The U.S. State Department and the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that their negotiators are headed back to Vienna for one last attempt to revive the deeply flawed Iranian nuclear deal reached with former President Barack Obama. It would be a mistake for the United States to sign such an unacceptable agreement.
The talks come on the heels of a video broadcast on Iran’s state-run media that said Tehran could use its nuclear-capable missiles “to turn New York into ruins and hell in case of a hostile act by the U.S.” It also said that Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear program could pivot to a “nuclear weapons program in an instant and turn the West and Israel’s nightmare into a reality.”
These over-the-top threats could be intended to frighten the United States and the European Union into paying a high price for another agreement with Iran to place its nuclear program back under international inspection. But there are good reasons to question the wisdom of such a deal. Like its predecessor, a new agreement almost certainly would block international inspectors from examining underground military facilities, a gaping deficiency that would leave open the very real possibility that Iran would use the time to perfect nuclear warheads. That alone should make it a nonstarter.
On July 17, Khamal Kharazi, a top Iranian official and close adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said: “It is known to everyone that we have the technical ability to build a nuclear bomb, but we have not made a decision to do this. In the span of a few days, we increased enrichment from 20% to 60% and we could easily enrich to 90%” — a level required to make nuclear warheads.
Another top Iranian insider, Mohammad Javad Larijani, noted that President Joe Biden had promised in Israel that he would not allow Iran to build a nuclear bomb, “but if we wanted to go after it, no one can stop us.”
Current estimates of how long it will take Iran to actually make a nuclear warhead, and then downsize it to fit its large force of intermediate range missiles, are in the range of two to five years. It could take somewhat longer to develop and deploy an intercontinental ballistic missile force capable of striking the United States. But Iran’s existing missile force already has the range to attack Israel and U.S. bases in the Middle East.
Despite these and other red flags, the State Department said Wednesday that the United States has been prepared to close a deal and immediately begin reimplementation based on the outline on the table since March.
It went on to say that the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Josep Borrell, who has been acting as a mediator in the negotiations, has described his latest proposal as the best possible outcome. Reports suggest it would require Iran to give up some of its demands, such as taking its Revolutionary Guards off the terrorist group listing, in exchange for achieving other technical demands. And of course it would unleash the Iranian economy, which in turn would provide more fuel for the regime’s dangerous exportation of terror and likely lead to intensified conflict in the Middle East.
Signing a new agreement riddled with so many holes would be unwise and dangerous. It would leave the Iranian nuclear threat hanging over the Middle East and raise anew questions about the U.S. commitment to friendly nations in the region. It is time to realize that its too late to stop Iran. That horse has bolted.
As we have noted before, the U.S. threat to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons can’t be carried out without terrible consequences. Moreover, we have learned to live, however uncomfortably, with nuclear proliferation — first Russia, then Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea. Our nation’s nuclear posture and forces are carefully crafted to address potential nuclear threats by promising retaliation and, in cases of extreme danger to the United States and its allies, the possibility of preemption.
The recent threats from Iran underscore the dangers of signing a weak agreement. It is time to stop trying to buy a delay in Tehran’s nuclear program and to treat Iran as a hostile nuclear weapons state.
Source » postandcourier