Lord Kenneth Maginnis of Drumglass in Northern Ireland serves in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords. He has penned a harsh critique of the Iran deal that comes from outside the American political arena.
Maginnis calls the deal a “fantasy land” policy whereby the West is deploying wishful thinking to hope that its efforts will produce a beneficial effect on Iran. Nevertheless on a close reading of the deal, he writes, “one can see little hindrance to the Regime ambition to actually accelerate Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons work, leaving the country free to enrich uranium for a viable bomb within the next ten to fifteen years.”
What he calls “the excessive optimism” of the deal’s defenders has caused them to assert that the negotiations have opened a path to addressing not only the development of a nuclear weapon by Iran but also “the frequently stalled and obstructed probe into the past military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear programme.” He refers to the secret deal between the IAEA and Iran, which formally ‘resolves’ the “frequently stalled and obstructed probe” by abandoning any further attempts to require them to account for their past activities. United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry said that the United States was no longer interested in Iran accounting for its past activity, a position the Washington Post called “ludicrous” and in direct conflict with his own position as recently as April.
Lord Maginnis goes on to spell out the problems with the arrangement captured in the secret deals: that it will allow Iran to instigate long delays of at least 24 days, that it will allow Iran to collect its own materials and video, and that the IAEA has “has all but abdicated its responsibility to inspect sites where evidence of illicit activity has been spotted in the past.” The terms of the deal, he writes, suggest that no real watchdog effort is planned or will be pursued by the IAEA.
Furthermore, he writes, the deal is based on a what he describes as false optimism about changing the nature of the Iranian regime.
All of this confidence seems to depend upon an inexplicable belief that Iran will reverse a long pattern of deceptive behaviour now that the deal has been signed. In fact, this has been guiding Iran policy since President Obama began on the path to rapprochement. And that appears to be grounded in the mistaken belief that the West is now dealing with a different kind of Iranian leadership.
In actuality, even the so-called moderate Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is an establishment figure and a regime insider who previously served as the lead negotiator on Iran’s nuclear programme and later boasted of Tehran’s ability to deceive the West and maintain a “calm environment” in order to dramatically expand the country’s enrichment capabilities.
If this is not sufficient to undermine confidence in Iran’s willingness to cooperate with the existing agreements, the Iranian signatory to the IAEA side deal is even more obviously the wrong sort of person to be dealing with. A day after the AP’s report on that document, the Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), released a profile of that individual, Ali Hosseini-Tash, a Brigadier General in the terrorist-sponsoring Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
IranTruth also noted the NCRI’s profile of Tash, here.
Maginnis closes his piece by noting that Iran has not shown any positive signs of changing on human rights that would encourage us to believe that they were open to changes of heart as a result of the nuclear deal. Rather, they have responded with “executions of ordinary Iranian citizens.” He is correct about this: Amnesty International noted this week the 700th execution of an Iranian citizen by the government, this time a schoolteacher. “The more policymakers and their constituents understand these facts,” Maginnis closes, “the better a chance we will have of taking measures to correct the indefensible mistakes the U.S. and the UN have made in recent months.”