Keyhole To Which Its Eye Is Pasted

Let’s talk reality. In 2015, the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany (P5+1…the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council + Germany) signed an agreement, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which would lift the sanctions imposed on Iran because of the nuclear program they swore was both peaceful and didn’t exist. The agreement required, amongst other things, restricted ability to enrich uranium and make heavy water, and agreed to international inspections.

JCPOA restricts Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, on the surface anyway. It requires that Iran close one of its reactor sites, Fordo, and keep only 5,060 of the oldest centrifuges at Natanz, and promise not to make weapons grade uranium with them. The deal also banned plutonium reactors for 15 years, and says Iran had to dismantle the one they had. With those restrictions, if Iran obeys all of them for 10 years, it would take them 12 months to build a bomb instead of 3. So, cold hard facts: the nuclear deal doesn’t prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, which some in the international community say Iran already has, it just postpones it.

Natanz has 24 hour camera monitoring, and daily access for inspections, which so far Iran has agreed to. The issue, though, isn’t Natanz. The issue is the, suspected, other sites Iran has never disclosed and therefore don’t fall under the terms of JCPOA. The deal never promoted “anywhere, anytime” inspections. In fact, outside of Natanz, if the International National Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) thinks there’s a violation, they have to wait up to 24 days to get access. In 24 days Iran could relocate its entire stockpile/program/etc practically anywhere in the country. Inspectors go in, “oh look, nothing here,” Iran continues in new secret place. The Iranian regime is not one of transparency, and the international community has zero ways of confirming the legitimacy of any claims that there are no other facilities, they’re literally taking Iran’s word for it.

So what happens if Iran violates any of these rules, and gets caught making nuclear grade uranium, heavy water, or plutonium in the next 10 years with the intention of making a bomb? Well, in theory the UN security council “snapbacks” sanctions on Iran. Except, according to international law experts, that would absolve Iran from adhering do the deal.

The deal also doesn’t remove ALL of Iran’s enriched uranium, plutonium, and heavy water. It merely reduces its stock pile, and that stock pile, which includes 660lbs of enriched uranium, is supposedly only to be used to fuel nuclear power plants. The thing is, though, that nuclear power plants and nuclear enrichment facilities look pretty much the same, and power plants aren’t part of the established inspections. And although Fordo isn’t allowed to have reactors or enrich uranium, the underground facility will be allowed to be used as a “nuclear, physics, and technology centre.” Fordo is also allowed to keep 1,044 centrifuges, and isn’t part of the daily inspection/24 hour camera monitoring agreement. The agreement also doesn’t destroy Iran’s heavy water reactor at Arak, just sits on the Iranian agreement not to commission or fuel it. A reactor that Russia helped them build.

Where has the uranium that Iran is supposed to get rid of gone? Well, tonnes of the low grade stuff has been shipped to Russia…one of Iran’s allies. Although Russia is part of JCPOA, it’s more for show and less for reality. Russia WANTS to trade with Iran, and although there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Russia has helped Iran in the past with their nuclear program (because, in reality, all Russia cares about it money), and Russia has no desire to enrage the entire UN Security Council by disobeying Iranian sanctions.

Iran is, inarguably, a state sponsor of terrorism, and has been on the US State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1984. It’s not debatable. Iran sends money to groups that carry out terrorist activities. The sanctions didn’t stop them sponsoring terror, but it certainly gave them less money to do so. Removing the sanctions hasn’t helped the Iranian people, it’s simply given the Shah more money to send to groups he thinks will help Iran achieve the world it wants without doing it themselves.

Even if you want to argue with the above, the entire world can agree that Iran has a horrific record of human rights abuses. Executions happen almost daily, including children. LGBT children are forced to endure electric shocks to ‘cure’ them. Confessions obtained under torture are admissible in court, and the idea of a ‘fair trial’ is laughable. Free speech, including the internet, is highly restricted and monitored. This blog post would result in arrest, and probably a death sentence, in Iran. Insulting the regime, the Shah, God, the prophet…all punishable by death.

Whilst the US use of the death penalty is a whole different argument, Iran’s use of the death penalty included over 400 executions last year, for things like same-sex relations and drug offences (smoking marijuana is a death penalty offence). Although it’s unrealistic to not do business in a globalised world with any country that has human rights abuses, it should influence a country’s foreign policy. And whilst doing business with a country like Iran doesn’t mean you accept their government and human rights atrocities, it does show a certain level of nonchalance about the people who live there. The lifting of the sanctions on Iran hasn’t made their human rights record better, and the influx of trade has shown zero impact on the people of Iran.

JCPOA is one sided. Iran wanted the sanctions lifted. Lifting the sanctions gave Iran access to roughly $56 billion in trade deals. Whilst trading with Iran isn’t a bad economic idea, it wasn’t necessary for any of the P5+1 countries, except perhaps Russia. Iran not only got an end to sanctions, but the IAEA stopped its investigation into whether the Iranian military was involved in nuclear bomb making. And since the IAEA, nor the P5+1, has any way to verify that material wasn’t moved before the deal was signed, or went into effect, and no way to verify that the Iranian military doesn’t have its own underground facilities, Iran essentially convinced the international community to take its word for it, and the end result was lifted sanctions and access to over $100 billion in frozen assets, the end to the arms embargo in 5 years, or sooner if the P5+1 agrees that the program is “entirely peaceful,” and the end to ballistic missile technology importation in 8. All of these are things Iran wants, and none of which benefit, with the exception of Russia who would love to sell arms to Iran, the P5+1.

John Kerry argued that the deal “prevents war in the middle east.” It just doesn’t. It’s not a case of “agreement, or war.” Iran may have a certain world view, but it has no ability to bring it about. Iran is state sponsor of terrorism because it’s a coward regime. It KNOWS it has control at home, but the money and sophistication to go to war with NATO is simply something it doesn’t have. There are many things you can say about Iran, but its leaders are not stupid. Iran isn’t going to start any war with NATO, because they can’t win, and the end result would be no more Iran. Additionally, Iran isn’t going to start a nuclear war with anyone…MAD worked for a reason, and continues to work. The consequences of nuclear annihilation are for the entire world, not just the country that gets bombes.

JCPOA doesn’t prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons, if it hasn’t already, it makes it possible for Iran to rejoin the international community sans sanctions, look good on the surface via inspections that only look at one teeny tiny area, and gives the EU access to multi-billion dollar deals with Iran. The only benefits from JCPOA are to Iran, and limitedly to the EU in terms of trade deals. It doesn’t benefit anyone else, and there’s no realistic way to make sure Iran isn’t nuclear capable anyway.


You can read the key points of the deal here, and make up your own mind: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33521655

Also, the Wikipedia page is more in depth, but always use caution when using Wikipedia as your information source. In ANY Wikipedia article, you should always down to the bottom and check the sources before you cite information from Wikipedia as legitimate. Wikipedia = Grain Of Salt Research. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_nuclear_deal_framework

Full text of JCPOA: https://www.state.gov/e/eb/tfs/spi/iran/jcpoa/

Iran on Human Rights Watch: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/iran

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