The right move

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - OPINION - Charles P. (Pat) Kelley, Ok­la­homa City

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion en­tered the Iran deal with two goals in mind: to de­lay the en­try of Iran into the nu­clear armed na­tions club, and to help im­prove the lot of the peo­ple of Iran. It has failed on both. The key flaw in the deal is that Iran is al­lowed to “self-in­spect” its mil­i­tary nu­clear re­search cen­ters, mean­ing no in­de­pen­dent in­spec­tors may see if the mil­i­tary cen­ters are pro­duc­ing bomb com­po­nents, and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity has to take a “trust me” card from the Ira­nian gov­ern­ment. Given the re­cent Is­raeli in­tel­li­gence find­ings, it’s highly prob­a­ble there is an on­go­ing Ira­nian “shadow” nu­clear weapon pro­gram, which will be dis­cov­ered soon af­ter the end of the promised de­lay.

The Ira­nian peo­ple have not ben­e­fited from the im­proved cash flow to Iran. That ex­tra money has in­stead been used to sup­port mil­i­tary ad­ven­tur­ism in Syria, Le­banon and Ye­men, and the devel­op­ment of new weapons. Un­em­ploy­ment is high, com­modi­ties are scarce and in­fla­tion has driven the ex­change rate to 70,000 Rials to one U.S. dol­lar.

Given the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has been tough on North Korea re­gard­ing nu­clear weapons, it would be in­con­sis­tent to con­tinue to give Iran a pass. The idea that walk­ing away from the deal makes the U.S. ap­pear un­trust­wor­thy is lu­di­crous, since it was never a treaty that com­mit­ted the na­tion. Mak­ing a new treaty that’s re­li­able, ver­i­fi­able and has the full con­sent of the U.S. Se­nate is the right way to go.

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