As we get closer to the June 30th deadline, here’s a look at what not among the Obama-Kerry demands on Iran’s nuclear program. Share this:
First, none of Iran’s existing nuclear infrastructure will be destroyed or sent out of country. President Obama indicated he’d never considered it a realistic demand, anyway. “Iran is not going to simply dismantle its program because we demand it to do so,” he said.
The Obama administration refuses to address limits to Iran’s dangerous development of long-range ballistic missiles, developed in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions in collaboration with North Korea. “Perhaps the biggest failure of the negotiations,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, “was to limit it to just the nuclear profile and not include Iran’s other illicit activity, most notably its ballistic missile program.”
While negotiating on the future of its nuclear program, the Islamic Republic Iran is holding four Americans hostage. The four are journalist Jason Rezaian, a writer for the Washington Post; Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, jailed since 2012 for organizing Christian services in Iranian homes.former FBI agent Robert Levinson, seized in 2007; and former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, who a Revolutionary Court called “Corrupt on Earth (Mofsed-e-filarz) and An Enemy of God (Mohareb).” On May 11, 2015, by a bipartisan vote 90-0, the US Senate called for Iran to immediately release the three hostages. So far, nothing.
Despite calls from across the political spectrum to address Iran’s role in destabilizing the Middle East through its terror proxies Hezbollah, Bashar Assad, Iraqi and Houthi militias—as well as the chaos it brings through its own Revolutionary Guard—the Obama administration has eschewed linking the nuclear negotiations to any of Iran’s aggressive actions in the region.
Fordow is a heavily fortified, underground uranium enrichment facility near the city of Qom. It is a former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps base. Keeping it open contradicts Obama’s December 2013 statement that, “They don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordow in order to have a peaceful nuclear program.” About 1,000 of this facility’s 3,000 centrifuges will operate under a deal but will only enrich non-radioactive substances “for at least 15 years.”
Iran will be permitted to keep its plutonium-producing Arak heavy-water reactor, but it will be re-engineered to produce less plutonium. Iran to agree not to build more heavy-water reactors for 10 years. This concession legitimizes the Arak reactor and allows Iran to increase its expertise in plutonium production during a final agreement.
According to the MEMRI report, the offer would also drop a long-standing demand by the IAEA and Western states that Iran account for suspected past and ongoing nuclear weapons work.
Although Khamenei reportedly rejected this offer, Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to concede it anyway when he said during an April 16 press conference, “We are not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another. We know what they did.” Kerry also said in response to a question from a reporter: “We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in.”
President Obama said on April 15 that Iran could receive significant economic relief immediately after concluding a deal to curb its nuclear program. The Wall Street Journal wrote that this could amount to a $30-50 billion “signing bonus” for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in its promotion of terrorism around the globe. On April 21, the State Department refused to rule out this signing bonus.
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