Why Are So Many Claim­ing That Iran Is Com­ply­ing with the Deal, When Ev­i­dence Shows They Aren't?

The Jewish Voice - - OP-ED - By: Alan M. Der­showitz

The ev­i­dence is mount­ing that Iran is not only vi­o­lat­ing the spirit of the no-nukes deal, but that it is also vi­o­lat­ing its let­ter. Th pro­logue to the deal ex­plic­itly states: "Iran reaf­firms that un­der no cir­cum­stances will Iran ever seek, de­velop or ac­quire any nu­clear weapons." This reaf­fir­ma­tion has no sun­set pro­vi­sion: it is sup­posed to be for­ever.

Yet Ger­man of­fi­cial have con­cluded that Iran has not given up on its goal to pro­duce nu­clear weapons that can be mounted on rock­ets. Ac­cord­ing to Der Tagesspiegel, a Ber­lin news­pa­per:

"De­spite the nu­clear agree­ment [reached with world pow­ers in July 2015], Iran has not given up its il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties in Ger­many. The mul­lah regime also made ef­forts this year to ob­tain ma­te­rial from [Ger­man] fi ms for its nu­clear pro­gram and the con­struc­tion of missiles, said se­cu­rity sources."

Frank Jansen, a prom­i­nent jour­nal­ist, has re­ported that the "Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guards want to con­tinue the nu­clear pro­gram at all costs."

The In­ter­na­tional Atomic En­ergy Agency (IAEA) re­cently stated that it could not ver­ify that Iran was "fully im­ple­ment­ing the agree­ment" by not en­gag­ing in ac­tiv­i­ties that would al­low it to make a nu­clear ex­plo­sive de­vice. Yukiya Amano of the IAEA told Reuters that when it comes to in­spec­tions – which are stip­u­lated in sec­tion T of the agree­ment – "our tools are lim­ited." Amano continued to say: "In other sec­tions, for ex­am­ple, Iran has com­mit­ted to sub­mit dec­la­ra­tions, place their ac­tiv­i­ties un­der safe­guards or en­sure ac­cess by us. But in Sec­tion T I don't see any (such com­mit­ment)."

It is well es­tab­lished that Tehran has con­sis­tently de­nied IAEA in­spec­tors' ac­cess to mil­i­tary sites and other re­search lo­ca­tions. This is in di­rect con­tra­ven­tion to the Joint Com­pre­hen­sive Plan of Ac­tion (JCPOA) and bi­par­ti­san leg­is­la­tion set out by Congress, which com­pels the pres­i­dent to ver­ify that "Iran is trans­par­ently, ver­ifi bly, and fully im­ple­ment­ing the agree­ment." Yet, ac­cord­ing to the In­sti­tute for Science and In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­rity, as of the last quar­terly report re­leased in Au­gust, the IAEA had not vis­ited any mil­i­tary site in Iran since im­ple­men­ta­tion day.

For its part, the IAEA has been com­plicit in al­low­ing Tehran to cir­cum­vent the agree­ment and act as a law unto it­self. Con­sider that af­ter the deal was ne­go­ti­ated with the P5+1 na­tions, it was re­vealed that Tehran and the IAEA had en­tered into a se­cret agree­ment which al­lowed the Ira­nian regime to carry out its own nu­clear trace test­ing at the Parchin com­plex – a site long sus­pected of be­ing a nu­clear test­ing ground – and would report back to the IAEA with 'se­lec­tive' videos and pho­tos. This ar­range­ment – which went be­hind the back of Congress – is es­pe­cially sus­pect when con­sid­ered in light of the Ira­nian regime's his­tory of du­plic­ity.

To be sure, rev­e­la­tions about Iran test­ing the bound­aries of the JCPOA – and cross­ing the line into vi­o­la­tion – are not new. While many of these vi­o­la­tions have not been dis­closed by the pre­vi­ous U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion, or by the IAEA, there is a myr­iad of in­for­ma­tion and anal­y­sis sug­gest­ing that Iran has pre­vi­ously failed to com­ply with sev­eral pro­vi­sions of the JCPOA. It has twice been re­vealed that Iran ex­ceeded the cap on heavy wa­ter man­dated by the agree­ment, and has also re­fused to al­low test­ing of its car­bon fi er ac­quired be­fore the deal was im­ple­mented. More­over, it has also been re­ported that Tehran has found new ways to con­duct ad­di­tional me­chan­i­cal test­ing of cen­trifuges, in clear vi­o­la­tion of the JCPOA.

