Friday, November 6, 2015

Let's Not Forget About The Iran Nuclear Deal

The Iran nuclear deal (about which THC wrote at length) has dropped out of the news, but its impact will be felt, for better or worse, in coming years.

In the last month we've learned that while negotiations were going on, Iran and Russia were meeting with Bashir Assad's regime to plan the offensive which they deliberately delayed until the U.S. Congress failed to block implementation of the deal.

THC also came across an very interesting position paper on the deal which he'd like to bring to your attention.  Written by freshman California Congressman Ted Lieu it is the most detailed review THC has seen of the technical aspects of the deal (as opposed to the geopolitical issues surrounding it).  Lieu is a very liberal Democrat, who has voted to remove all US forces from Iraq and opposed the Administration's proposed air strikes against Syria, but voted against the Iran nuclear deal.

Rather than, in his words, rely upon either optimistic or pessimistic assessments of Iran's future behavior, Rep Lieu states his approach is to "look at what the JCPOA allows Iran to do and then I assume it does it".

In the course of his 23 page, heavily footnoted, review Rep Lieu concludes:
Iran will likely be far stronger than it is today in terms of both its military and economy, at a very short breakout time, not just for one nuclear weapon, but many nuclear weapons and capable of delivering nuclear weapons long range, potentially onto our homeland.

By lifting the arms embargo in year five and the ballistic missile ban in year eight, the deal allows Iran to significantly build up its military, export more terror, and acquire or develop advanced ballistic missile technology.  The JCPOA also allows Iran, when the nuclear rollback provisions expire, to have a vast nuclear infrastructure.  Iran can legally spin an unlimited number of advanced centrifuges and stockpile an unlimited amount of enriched uranium.  The situation caused by the JCPOA likely increases the chances of war and conflict, both in the short term and long term, and could fuel an arms race in a volatile region of the world.

After considerable thought and study, I have concluded the JCPOA increases the chances of more regional conflict and US entanglement in the Middle East in the short term and a lengthy, difficult and more deadly war with Iran in the long term.
Rep. Lieu notes that these consequences:
. . . occur if Iran complies with the JCPOA . . . If Iran were to cheat, then the potential existential threat to America would occur sooner.  
It is worth reading the entire document which provides a detailed analysis of the deal along with an evaluation of alternatives and can be found here

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