Killing the worst deal ever (6)

To the extent attention has been paid to Bibi’s bombshell this week, the Obamabots and their media tools insist that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s presentation on the Iranian nuclear archive (which I think barely scratched the surface) added nothing to what they already knew. Matthew Kroenig addresses this point in “Why Netanyahu’s revelations are significant.” He elaborates two points I sought to make earlier in this series. As he puts it, “the revelations are, for lack of a better word, revealing.” He specifies the key particulars:

Most importantly, Netanyahu claimed that illegal nuclear weaponization work continues to the present day. He said that “today, in 2018, this work is carried out by SPND, that’s an organization inside Iran’s Defense Ministry.” His presentation claimed that the name of the program for Step 2 changed in 2003, but that substantive work has continued under a new label with the same lead scientist and some of the same staff under the euphemism of “scientific knowhow development.” If true, this would be a clear violation of the JCPOA, which explicitly prohibits work on nuclear warhead design in Section C, Part 16 and Annex 1, Part T. This is a subject that deserves further scrutiny and on which the international community should press Iran.

Next, these revelations show that the Iran nuclear deal was consummated under false pretenses. A condition of the deal in a section labeled “Transparency and Confidence Building Measures” (Section C, Part 14) was that Iran “fully implement the ‘Roadmap for Clarification of Past and Present Outstanding Issues.’” This was a euphemism for Iran coming clean about the possible military dimensions (PMD) of its nuclear program. Netanyahu’s presentation shows that Iran did not come clean, but lied about many aspects of the PMD of its program in its reporting to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2015. The IAEA certified in December 2015 that it was satisfied with Iran’s answer to inquiries about PMD, but we now have 55,000 new pages related to this subject. At a minimum, the IAEA should reopen its investigation into PMD based on this new information.

Finally, this information helps to resolve a key debate between deal supporters and critics. Many supporters argued that Iran’s willingness to sign the JCPOA in 2015 reflected a strategic decision to give up the nuclear weapons option altogether. Netanyahu’s briefing lends more support to critics who have argued all along that Iran is merely waiting out the clock in order to resume its march to the bomb.

I think Netanyahu’s public presentation withheld additional information at this point to highlight the humiliation of the regime and to emphasize big picture. I am quite sure that new information is nevertheless among the treasures in the trove. The Institute for Science and International Security — representing itself on Twitter as “the good ISIS” — points the way. “The ones proclaiming that the information contains nothing new when they have not seen the information, heard a briefing, or read the Israeli and other news,” writes ISIS, “are generally technically ignorant about the subjects covered in the information.” They offer a few specifics in the tweet below.