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Obama administration sold a bad Iran nuclear deal to the American public

Donald Trump is not punting Iran problems down the road

Obama administration sold a bad Iran nuclear deal to the American public

Reuel Marc Gerecht
8th May 2018 - USA Today

President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal should be viewed as condign punishment for the disingenuous way Barack Obama and his staff sold the agreement to the American public.

The deal does not “cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.” Once the regime perfects advanced centrifuges, which is allowed under the accord, the Islamic Republic’s nuclear-weapons ambitions cannot be checked. By 2025, Tehran can start assembling these models.

These high-velocity machines require small cascades. Without an extraordinarily lucky human-source intelligence penetration or sloppy Iranian telecommunications, American intelligence services would have no ability to find them hidden in warehouses.As the former No. 2 at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Olli Heinonen, has doggedly pointed out, the Iranians already may have a substantial secret stockpile of component parts for advanced centrifuges. The Obama administration chose to ignore this real possibility, as it chose to ignore most of the “possible military dimension” concerns that should have been at the heart of a real arms-control agreement.

To Trump’s credit, he has chosen not to ignore the deal’s counterproductive sunset clauses, which make restrictions on Iran temporary. He hasn’t ignored that Revolutionary Guard bases, where we know Iran has engaged in nuclear-weapons research, are now effectively off-limits to inspectors.

He is not ignoring the regime’s development of long-range ballistic missiles that only makes sense if armed with atomic warheads. He is not ignoring the strategic and moral absurdity that monies delivered to Iran under the deal abet Tehran’s imperialism, especially its savage campaign in Syria, which has now claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Stunningly, Trump is not doing what democracies almost always do: Punt problems down the road, where they inevitably become far worse.

Reuel Marc Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 

Follow FDD on Twitter @FDD, and follow the work of FDD’s Iran Project @FDD_Iran. FDD is a Washington-based, nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

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