An Iran nuclear deal could be all “Win” for us.
With June upon us, diplomatic efforts soon will be focused on the so-called June 30 deadline for reaching a nuclear inspection deal with Iran. Compounding the difficulties from our side are Secretary Kerry’s broken femur and Congress’ attempt to place deal-breaker requirements into the review process, such as the requirement that Iran recognize Israel. From the Iranian side, Ayatollah Khamenei has, on the one hand, hardened his stance on the negotiations by opposing access to Iran’s nuclear scientists and demanding the lifting of sanctions from day one of an agreement. On the other hand, Khamenei said: “I neither support nor oppose the deal. Everything is in the details.” Vague though that statement is, it is important to recognize the positives, namely that he wasn’t rejecting the negotiations. His other demands might well be just a negotiating ploy. Remember he is under pressure from his more hawkish wing. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hard-line former President, recently urged Russia not to go along with the Western positions. Although I wouldn’t bet a sou on achieving an agreement before the June 30 “deadline,” in my opinion, a deal will be forthcoming as many of the most controversial points have been agreed upon already. I am all for an agreement along the lines that have been publicly disseminated.
Why would I support such a deal? Don’t I know that Iran is not to be trusted? Am I not aware of the terrorism throughout the Middle East that Iran supports, if not funds? Actually, it is precisely for those reasons that I support the negotiations. With a deal in place, we are much better situated to identify any breaches in the agreement than without it. Under the deal, as it has been noted, the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) must certify that Iran has complied with the requirement that they have reduced the number of centrifuges by two-thirds before any sanctions will be lifted. The same thing goes for reducing their uranium stockpile. The inspections requirement gives the IAEA more access to centrifuges than intelligence has ever yielded. Would you rather have inspectors on the ground looking for violations than not? That question is the very essence of the argument that the deal favors us much more than Iran.
Those who argue against an agreement believe that the sanctions are hurting Iran and should not be lifted. Well, despite Khamenei’s negotiating position, the sanctions will be phased out over a period of time. They can always be reinstituted, or even increased. And, if conditions demanded increased sanctions, with the agreement in place we would be more likely to get stronger ones from our allies in these negotiations. Secretary Kerry assures us that the lead time on developing even a rudimentary bomb would double from six months to one year. That alone is significant and one can only imagine Israel’s response should Iran move to that one year timeline.