Deal will make an Iranian atom bomb more likely

2013-12-02T00:00:00Z Deal will make an Iranian atom bomb more likelyBy Lawrence J. Haas Arizona Daily Star
December 02, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The six-month deal between U.S.-led negotiators and Iran will make an Iranian atomic bomb more likely because it significantly strengthens the very regime that so desperately wants nuclear weaponry.

In essence, the agreement undercuts the premise on which years of mounting economic and financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic had rested — that sanctions would force the regime to choose between its nuclear aspirations and its own survival and, in the end, it would pragmatically choose the latter.

By providing $7 billion in sanctions relief,  the agreement will give the regime breathing room by preventing an economic collapse, thus boosting the spirits of its citizenry. That will reduce public pressure on the regime and embolden it to make more nuclear progress .

Due to the sanctions, Iran’s rial had become the world’s least valued currency last year and its economy was suffering from hyperinflation, according to the group United Against Nuclear Iran. But with President Hasan Rouhani’s election in June, his charm offensive and the West’s subsequent refusal to impose new sanctions, the rial had recovered 25 percent of its value since June — and it jumped another 5 percent after negotiators announced the deal in Geneva.

Moreover, Western energy, automobile, and other major businesses are already anticipating a return to business with Iran through trade, investment and other means that will chip away significantly at Iran’s isolation.

Nor, despite what top U.S. officials say, can Western powers easily reverse course and end the sanctions relief. Over the last decade, U.S. and European officials had painstakingly crafted the sanctions that forced Tehran to the bargaining table, and they were forced to overcome enormous opposition from Western businesses that sought to continue making money in Iran. Now, with the door cracked open and businesses returning, officials will hardly find it easy to shut it again.

Sanctions relief would make sense if it came with enough Iranian concessions to justify it. But that’s not what this deal will bring. Instead, it essentially protects Iran’s nuclear progress , provides for inspections only at a limited number of sites, allows Iran to continue enriching uranium at low levels and, despite U.S. assertions , seems to acknowledge Iran’s right to enrich.



While inspectors can conduct daily inspections at the Natanz and Fordo sites, they can’t roam freely to inspect other sites.

Moreover, the deal greatly reduces the ability of America’s closest, and most worried, regional ally, Israel, to defend itself from Iran’s continuing annihilationist threats by using military force . Yes, Israel still can launch strikes, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu served notice it may do so. But Jerusalem won’t have Washington’s backing.

By strengthening the regime, the nuclear deal greatly increases the likelihood of an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Lawrence J. Haas is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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