Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Joseph Raskas  7-21-15  
The most ironic thing about the nuclear deal struck in Vienna is that it not only secures Iran's path to the bomb, it also creates the very condition it was supposed to prevent: nuclear proliferation. Instead of enhancing the nuclear nonproliferation regime, the resultant impact of the Pollyannish P5+1 deal will be the destruction of theACCORD that was meant to prevent the nuclear arms race in the first place.
The Obama administration has collapsed on nearly every condition that constitutes a good deal: no dismantlement of Iran's nuclear program, no sunset clause, no anytime, anywhere inspections, no curbing of Iran's ballistic missile program, noCONTINUATION of the arms embargo and no confronting Iran's sponsorship of terror.
On the contrary, the deal provides Iran with $140 billion in sanctions relief and allows it to retain an industrial-sized nuclear weaponsPROGRAM -- with the capacity to build hundreds of nuclear bombs and develop intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the U.S. -- even if Iran complies with the deal. If Iran violates the deal, it can increase centrifuge production, and then project power on unforeseen levels.
Besides the core requirements, a good deal must also garner the perception among key actors in the region that it will actually achieve its intended effect. Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia, the linchpin of nuclear nonproliferation policy, remains unpersuaded that the deal blocks Iran's path to a bomb, which is why it is pondering its ownPROGRAM. The kingdom will move to purchase a nuclear bomb off the shelf from Pakistan the moment Iran is inevitably perceived to have the bomb, prompting a cascade of nuclear proliferators in its wake. At that point, Iran will almost certainly shed its P5+1 obligations and match the Saudis tit-for-tat.
In other words, after kneecapping the International Atomic Energy Agency, alienating allies and shredding the sanctions regime, the Obama administration won't even have a denuclearized Middle East to show for it. Instead, the deal will increase the reach and brazenness of Iran -- not only to complete the production of its nuclear program, but also toCONTINUE the capture of other countries without consequence.
Rather than serving as a case study in nuclear deterrence, the P5+1 deal is a model for recalcitrant regimes seeking to use non-compliance to attain an enrichment program. The message is apparently this: Ratchet up aggression, double down on demands, and eventually non-compliance will be rewarded with a legitimized nuclear program -- the way Iran has.
From the outset of his presidency, President Barack Obama has placed a priority on reducing the threat caused by nuclear proliferation, and he intended the P5+1 deal to be the touchstone of that legacy. But in effect he has granted an imperial, theological power an open road to a nuclear bomb and windfalls of cash to fund terrorism, subversion and destabilization across the globe.
It's time for Democrats in Congress to admit that everything Obama thought he knew about Iran is wrong.

This deal is neither absolutely necessary nor a fait accompli. Congress should step away from it immediately, showing its disapproval of the deal and blocking the lifting of sanctions. Congress should then override Obama's dangerous abuse of executive power, restoring America to a position of strength, not weakness.