentioned the heightened state of crisis in the Strait of Hormuz and thought it would be a good idea for the U.S. and the regime to negotiate an agreement government interactions at sea. That would be nice since Iran has been busy continually threatening U.S. and foreign vessels, capturing and parading U.S. sailors and threatening to blow up commercial shipping repeatedly, as well as use its own vessels to smuggle illicit weapons and arms to Houthi rebels in Yemen, threatening Saudi Arabia and opening a new war front.
Yeah, that would be a nice idea. So would hitting the lottery three times in a row, but you shouldn’t count on it.
Most remarkable of all was the complete absence of any discussions about human rights in the presentations. Only during questioning did Marashi mention human rights in the context of having a dialogue, which is cold comfort to the thousands of Iranians and dual-nationality citizens currently being held in Evin prison.
The fact that the Iran lobby never discusses human rights reveals the Achilles heel of its position in trying to defend the nuclear deal. Regime apologists such as Trita Parsi of NIAC understand the threat that discussing human rights poses to the nuclear deal since the topic is deadly radioactive to them. They have no defense for the barbaric actions of the regime and no deflection of the human misery being suffered by Iranians at the hands of their own leaders.
In a lengthy piece in Politico, Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, a Boston Globe columnist, wrote extensively about efforts to derail the nuclear deal, taking special effort to go after Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and staunch opponent of the nuclear deal.
She also ironically only mentions human rights once in her piece and only in terms of what Dubowitz is focusing on in working against the flawed deal. She quotes Parsi in his efforts to portray the potential consequences of the nuclear deal failing and blaming it on the U.S. exclusively, even though the Iranian regime has moved aggressively to exceed the limits of the agreement with a huge increase in testing of ballistic missiles outlawed by United Nations sanctions.
Iran is barred from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years under UN Resolution 2231, which went effect July 20, 2015, days after the nuclear accord was signed.
Iran is “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” according to the text of the resolution.
Yet, only two days before the anniversary of the agreement, Iran conducted its fourth missile test since the deal was signed in clear violation of the sanction and has boldly proclaimed it would accelerate its missile program; choosing the same path that pariah state North Korea has taken in missile development.
With the looming end of the Obama administration and the very real possibility of a Trump or Clinton administration seeking to redo the deal to address these concerns, the Iran lobby is working feverishly to buy the mullahs more time to accelerate its nuclear infrastructure work before the start of 2017.
By Michael Tomlinson