Yesterday, President Obama announced with great pride that he has reached an agreement with Iran on the framework for a nuclear deal. The details of this framework agreement are still unclear. In fact, Iran has already challenged the Administration’s vague characterization of these parameters. But we already know enough to know that nothing about this agreement is good news.
More than anything, the framework agreement confirms repeated reports that the U.S. has capitulated to Iran’s core demand that it retain all of its nuclear infrastructure. Under the parameters announced last night, Iran will not have to close any of its nuclear facilities, including the underground center at Fordow and the heavy water reactor at Arak. Likewise, Iran will not have to dismantle any of its 19,000 centrifuges.
The only alleged benefit from this deal is Iran’s commitment not to use this infrastructure beyond certain limits for the next decade or so. But pledges from Iran are entirely worthless, and no one should pretend otherwise. Iran has cheated and lied about its nuclear program since the day this illegal program was first discovered. Making matters even worse, this deal seems to base our oversight of Iran’s compliance with its pledges on the same failed inspections regime that’s already in place.
Finally, this deal appears to provide accelerated sanctions relief to Iran. If this is true, we will lose all of our leverage over Iran early in this process. And Iran will quickly reap the vast cash infusion that has motivated it to participate. A newly flush Iran will soon have more resources than ever to invest in its aggression in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and beyond. This is good news for Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthi rebels and every other group who relies on Tehran for missiles, explosives and training. This is bad news for America, Israel and every one of us.