Big Red Car here, y’all. It is summer in the ATX though we haven’t had the hot, hot, hot weather just yet. Who knows?
So Iran and the P5+1 have struck a “deal.”
“What kind of deal have they struck, Big Red Car?” you ask, no?
I will not offer an opinion but, rather, make a couple of pithy observations.
1. The Iranians were able to interject the lifting of the UN Arms Embargo into the deal at the eleventh hour. This was never part of the negotiations and has an important consideration — it allows the Iranians unfettered access to world arms markets at a time when their regional power is ascendant. Would you want a more aggressively armed Iran loose in the Middle East just now when the entire Middle East is in chaos?
The concern here is not just weapons in Iranian hands but also the Iranians acting as a conduit to arm Hamas and Hezbollah. This is tantamount to a declaration of war on Israel, in the minds of students of the Middle East.
2. The Israelis, our only dependable allies in the region, were frozen out of the deal. Not even informational consultation. This simply hardens their resolve to oppose the attainment by the Iranians of a nuclear weapon as they can, justifiably, say they had nothing to do with the agreement.
3. The deal does not provide for “at will” inspection of military and nuclear facilities. It provides, only, for inspections upon notice to Iran who may object and take their objection to an arbitration panel to resolve the request while allowing for time to play “hide the nukes.”
4. The deal provides for wholesale release of frozen Iranian assets — the big short term benefit for Iran which can now also trade their oil freely in world markets. Giving a state sponsor of terrorism more money raises legitimate questions as to the wisdom of that course of action.
5. Nothing is done about the ability of Iran to develop short, intermediate and long range missiles. Not a single restriction. This is the primary delivery system for nuclear weapons and it seems that if Iran has no intention to develop a nuclear weapon — their assertion — they have even less basis for needing to develop such missiles.
6. In the end, this agreement — as it is — requires us to trust a regime that has proven manifestly untrustworthy for almost four decades. Not only are they untrustworthy but they have brazenly violated their own commitments while feigning good faith negotiations.
7. The enforcement mechanism for the agreement is a fictitious notion of “snapping back into place” a regime of sanctions that took more than ten years to enact in the first place. The UN is not going to enact another arms embargo on Iran as Russia and China will be way too busy selling them arms. Both Russia and China will hold veto powers at the Security Council level.
In the months ahead, the US Congress will be faced with the task of running the low hurdles which require only 37 votes to assure that the US agrees to this treaty. This totally obviates the Constitutional responsibility for the Senate to approve treaties of all kinds. One must ask why the Senate would ever agree to such an obvious usurption of their authority? Please mark the Republicans as the culprits of such folly.
In the end, the agreement only theoretically throws sand into the gears of the Iranians for ten years, after which they have an unobstructed right to a nuclear weapon.
The lifting of the UN arms embargo coupled with the certainty that Iran will ultimately develop nuclear weapons has set an alarm clock that will ring in ten years. The sound may be both a boom and a mushroom cloud.