Sunday, August 9, 2015

Red Light for the Iran Nuclear Deal

Last month I posted a cautionary note on the Iran nuclear deal by adopting a wait and see attitude. (See After further evaluation I have come to the conclusion that no deal is better than a bad deal and unfortunately the deal brought back from Austria is a bad a deal and even though the opponents do not have an alternative I believe the United States would be better served if the Congress turns it down in September.

Two new pieces of information have come to light since my last post. First there is a giant exception to the snap back sanctions should Iran violate the terms of the agreement. That exception is that all prior economic arrangements entered into by Iran would be grandfathered in. This means that all Iran has to do is to make long term agreements with western, Russian and Chinese companies and those agreements would remain intact no matter what Iran did. Thus there would be no immediacy to the snap back sanctions.

Second there is a host of side agreements with the IAEA, the deal's "enforcer", that make it difficult to understand just exactly what enforcement regime Iran will be under. For example what will be the notice provisions with respect to inspections, what exactly is the baseline, and whether or not military facilities would be on or off limits. President Obama is relying on a whole lot of trust, but not too much on verification. 

Thus with the enforcement regime shaky at best and with Iran receiving $150 billion in frozen assets to enhance its position in the region, the deal should be voted down. True Iran may ultimately change for the better, but in the meantime the regime is being run by a bunch of religious thugs who shout "death to America" six times a day in their daily prayers. 

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