This morning I read a Washington Post op-ed that provided an especially prescient analysis of the nuclear agreement the Obama administration is seeking with Iran. The author said in the final two paragraphs of this piece:
“The much-discussed terms of the impending agreement with Iran thus offer the theocracy all that it wants. The accord would concede a vast enrichment capacity, as well as accepting both a heavy water plant and a well-fortified underground enrichment facility that the United States once vowed to shutter. It would permit an elaborate research and development program and would likely rely on an inspection regime that falls short of indispensable “anytime, anywhere” access. In the meantime, the sanctions architecture will be diminished, and the notion of ever “snapping back” sanctions into place once they are lifted is delusional. And because the agreement itself would be term-limited, there would be no practical limits on Iran’s nuclear ambitions upon its expiration.
However, as disturbing as all this may be, the most important legacy of the prospective agreement many not even lie in the nuclear realm. The massive financial gains from the deal would enable the Islamic Republic’s imperial surge while allowing a repressive regime that was on the brink of collapse in 2009 to consolidate power. This would be no small achievement for Iran’s emboldened rulers.”
Who wrote this devastating assessment? Joe Lieberman? John Bolton? Frank Gaffney? No, it was written by Ray Takeyh who covered Iran on President Obama’s National Security Council and authored the president’s letters to Iran’s Supreme Leader. He is now a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations.
Takeyh was cautiously supportive of the nuclear talks at the outset and has been part of a bipartisan effort to get good deal with Iran by pressing the Obama administration to take a harder line and stop making concessions to Tehran. My view is that the nuclear talks were lost before they began since the Obama administration conceded uranium enrichment to get Iran to the negotiating table. But I agree with Takeyh that this will be a bad deal that will not only fail to halt or slow Iran’s nuclear program, it will also bolster the Iranian regime at a time when it is increasing its meddling in regional states and sponsorship of terrorism.
Takeyh’s op-ed followed last week’s critical (but somewhat milquetoast) bipartisan letter organized by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that included as signatories five former members of President Obama’s inner circle: Dennis Ross, David Petraeus, Robert Einhorn, Gary Samore and General James Cartright. The letter said the nuclear deal “may fall short of meeting the administration’s own standard of a ‘good’ agreement,” “will not prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapons capability” and “will not require the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear enrichment infrastructure.”
Conservative experts have long warned that the Obama administration is seeking a dangerous nuclear agreement with Iran. This agreement is now so bad that liberal foreign policy experts and former Obama officials have turned against it.
Congress must listen to growing bipartisan concern about President Obama’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran and take decisive action. This means rejecting any agreement that the nuclear talks produce and passing new sanctions against Iran until it complies with all UN Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program.