President Joe Biden is close to a nuclear agreement with Iran that would restore much of the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) first negotiated in 2015 by President Barack Obama. While the U.S. withdrew from it in 2018, some of the same ploys Obama used to hoodwink Congress and the American people are being employed by Biden. It is hard to believe, but as bad as JCPOA1 was, filled with loopholes Tehran fully exploited, Biden’s desired JCPOA2 is worse.
While Obama assured us JCPOA1 would prevent the mullahs from ever obtaining a nuclear arsenal, he lied. In fact, it left a clear pathway for them to develop such an arsenal within 10 to 15 years, even if they had abided by it – which they did not. Additionally, several side deals were negotiated, which were never publicly revealed at the time. And now that we know how outrageous these deals were, benefiting Iran at America’s expense, we know why, as their earlier release would have embarrassed Obama.
Interestingly, back at a time when the media had a little more interest in accurate reporting, the Associated Press discovered one such side deal that allowed Tehran to upgrade and modernize its centrifuges. This enabled it to increase its enrichment capacity before JCPOA1 even expired in 15 years, giving Tehran the capability to build a bomb in half the projected one-year period.
While some terms undermining the JCPOA1’s credibility were deemed classified to prevent their release, some unclassified terms were kept secret simply because they were equally as embarrassing.
For existence, kept hidden was the term significantly reducing Iran’s preexisting reporting requirements on its nuclear program. The Iranians became so livid when this detail was revealed by former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano that they actually threatened him with harm.
Taking ridiculousness to an extreme was the term addressing IAEA inspections of Parchin – a military compound 35 miles southeast of Tehran where it was believed tests had been conducted on explosive triggers for nuclear weapons. If such tests had been undertaken, an analysis of soil samples would be determinative. Obama promised this would be done before JCPOA1 was finalized. It was not as, incredibly, a secret deal provided that IAEA inspectors would not collect the samples but the Iranians themselves would! President Ronald Reagan’s caution to “trust but verify” was tossed out the window. While samples were supplied, it is anyone’s guess from where they came. However, this term, perhaps more so than any other, underscored for the Iranians just how badly Obama wanted JCPOA1 and the ridiculous accommodations he was willing to make to secure it.
It is clear that Obama so wanted the JCPOA1 to define his legacy that he cared little about the terms. Based on what is now known about the deal, it was and remains no more effective in achieving its intended purpose than did British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s 1938 peace agreement with Germany’s Adolf Hitler in preventing World War II.
Yet, much of what the JCPOA1 contained, JCPOA2 will re-implement. Where additional concessions have been needed to get the mullahs to agree, Biden has been most accommodating. This makes his declaration that the U.S. and Israel jointly commit “to never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon” sound hollow. It also ignores the reality while Iran was not a nuclear state when JCPOA1 was negotiated, it is a threshold nuclear state now.
While Israel seeks to talk sense into Biden, he refuses to meet with Prime Minister Yair Lapid. Ridiculously, this is probably out of concern it might upset the mullahs. Therefore, Israel is sending its usually anonymous intelligence chief to Washington to make its case. Lapid wants a “longer and stronger” deal with Iran, noting that “a bad deal is worse than no deal.”
Biden recently boasted that the Iranians dropped a demand which had become a major stumbling block to the deal – removing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the U.S. foreign terrorist organization (FTO) list along with the sanctions accompanying that designation. As Biden beats his chest about this, he ignores the fact the deal still allows IRGC to freely do business with other parties linked to it. Thus, while the IRGC would retain its FTO designation, it would be able to operate as if it had been delisted.
Some additional concessions by Biden include:
Committing future U.S. presidents to the deal “as long as Iran remains committed” to it raises a legal issue. To be so binding makes the deal a treaty, mandating two-thirds Senate approval. Of course, Obama did not submit JCPOA1 to the Senate as a treaty, by calling it an executive agreement, only requiring a simple majority vote to pass. Just like Biden redefines today what a recession is to avoid having to admit we are in one, Obama redefined what a treaty was to avoid requiring a two-thirds Senate vote.
Unlike JCPOA1, JCPOA2 does not enable participants (the U.S. or EU3, consisting of England, France and Germany) to reinstate sanctions on Iran unilaterally if the mullahs are believed to be violating the deal.
The U.S. will halt any investigation into Iran’s past nuclear activities.
While Iran seeks America’s destruction as the “Great Satan,” it gives destructive priority to Israel. And, as a co-resident of the Middle East neighborhood, Israel has a lot more immediate worry about a nuclear armed Iran than does America.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu minced no words in condemning JCPOA2. He said it “is a horrible deal, and a dangerous deal! It will pave Iran’s path with gold and put them on a highway to a nuclear missile.” He added it is worse than JCOPA1 because “it gives Iran the time they need to develop added enrichment of uranium with 3,500 centrifuges. It gives them hundreds of billions of dollars, and at the end of the deal almost a trillion, and it does not ask anything of them.” Apparently not content to leave $83 billion in military equipment, training and aid behind in Afghanistan, Biden now seeks to fund Iran’s nuclear weapons program as well. Rest assured, Biden’s deal bodes well for the future of Iran’s entire military-industrial complex. Additionally, just like JCPOA1 gave the mullahs cash to fund its terrorist proxy activities, so too will JCPOA2 with little money benefiting the Iranian people.
Other factors Biden seems to disregard concerning such an agreement include Tehran’s extraterritorial efforts to assassinate American citizens; its lifting of sanctions on those responsible for the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing that killed 241 U.S. military personnel; opposition of several Arab states to the agreement; etc.
Biden is accused of giving the “top state sponsor of terrorism: unlimited nuclear weapons, no inspections past, present or future, the missiles to deliver them, enriched uranium to be held by Russia and returned to Iran or wherever they both decide” along with “$100 billion per year to spread terror around the globe.”
As one critic notes, “Giving Iran nuclear capabilities and a trillion dollars (in sanctions relief) is just about the dumbest possible thing America can do right now.”
Forrest Gump was right, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
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