Obama could stop Iranian weapons purchases... but he won't
Under the atrocious nuclear agreement with Iran, President Hussein Obama has the legal authority to stop Iran from purchasing all those Russian weapons. But, reports Adam Kredo, he won't
“We’re aware of ongoing discussions between Russia and Iran regarding
possible purchases of military equipment,” a State Department official
who was not authorized to speak on record told the Free Beacon
in response to inquiries. “If we have concerns about specific
transactions, we’ll express those concerns through the appropriate
channels, whether bilaterally with Russia or at the U.N. if any
specific transaction violates any U.N. Security Council resolutions.”
However, critics of the administration’s outreach to Iran expressed
skepticism. They maintain that the White House is turning a blind eye to
Iranian violations of the nuclear accord in order to preserve
diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic.
“The U.N. resolution to endorse the flawed Iran nuclear deal actually
gives the United States and other members of the Security Council the
power to review and legally block arms sales by Russia or other actors
to Iran,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), a critic of the nuclear accord,
told the Free Beacon. “But as Russia and Iran further escalate
their use of indiscriminate military force in the Middle East, the
administration appears wholly unwilling to use this power.”
According to the terms of the U.N. resolution governing the nuclear
agreement, the U.S. and other Security Council members are provided with
the power to approve “in advance on a case-by-case basis” most
conventional arms sales to Iran.
The statute specifically applies to the “supply, sale, or transfer”
to Iran of many conventional arms, including “battle tanks, armored
combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft,
attack helicopters, warships, missiles, or missile systems,” according
to the resolution.
Iran is reportedly seeking to purchase from Russia a new cadre of advanced Russian-made warplanes and other arms.
The provision requires the Security Council to individually approve
the sale of these weapons for the next five years. Any member of the
council has the right to veto a measure, meaning that the United States
“could effectively block such a sale,” according to Michael Singh, a
former White House national security official who worked on the Iran
“It appears that the Obama administration has the authority to block
any sale of fighter aircraft to Iran,” said Singh, managing director of
the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. “In pressing for the
approval of the nuclear deal by Congress, the administration discussed
these arms restrictions (and related missile restrictions) as de facto
bans, there will certainly be an expectation that they would use that
“Critics of the deal insisted that the Obama administration would be too
intimidated to ever use those mechanisms because then Iran would walk
away from the deal,” the source said. “This arms sale suggests the
critics were right and that the deal supporters bamboozled Congress.”
After Kredo's piece was published, the Obama administration tried to sound a more forceful note.
Update 4:10 p.m.: Following publication, officials
familiar with the situation said they expect the administration to be
more forceful in raising concerns about these sales, particularly the
transfer of advanced war jets.
What could go wrong?
Labels: arms sales, Barack Hussein Obama, Iran, Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iranian nuclear threat, John Kerry, Russia