The agreement, negotiated in 2015, put Iran on a glide path to legally developing nuclear weapons in less than a decade. The thing to remember is that all Obama did was to delay, not stop, Iran from doing just what North Korea is doing: obtaining nukes and building a formidable nuclear force for the future. Moreover, Iran was, in effect, given a free hand to develop the ballistic missiles that could deliver those weapons of annihilation to the U.S., not to mention to Europe and to Iran’s neighbors in the Mideast, principally Israel.
So poor a negotiator was the former president that he didn’t insist on such conditions as Iran’s ceasing its massive support of terrorism, its egregious human rights abuses and its imperialist ambitions to make Syria, Lebanon, Yemen (which sits alongside one of the world’s most critical waterways) and Iraq into virtual satraps of Tehran and to turn Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the gulf oil countries into satellites.
The basic rap against Trump regarding this deal is that Iran, supposedly, hasn’t technically violated the accord. Therefore, why should we be worrying about what happens down the road when there’s so much trade to be had with this once-pariah state? After all, even the U.S. could share in this booty, as evidenced by Boeing’s $17 billion aircraft deal.
The murderous mullahs, counting on nations’ shortsightedness in the face of quick cash (isn’t Lenin supposed to have quipped that capitalists would sell the rope with which they themselves would be hanged?), are going full bore expanding their lethal missile program, lavishly financing their proxies (principally Hezbollah, which now has some 150,000 rockets it can launch against Israel) and sending their forces (as well as militias recruited from Afghanistan and Pakistan) to further their imperialist ambitions in the region, while crushing any domestic dissent and alleged heretics and persecuting minorities. And, of course, they taunt us with the occasional arrest of Americans on various bogus charges.
Crowning this deadly folly is the fact that Obama’s awful deal doesn’t mandate that international inspectors monitor Iran’s numerous military facilities and laboratories to make sure Iran is actually sticking to the deal.
President Trump didn’t pull out of the agreement, which he has the right to do since Obama refused to put it before the Senate for formal ratification as a treaty. Trump’s predecessor couldn’t even get a mere majority of Congress to approve the agreement. In fact, the vast majority went on record against it. Instead, this so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was given the force of law merely by Obama’s signature. It’s an executive agreement, a foreign policy equivalent of a presidential executive order, nothing more. Yet on this basis Obama suspended the crushing sanctions, which, over the years, had been painstakingly put in place with international approval. Naturally, other countries quickly followed suit. And these states have made it clear they have no appetite to reimpose the sanctions.
Even under this deal, however, the U.S. has the right to blow the whistle if it finds that its security is at risk. And with decertification, the U.S. could impose new targeted sanctions for Iran’s numerous other offenses, such as its missile program.
Congress has the right to do this, but given its inability to do much of anything these days (there’s a joke going around that if you want to stop the aging process, put it before Congress), it’s not likely Congress will act. The White House could then take action.
If our trading partners had to choose between access to the American market or access to the Iranian one, there’s no doubt which way they’d go.
Given the obvious crisis caused by North Korea, why would we not do everything possible to prevent a repetition with the Islamic extremists of Iran?
Regarding Obama’s ghastly deal with Iran, our motto should be clear: Fix it or nix it.
Fortunately, the Trump Administration, so far, is not taking the easy path of procrastinating and kicking this nuclear can down the road. The U.S. Treasury Department has just designated Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which controls almost one third of the Iranian economy, as a terrorist entity, which will enable us to impose hurtful sanctions on Iran. We must also follow through and impose crippling sanctions on Hezbollah. There are other measures, such as no-fly zones in Syria, that would help thwart Iranian imperialist ambitions.
A nuclear-armed, religiously fanatic and ambitious Iran is a far greater long-term threat than North Korea.
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