Over the weekend, the United States along with five other countries agreed to a deal on Iran's nuclear capabilities. The only people who seem very pleased with the deal are the Iranians and the Obama administration. Should that worry us?
Here are the basics of what this deal entails.
Iran will not have to give up virtually any aspect of its current nuclear endeavors, but would simply be forced to temporarily stop certain portions of its nuclear program. For example, it must stop the installation of new centrifuges but it can still construct centrifuges and does not require them to get rid of any current centrifuges. It must cap its stockpile of enriched uranium but it gets to keep its enriched uranium and continue enrichment at low levels. It agrees not to commission its heavy water reactor in Arak, capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium, but it keeps the reactor in place. It must agree to new, enhanced inspections but this assumes we can trust that they will give access to ALL relevant material and no secret sites exist.
In return, Iran will see an ease of $7 billion in economic sanctions (some say that figure is closer to $20 billion), which is what brought them to the bargaining table to begin with. If Iran adheres to the agreement, in return they will not see increased sanctions placed upon various aspects of their economy.
In other words, the current deal does nothing to stop Iran's future nuclear ambitions (this is just temporary) and it certainly doesn't diminish anything that they currently have in place. So the world gets no concessions while Iran reaps the benefits of lifted sanctions. Is this supposed to be a win-win for the world?
Not according to Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, who called the deal a “historic mistake.” He says, “Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world.” Keep in mind that just last week, Iranian Supreme leader Khamenei referred to Israel as the “rabid dog” of the region, stating that “Zionist officials cannot be called humans, they are like animals.” Not to mention previous talk of wanting to wipe Israel off the map, etc. Needless to say, Israel has more at stake than perhaps anyone else in the world on this issue. So I'm inclined to say that if Netanyahu doesn't think it's a good deal, it's for good reason.
Democrats and Republicans in Washington also do not believe it's a good deal. Chuck Schumer responded to the deal as follows: "The disproportionality of this agreement makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will join together and pass additional sanctions when we return in December.”
So what does all of this mean? Some believe that this deal will still lead to Iran becoming a nuclear state, only delayed by a little time. K.T. McFarland writes, “It would seem inevitable then, that in the years ahead Iran will become a de facto nuclear state, and a nuclear arms race in the Middle East will ensue. The prudent thing now is for the United States to make plans accordingly ...” An arms race in the Middle East … is that really the legacy Obama (the Nobel Peace prize winner) wants to leave us with?
Oh and by the way, none of this agreement touches the circumstances of American Pastor Saeed Abedini, whom I've told you about. He remains in jail in Iran for practicing his Christian faith. Failure to secure his freedom as a part of Iran's “concessions” is nothing short of a betrayal.