The Five Fatal Flaws in the Iran Deal

On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard testimony from Amb. Robert G. Joseph, Ph.D, currently Senior Scholar at the National Institute for Public Policy, formerly Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, and the person who in 2003 led the nuclear negotiations with Libya. He testified the Iran deal is a “bad agreement” with “five fatal flaws”: (1) it does not effectively detect cheating unless Iran decides to do it openly, and Iran is more likely to cheat at military bases where it has cheated in the past and has ruled out inspections in the future; (2) it leaves a large‐scale nuclear infrastructure in place that could be used to break out, or more likely “sneak‐out,” and then permits a significantly expanded program with a “virtually zero” breakout time; (3) it has “snap‐back” provisions that are illusory; (4) the purported 12-month breakout time is ineffective, since, unless Iran breaks out openly, we will not even know when the clock begins,and months will go by while the U.S. debates internally what to do; and (5) Iran is permitted to continue work on long-range ballistic missiles that have no use other than eventual deployment of nuclear weapons. His conclusion is stark:

[The deal] assumes that permitting Iran a large‐scale enrichment capability is compatible with the goal of denying Iran the ability to produce weapons‐grade fissile material; it assumes that the twelve month breakout time is meaningful; it assumes that the agreement will be effectively verifiable; and it assumes that the United States and the international community will respond to evidence of cheating before Iran can mate a nuclear weapon to a ballistic missile. None of these assumptions holds up under scrutiny. As a result, the threat to the U.S. homeland and to our NATO allies of an Iran armed with nuclear tipped ballistic missiles will increase not decrease under the anticipated agreement. [Emphasis added].

And that is even before considering the risks of proliferation in the region, the existential threat to Israel, seriously frayed relations with Arab allies, and the vastly increased resources for Iran and its allies to establish a game-changing hegemony in a vital strategic area of the world.

0
Shares
Google+ Print

The Five Fatal Flaws in the Iran Deal

Must-Reads from Magazine

Republicans Need to Prepare for the Worst

Expect the impossible.

If the 2016 presidential election cycle demonstrated anything, it was that Republicans suffer from a crippling lack of imagination. That ordeal should have established that the unprecedented is not impossible. Even now, Republicans seem as though they are trying to convince themselves that their eyes are lying to them, but they are not. The tempo of the investigation into President Trump is accelerating, and a nightmare scenario is eminently imaginable. Only congressional Republicans can avert disaster, and only then by being clear about the actions they are prepared to take if Trump instigates a crisis of constitutional legitimacy.

40
Shares
Google+ Print

Can Turkey be Trusted with F-35s?

Are the warplane's secrets safe?

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the newest generation air platform for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Lockheed-Martin, which builds the F-35, describes it as “a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.” For both diplomatic reasons and to encourage sales, Lockheed-Martin subcontracted the production of many F-35 components to factories abroad. Many program partners—Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, for example—are consistent U.S. allies.

28
Shares
Google+ Print

The Trump Right’s Martyrdom of Kim Guadagno

Too many martyrs make a movement.

If the GOP is to be converted into a vehicle for politicians who evince Donald Trump’s brand of pragmatic center-right populism, Trump will have to demonstrate his brand of politics can deliver victories for people other than himself. Presidential pen strokes help to achieve that, as do judicial appointments. Nothing is so permanent, though, as sweeping legislative change. On that score, the newly Trumpian Republican Party is coming up short. If the passive process of transformational legislative success fails to compel anti-Trump holdouts in the GOP to give up the ghost, there is always arm-twisting. It seems the Republican National Committee is happy to play enforcer.

13
Shares
Google+ Print

The Conservative Crack-Up, 2017 Edition

Podcast: Conservatism in shackles while O.J. goes free?

On the second of this week’s podcasts, I ask Abe Greenwald and Noah Rothman whether the health-care debacle this week is simply a reflection of the same pressures on the conservative coalition Donald Trump saw and conquered by running for president last year—and what it will mean for him and them that he has provided no rallying point for Republican politicians. And then we discuss OJ Simpson. Give a listen.

3
Shares
Google+ Print

Macron’s Terrorism Idiocy

Hyperbole yields cynicism, not the other way around.

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron surprised almost everyone when he invited President Donald Trump to celebrate Bastille Day with him in Paris, especially after the two leaders’ awkward first meeting in Brussels in May. After all, between now and then, Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and Macron has become perhaps the most vocal critic of Trump among European leaders.

15
Shares
Google+ Print