Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday unsurprisingly hailed the nuclear agreement struck with US-led world powers, and derided the “failed” efforts of the “warmongering Zionists.” His delight, Iran’s delight, is readily understandable.
The agreement legitimizes Iran’s nuclear program, allows it to retain core nuclear facilities, permits it to continue research in areas that will dramatically speed its breakout to the bomb should it choose to flout the deal, but also enables it to wait out those restrictions and proceed to become a nuclear threshold state with full international legitimacy. Here’s how.
1. Was the Iranian regime required, as a condition for this deal, to disclose the previous military dimensions of its nuclear program — to come clean on its violations — in order both to ensure effective inspections of all relevant facilities and to shatter the Iranian-dispelled myth that it has never breached its non-proliferation obligations? No. (This failure, arguably the original sin of the Western negotiating approach, is expertly detailed here by Emily B. Landau.) Rather than exposing Iran’s violations, the new deal solemnly asserts that the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which Iran has failed to honor “remains the cornerstone” of ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. The deal provides for a mechanism “to address past and present issues of concern relating to its nuclear programme,” but Iran has managed to dodge such efforts for years, and the deal inspires little hope of change in that area, blithely anticipating “closing the issue” in the next few months.
2. Has the Iranian regime been required to halt all uranium enrichment, including thousands of centrifuges spinning at its main Natanz enrichment facility? No. The deal specifically legitimizes enrichment under certain eroding limitations.
3. Has the Iranian regime been required to shut down and dismantle its Arak heavy water reactor and plutonium production plant? No. It will convert, not dismantle the facility, under a highly complex process. Even if it honors this clause, its commitment to “no additional heavy water reactors or accumulation of heavy water in Iran” will expire after 15 years.
4. Has the Iranian regime been required to shut down and dismantle the underground uranium enrichment facility it built secretly at Fordow? No. (Convert, not dismantle.)
5. Has the Iranian regime been required to halt its ongoing missile development? No.
6. Has the Iranian regime been required to halt research and development of the faster centrifuges that will enable it to break out to the bomb far more rapidly than is currently the case? No. The deal specifically legitimizes ongoing R&D under certain eroding limitations. It specifically provides, for instance, that Iran will commence testing of the fast “IR-8 on single centrifuge machines and its intermediate cascades” as soon as the deal goes into effect, and will “commence testing of up to 30 IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges after eight and a half years.”
7. Has the Iranian regime been required to submit to “anywhere, anytime” inspections of any and all facilities suspected of engaging in rogue nuclear-related activity? No. Instead, the deal describes at considerable length a very protracted process of advance warning and “consultation” to resolve concerns.
Read more: timesofisrael.com