The Iran deal, President Obama admitted, would only delay the acquiring of a nuclear weapon. The President, in his statement, was responding to critics who stated that the deal does nothing to diminish the prospect of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, because it allows Iran to continue its uranium enrichment program. On Tuesday, Obama told his critics in a broadcast interview that while the deal will only delay the inevitable, which can possibly come around in year 13 of the 13 year agreement, he reassured them that over time that through continued inspections, the world will become more privy to Iran’s progress and be in a stronger position to take decisive action if Iran tries to produce or acquire a nuclear weapon
Under the current agreement, signed between Iran, the U.S. and five other powers, its breakout time will be increased from the current two to three months to a year. Although Obama stated that the deal could only delay the acquiring of a nuclear weapon, he assured people that Iran will not acquire a nuclear weapon, “on his watch.” Several have dismissed this statement, pointing out that the President only there are only 20 months left of his term. The arrangement is supposed last for ten years, where Iran’s maximum amount of uranium is to be set at no more than 300 kilograms, which is not enough to produce a nuclear bomb. After the tenth year, restrictions could be eased and the breakout period, by the 13th to 16th could go down to zero, as the Islamic republic will have more of the resources to enrich uranium in a shorter period of time.
Iran has claimed that it has no intentions of creating or acquiring a nuclear bomb, but many in the U.S. government have been skeptical. Speaker of the House, John Boehner stated that the agreement is a direct threat to the security of the Middle East as well as the world, and has called for the agreement to be subject of Congressional approval. At the same time, Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wants to introduce legislation blocking Obama from issuing a temporary waiver of U.S. sanctions during the time the deal is under review.
Also raising concerns are several leaders in the international community. While Obama has tried to assure his allies that the deal will continue to work under trust and Iran’s compliance with inspections, very few, especially close ally of the U.S., Israel do not feel that the country with its current anti-American and anti-Israel policy can be trusted. Its government has continuously threatened Israel with destruction and has actively provided military support to Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, all three terrorist organizations who sit at Israel’s borders and have stockpiles of weapons pointed at its cities. Iran itself is currently on the top of the U.S. list of terror sponsors and currently backs the Shiite Houthi rebels who have overtaken the government in Yemen.
Critics of the deal, which Obama admitted could only delay Iran’s acquiring of a weapon, have also pointed out the sanctions, when in place, had weakened its government and made it susceptible to regime change. The lifting of sanctions, they fear, will create more wiggle room for its leadership as well as release funds, which Iran can in turn use to fund the terrorist organizations it backs. With the possibility of creating a bomb, it can then use its leverage to provide cover for its the terror groups it sponsors.
In an interview on Monday, Israeli Intelligence Minister, Yuval Steinitz proposed an alternative agreement, including a complete halt to the development of new uranium centrifuges and research, as well as the closing down of existing ones. In addition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the agreement to include a condition that Iran recognize Israel’s right to exist. His basis on such a condition stems from its threats to wipe his country off the map, and without such a condition, a deal is not possible. Obama has rejected such call, claiming them to be issues separate from one another, but went on to state his solidarity by declaring that if Israel was left in a state of vulnerability, it would “fundamental failure” of his presidency.
By Bill Ades