Iranian nukes: a bad deal we'd be foolish to reject?
For sceptics, there is a depressing logic to the Iran nuclear deal. If it is trashed by Congress on the grounds Iran will not mend its ways, Iran will probably push harder for nukes, and sanctions will go anyway. It's a bad deal that we've got to accept, however reluctantly
The Iran deal may be Obama’s lasting legacy, but not if the more Neanderthal members of Congress have their way.
And yet, whichever way you look at it, the agreement is both tough and as good as the West is likely to get. It has provisions which are not only the most stringent ever imposed on a nuclear-ambitious nation, but are likely to have the positive result of re-admitting Iran to respectable society and putting an end to the ‘Great Satan’ nonsense that has bedevilled US/Iranian relations for a generation.
There is little in the media about the detail.
First up, Iran will have to destroy 98 percent of its enriched uranium and all the weapons-quality uranium, remove two-thirds of its centrifuges and all its advanced centrifuges, stop all enrichment at its Fordo nuclear plant and moth-ball its plutonium reactor
Until the IAEA is satisfied that there has been total compliance, all economic sanctions will remain in force. All facilities are liable to spot checks and monitoring at any time.
If the Iranians are caught red-handed breaking the terms, there are ‘snap-back; provisions whereby sanctions would be automatically and instantly re-imposed without the need for agreement between the sanctioning nations.
The naysayers contend that the predicted leap-forward of the Iranian economy when not burdened with sanctions would enable Iran to push forward an even more ambitious nuclear programme after the agreement expires in 15 years.
Perhaps, but realpolitik says that the other signatory nations will not agree to extending sanctions now that there is an agreement that they regard as acceptable regardless of the largely ill-informed views of grandstanding right-wingers in Congress.
The latter also contend that greater prosperity would enable Iran to increase its financing of terrorism. Again, this may be so but one might say, ‘Well, what else is new?’
If there is no agreement Iran will continue to finance terrorism regardless. A more likely scenario is that the Iranian people are tired of the deprivation and suffering resulting from sanctions and will demand a return to normality and well-being that relief would bring and which is long overdue.
If the antis in Congress have their way, Iran will simply accelerate its nuclear programme, and the US will be left isolated and humiliated.
Never has ‘carpe diem’ seemed so relevant.
Robin Mitchinson is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator. A former barrister, living in the Isle of Man, he is an international public management specialist with almost two decades of experience in institutional development, decentralisation and democratisation processes. He has advised governments and major international institutions across the world
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