The e vi­o­la­tions are not sur­pris­ing when con­sid­er­ing Iran's bel­liger­ent pos­ture in the Mid­dle East. Iran con­tin­ues to ex­ploit the in­sta­bil­ity in the re­gion to prop up and fund terror groups such as Ha­mas, Hezbol­lah and the Houthis, whose chants of "Death to Is­rael" are now also ac­com­pa­nied by vows of "Death to Amer­ica." For its part, the Ira­nian-funded Hezbol­lah has an es­ti­mated 100,000 missiles aimed di­rectly at Is­rael. As such, it is clear that rather than com­bat­ting Iran's threat­en­ing pos­ture, the in­flux of money thrust into the Ira­nian econ­omy, cou­pled with am­bi­gu­i­ties in the text of the agree­ment, have had the re­verse ef­fect of em­bold­en­ing the Ira­nian regime and for­ti­fy­ing its hege­monic am­bi­tions. Iran also con­tin­ues to test its vast bal­lis­tic mis­sile pro­gram and deny its own peo­ple fun­da­men­tal hu­man rights.

Yet, even if Iran were to com­ply with the let­ter of the nu­clear agree­ment, it would still be able to build up a vast nu­clear ar­se­nal within a rel­a­tively short time­frame. The ap­proach adopted by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion – ar­tic­u­lated in a state­ment de­liv­ered by the pres­i­dent sev­eral days ago – is jus­ti­fied by the re­al­i­ties on the ground. By an­nounc­ing that he is de­cer­ti­fy­ing Iran's com­pli­ance with the nu­clear agree­ment, Pres­i­dent Trump is giv­ing Congress 60days to act. Not only is Pres­i­dent Trump giv­ing the United States back some of its lever­age, but he is also send­ing a pow­er­ful mes­sage to the rogue lead­ers in Iran and North Korea – who are be­lieved to have co­op­er­ated on mis­sile tech­nol­ogy – that the era of con­tain­ment and de­ter­rence poli­cies is over. The United States is re­turn­ing to its orig­i­nal mis­sion of pre­ven­tion.

In­ter­est­ingly, in the af­ter­math of Pres­i­dent Trump's ad­dress, the Saudi Press Agency re­ported that King Sal­man called the U.S. Pres­i­dent to of­fer his sup­port for Amer­ica's more "firm strat­egy" on Iran and com­mit­ment to fi ht­ing "Ira­nian ag­gres­sion." Is­rael's Prime Min­is­ter, Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu, of­fered sim­i­lar praise for the new U.S. pos­ture, say­ing in a state­ment that Pres­i­dent Trump "has cre­ated an op­por­tu­nity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's ag­gres­sion and to con­front its crim­i­nal sup­port of ter­ror­ism." It is no se­cret that these two pre­vi­ously dis­cor­dant states are now co­op­er­at­ing in un­prece­dented ways as they try to counter the threat posed by a nu­clear Iran. When Is­rael and the Gulf States are on the same page, the world should lis­ten.

The e are those that ar­gue that by de­cer­ti­fy­ing, Pres­i­dent Trump has un­der­cut Amer­i­can cred­i­bil­ity and sent a mes­sage to the world that it can't count on one Amer­i­can pres­i­dent fol­low­ing through on deals made by his pre­de­ces­sor. But the fault for that lies squarely with Pres­i­dent

Obama who re­fused not only to make his deal a bind­ing treaty, but also to seek any con­gres­sional ap­proval – both of which would have as­sured greater con­ti­nu­ity. He knew when he signed the deal that it could be un­done by any fu­ture pres­i­dent.

The goal, of course, is not to undo the deal but rather to undo its sun­set pro­vi­sion and to make Iran keep the com­mit­ment it made in the pro­logue: never to ob­tain "any nu­clear weapons."

The avail­able ev­i­dence now strongly sup­ports the con­clu­sion that Iran is not keep­ing that com­mit­ment: that it is de­ter­mined to de­velop a nu­clear ar­se­nal ca­pa­ble of be­ing mounted on in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic missiles. If the cur­rent deal is not changed, it is likely that Iran will be­come the new North Korea – or worse – be­fore very long.

The Saudi Press Agency re­ported that King Sal­man called Pres­i­dent Trump to of­fer his sup­port for Amer­ica's more

"firm strat­egy" on Iran and com­mit­ment to fight­ing "Ira­nian ag­gres­sion." Pic­tured above: Pres­i­dent Trump and King Sal­man of Saudi Ara­bia in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. (Im­age source: The White House)

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