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Cer­tainly, Iran has agreed to halt work on its plu­to­nium plant at Arak, where a se­cond path to nu­clear arms could be opened, but the agree­ment does not per­mit in­spec­tion. Trust us, Tehran told the P5+1. Trust has to be earned, not granted on de­mand.

Yes, the IAEA mon­i­tors will have free ac­cess to im­por­tant nu­clear sites but not to the Parchin mil­i­tary site, where the regime has con­ducted il­licit nu­clear ex­per­i­ments. It has been try­ing to cover up ev­i­dence of those banned nu­clear tests so the world will not have proof of its de­ceit.

Iran says it wants to de­velop nu­clear en­ergy as a source of na­tional pride. No na­tion would ac­cept those crush­ing sanc­tions for pride. More de­ceit.

Iran says it wants to have nu­clear en­ergy for self­suf­fi­ciency. It al­ready has more than enough oil for do­mes­tic con­sump­tion and is ex­port­ing it. It could have all the nu­clear en­ergy it needs for much less cost from for­eign sources. More de­ceit.

No, what Iran re­ally wants is to be­come a nu­clear-armed power so it has the means to bring about the de­struc­tion of Is­rael and dom­i­nate the re­gion. Is­rael and Western-al­lied Gulf coun­tries led by Saudi Ara­bia have formed an un­likely al­liance in op­pos­ing Sun­day’s agree­ment, which Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu called a “his­toric mis­take.”

In­deed, it most cer­tainly is. Iran is play­ing the same game that helped North Korea ac­quire nu­clear weapons.

The Is­lamic re­pub­lic has ne­go­ti­ated over its il­licit nu­clear pro­gram with the United States and the world pow­ers for more than a decade, dur­ing which time it has suc­cess­fully in­creased the num­ber of cen­trifuges en­rich­ing ura­nium from 150 to more than 19,000 today. It now has more than 10 tons of low-en­riched ura­nium — suf­fi­cient for sev­eral bombs — and has more than 1,000 bal­lis­tic mis­siles. In col­lab­o­ra­tion with North Korea, it is work­ing on in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles.

The deal has been struck — at least for six months — and the world pow­ers won’t go back on it, a deal that leaves Iran’s nu­clear in­fra­struc­ture largely in place. The mul­lahs will use the ex­tra time to con­tinue on their path to be­com­ing a nu­clear power. Once they achieve that goal, they think, the West must ac­cept it as a fait ac­com­pli.

Congress must also use the next six months to work on even harsher sanc­tions, ready to slap on the regime once it is clear that the cler­ics have played us for fools again. Then those sanc­tions must be kept in place un­til “Trust but ver­ify” is re­placed with “Dis­man­tle and de­stroy.”

Or un­til the free­dom-lov­ing peo­ple of Iran have had enough of their dic­ta­tors and rid the land of their scourge.

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