The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the so-called Iran nuclear deal, has become like a bad timeshare agreement an instance in which the costs seemingly continue to grow and new conditions arise that were not disclosed upfront.
Few signed onto the agreement wholeheartedly and Congress refused a direct vote on the agreement’s merits. In hindsight, that was probably a good thing because the deal has only gotten harder to defend. Consider all the hidden costs or assurances provided by Secretary of State John Kerry or other administration officials that at best were misleading and at worst were outright lies:
- Inspectors would have all necessary access? Not quite.
- The deal would enhance verifiability into Iran’s nuclear program? Someone should have told the International Atomic Energy Agency that.
- The nuclear deal would prevent Iran from importing offensive weaponry, such as the latest fighter jets? Alas, Secretary of State John Kerry forgot to define ‘offensive,’ effectively giving Iran the go-ahead for a massive shopping spree in China and Russia.
- The prohibition on ballistic missile work also was a lot less than appeared.
- So too was Kerry’s insistence that sanctions imposed due to Iran’s terrorism or flagrant abuses of human rights would stay.
- And don’t forget dollarization.
Indeed, at almost every instance when the Iranian government raised objections about conflicts over interpretation of the deal, Kerry’s State Department sided with Tehran, so desperate have he and his aides become to claim the deal to be a success. With so many baits-and-switch and hidden costs, it’s not surprising that Congress simply doesn’t trust anything that comes out of the White House or State Department on the subject of Iran. Fool me once, fool me twice, or perhaps in this Congress, fool me five or six times, but not more.
The recent efforts by Peter Roskam (R-Illinois) and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Indiana) enshrined in “No Defense Contracts for Terror Profiteers Act of 2016” (H.R. 5139) is an unfortunate necessity, especially given the stranglehold which the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ economic wing still has over trade and the Iranian economy. The bill seeks to prevent the Department of Defense from awarding any contracts to any company that does business with entities complicit in Iran’s support for terrorism, its ballistic missile program, its human rights abuses, and other illicit activities.
This should be a no-brainer. How telling it would be if the White House and State Department end up opposing the bill, arguing in effect that the deal Kerry negotiated entitles Iran to U.S. Defense Department dollars.