The Iran Deal: From Bad to Worse

The Iran nuclear deal has faded from the headlines. That must mean things are going well, right?

Just kidding. Amir Taheri brings us up to date:

Last month the president sent his Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to Vienna to twist the arm of International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano into issuing a favorable report on the state of the Iranian nuclear program.

The yes-or-no question Amano faced was simple: Has Iran closed the military aspect of its nuclear program?

Being an honorable man, Amano could not provide the straight “yes” that Muniz was asking for. “Much progress has been made, but much remains to be done,” he said. “More confidence building is needed, and verification of what Iran is doing may need many more weeks.”

Amano also hedged in his formal report to the IAEA board of governors. In paragraph 79 of the report, he states that the IAEA is in no position to categorically report that all of Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful. That’s because the IAEA does not have access to all nuclear sites in the Islamic Republic.

I think it is blindingly obvious that Iran continues its progress toward becoming a nuclear power. Taheri makes a point that I also have emphasized repeatedly:

Meanwhile, Iran openly flouts the deal — and UN Security Council resolutions — by testing a new generation of medium-range ballistic missiles known as “Al-Qadr 110.”

These tests make sense only if Tehran continues to contemplate a military nuclear dimension to its program. The two new missiles are designed to carry warheads of between 75 to 100 kilograms. It makes no sense to deploy a ballistic missile over a distance of 1,800 to 2,000 kilometers — that is to say, capable of reaching all capitals in the Middle East and parts of Europe — simply to carry a payload of TNT.

One basic question is, is there a deal or not? It hasn’t been signed, and the parties have never agreed on what its terms are supposed to be. In the meantime, if a deal exists, Iran is violating it. Does anyone care? Certainly not President Obama.

It’s embarrassing enough that Obama pushed off implementation of the nuclear deal from last week until the end of January. But here’s the dirty little secret: It doesn’t matter. From Iran’s point of view, it’s getting everything it wants, deal or no deal.

The EU already has gotten rid of most sanctions against the nation, and Obama has suspended our sanctions for 90 days. Assets have been unfrozen, pumping an estimated $8 billion into Tehran. Iran is set to recover some $120 billion.

I can’t wait to see how that famous “snap back” provision will work.

All for a nuclear agreement that Iran has not signed and seemingly has no intention of following.

Remember when Obama claimed the deal would block Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb for fifteen years? The Iranians have never agreed to any such thing:

Behruz Kamalvand, spokesman for the Iranian Atomic Energy commission, said the Obama deal “does not change our nuclear program by a single iota.”

“We continue doing exactly what we were doing before,” he says.

Nice work, Barack! Taheri itemizes some of the fallout from the administration’s craven diplomacy:

After two years of secret negotiations, Obama, far from resolving the Iranian nuclear issue, has made it even more complicated.

In the process, he has virtually killed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, discredited the IAEA, made a mockery of the UN Security Council and emboldened the most radical faction within the Khomeinist regime.

The truth is that there is no deal. It was not the mullahs who took Obama for a ride. It was Obama who hitched a ride with them.

Obama’s “the chance of a lifetime” is just that — for Iran.

The Iran deal isn’t merely sub-par diplomacy, it is a scandal. I don’t see how a president who took seriously his duty to preserve American security could have entered into it. There is another scandal, too: a journalistic one. Here, as in so many instances, reporters have covered up for the Obama administration by deliberately failing to report the facts surrounding the Iranian nuclear debacle. It would be interesting to compare the number of minutes that network news broadcasts have devoted, over the last few months, to the fulminations of Donald Trump with the minutes they have devoted to the crumbling of the Iran agreement. Likewise with column inches in our supposedly sophisticated newspapers.

When the first Iranian nuclear bomb explodes, whether in Europe, Israel or the United States, a number of people will have much to answer for, and they won’t all be officials in the Obama administration.