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Monday, July 20, 2015

He's read the deal and it's awful!

President Hussein Obama has challenged his opponents to 'read the deal' before deciding. My old friend David Gerstman (we go back nearly 40 years) read the deal, and he thinks it's awful.
First off it’s worth noting that Energy Secretary and MIT nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz said back in April that to be effective the deal would have to include “anytime, anywhere,” inspections, so Obama’s explanation about why 24 days notice is now good enough fails to convince me.
I want Moniz to explain why he changed his position on this AND why 24 days is now acceptable. I would like Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes to explain why he walked back his comments on requiring “anytime, anywhere” inspections.
And I want a more convincing explanation than negotiator Wendy Sherman’s excuse that the term was just a “rhetorical flourish.” (If that was a rhetorical flourish, I’m curious how many other administration comments about the nuclear deal were rhetorical flourishes.)

But in that paragraph, Obama limits the grounds of questioning the deal to whether the language of the deal is insufficient to prevent Iran from achieving a nuclear breakout over the course of the deal.
Here’s where I have problem. Even if the agreement was airtight, and I doubt that it is, there’s a matter of the administration’s behavior during the Joint Plan of Action, which was agreed to in November 2013. The problem is that the Obama administration has acted as “Iran’s attorney” covering for Iran’s violations of the previous agreement.
Item (18) quoted above means that all of the resolutions involving Iran’s failure to comply with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) will be erased. These resolutions were passed because Iran pursued an enrichment program outside of its NPT obligations and failed to account for all of its past nuclear research.
Iran has maintained its enrichment program, and will be allowed to continued it under the terms of the JCPOA. It still has not come clean about its past nuclear work, and for the sanctions relief to take hold, Iran apparently only has to commit to admitting its past nuclear work to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The JCPOA, in effect, legalizes Iran’s years of violations and rewards them for limiting their level of violations in the future.
The best analogy I could think of would be a corporation having been found in violation of emission standards for years agreeing to a deal that would absolve them of all fines accumulated over the years, have the violations expunged from government records and allowing the corporation to continue polluting at 50% over the standards instead of 100%.

Read it all.

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