Congress Should Reject the Deal If Vital Benchmarks Have Been Pulled Back
The just-announced deal on Iran’s nuclear program has not erased the deep concern we have about Iran’s true intentions for its nuclear program.
It is impossible to look at Iran’s track record in so many areas and not be skeptical about Iran adhering to the terms of the deal. In the days leading up to the agreement, on “al-Quds Day,” government inspired crowds called for “death to America,” and U.S. and Israeli flags were burned across the country.
The fact that verification has been a sticking point throughout this process is highly revealing. We fear that inspectors will never get managed, unfettered or spontaneous access, because Iran has consistently rejected this point all along.
According to the terms of the deal, the arms embargo is being lifted in five years, but the arms race will begin sooner than that, as other countries will begin stockpiling weapons. Sanctions that are being lifted now will never be reinstated, because it was too difficult to get full coalition approval the first time around. Apparently, even some of the terrorism sanctions will be lifted because they will be classified as nuclear instead of non-nuclear.
All the basic components of Iran's nuclear infrastructure will now be allowed to solidify with the international community's blessing.
At no point during the past nearly two years of negotiations has Iran lessened its support for terrorist organizations, its hegemonistic goals in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, or its continued abuse of human rights.
The P5+1 (United States plus China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and Germany) worked hard during this time to secure a deal. But perhaps the hopeful quest for a breakthrough overshadowed Iran’s long record of deception and denial about its nuclear program. Tehran’s history underscores the likelihood that Iran will cheat again under this new deal.
Congress needs to ask tough questions about inspections, plutonium enrichment and sanctions relief, including Iran's demand to immediately begin acquiring conventional weapons. If upon inspecting the details, Congress discovers the agreement proves unsatisfactory on crucial issues, then Congress should reject the deal.