New York: Tuesday, November 24, 2020
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Why Would It Be So Wrong for Joe Biden to Return to the Iran Deal?

Why Would It Be So Wrong for Joe Biden to Return to the Iran Deal?

The IAEA has been deeply disappointed in the lack of cooperation by Iran in the inspection process. Really, what did Commissioner Rafael Grossi expect? Iran has been obstructing IAEA inspections whenever it thought it could get away with it. “UN watchdog warns Iran again violating nuclear deal with world powers,” Israel Hayom, November 12, 2020:

…IAEA Commissioner Rafael Grossi told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday [Nov.11] that “evaluations regarding the presence of undeclared nuclear material and activities for Iran continue.”

He said in his first speech to the 193-member world body, which was virtual because of the pandemic, that he welcomed the agreement he reached with Iranian officials in Tehran in August “on implementation of some safeguards implementation issues,” including access to two sites.

Inspections have taken place and samples from the sites are being analyzed, he said.

These were not IAEA inspections of the sudden swoop-down variety. Iran had plenty of time to cleanse the two new sites before it offered the IAEA access. It will be fascinating to learn if the IAEA, once it has finished analyzing samples taken at the two sites, nonetheless managed to find traces of enriched uranium that proved too difficult for the Iranians to eradicate.

Iran’s Ambassador to the UN, Majid Takht Ravanchi, told the assembly that “Iran and the agency have agreed to work in good faith to resolve these safeguards-related questions.”…

“If Saudi Arabia is seeking a peaceful nuclear program, it should act in a very transparent manner and allow the agency’s inspectors to verify its activities,” he said.

He said the IAEA also needs to take “an unbiased and professional approach” toward Israel, which is not a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons.

Iran’s ambassador wants to muddy the waters, diverting attention from its own nuclear program to those of Saudi Arabia and Israel. Will the IAEA fall for this diversionary tactic? Grossi has so far taken a hard line with Iran; as long as he is the head of the IAEA, he is likely to keep the organization focused laser-like on Tehran.

And one more thing: Iran has threatened many times to “destroy” Israel with nuclear weapons; Israel has not said a word about destroying Iran or any other country with its nuclear arsenal. In 2017 the Iranian defense minister, Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan, warned the Saudis that Iran would “destroy” all of Saudi Arabia, except the Muslim holy sites, if Riyadh showed any aggression toward the Islamic Republic. That is why the IAEA is so focused on Iran: if the country manages to get nuclear weapons, it has made clear it intends to use them.

Meanwhile, Iran has finished moving a first cascade of advanced centrifuges from an above-ground plant at its main uranium enrichment site to an underground one in a fresh breach of its nuclear deal with big powers, a UN atomic watchdog report showed on Wednesday.

The move was the latest of many deliberate breaches by Iran of its 2015 deal with major powers in response to Washington’s 2018 withdrawal from the landmark accord and its reimposition of sanctions against Tehran. The deal says the underground plant at Natanz can only be used for first-generation IR-1 machines….

We already know that Iran has been using the advanced IR-2 machines, and this year installed the even more advanced IR-4 centrifuges in its underground plant, though not the IR-6 machines it has been able to build. Iran had committed itself under the Iran deal to limiting its centrifuges to IR-1 machines. It is not only violating that commitment, but has announced to the world that it would be installing the IR-2 and IR-4 machines. It has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging the IAEA, as well as members of the JCPOA, to try and stop this deliberate breach by Iran of its commitments under the deal.

Why would it be so wrong for Joe Biden to return to the Iran Deal? Let me count the ways.

First, Iran has been hiding nuclear sites from the IAEA inspectors, fessing up to them only when the IAEA has already learned about them from other sources. Why would Iran not continue its history of deception, as it builds nuclear facilities inside mountains where they cannot be seen or monitored? Why wouldn’t it continue its current violations of the Iran deal, and create much larger stocks of uranium, enriched at far higher levels, than the JCPOA allows?

The most important source for information on Iran’s nuclear program comes from Israel. The nuclear archive Israeli agents located and brought back to Israel are a treasure trove of information on Iran’s nuclear program, including information about sites that were completely unknown to the outside world until then. Israeli satellites have taken photos of suspicious changes to the Iranian landscape, indicating buildings connected to the nuclear program, like the above-ground plant for more advanced centrifuges built at Natanz. When Israeli agents managed to sabotage – to blow up – the Natanz centrifuge plant, that set back Iran’s nuclear program by between one and two years.

Second, if Biden returns to the Iran Deal, that means the U.S. will lift sanctions on Iran, which can immediately start selling oil at the 2018 levels of 2.5 million barrels a day, up from today’s .25 million barrels – an increase of 900%. Those former buyers of Iranian oil who were afraid to violate the American sanctions regime will come rushing back. Iran will also benefit from an unfreezing of Iranian assets in banks abroad, which may mean that more tens of billions of dollars will become available for Iran to restore to former levels its recently diminished financial support for the Houthis in Yemen, for the Shia militias in Iraq, for the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, and for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Does Biden have any reason to think the Iranians, once the sanctions are lifted, will not go back to supporting, at previous levels, its proxies and allies all over the Middle East, through which it hopes to create a “Shia crescent” from the Gulf to the Mediterranean? Does he have any reason to think that Iran won’t spend some of those tens of billions on its nuclear program, and on ballistic missiles to carry nuclear warheads, with Israel in the crosshairs of the Islamic Republic?

If despite all this, he reenters the Iran Deal, at least Biden must insist on some changes to what was not, as John Kerry complacently claimed, a “diplomatic triumph” but, rather, a geostrategic disaster. Iran must agree to limits on, and inspection of, its ballistic missile program. It must also agree to stop funding what is now its most important ally, and the one most dangerous for Israel – the terror group Hezbollah. If Iran is unwilling to meet those two new requirements, Biden should be prepared to walk away and to let it be known that he plans to reimpose those sanctions with which Trump brought Iran to its knees. At that point, the Iranians – startled by this unsuspected display of backbone by Joe Biden – may come back to the table, reluctantly ready to deal.

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Hmm. yes i understand the
question, you know it's been at least
15 years since I've been following the news, no 10 my folks do that, hmm. what was the question again !?
Excuse me! But can you remember
where you read about this ?
Are you kidding !?
of course I can, it was on
the website u.s.news.com
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