Think tank: Don’t extend the Iran nuclear deal

by WorldTribune Staff, April 24, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump is deliberating whether to extend the Iran nuclear deal, which requires certification of Iran’s compliance every 90 days.

The president should not re-certify the deal, Sarah Stern, founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, wrote for American Thinker on April 22.

President Donald Trump ‘should seize this opportunity and refuse to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal.’ /AP

“Firstly, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear regulatory agency, has already certified that Iran has been out of compliance with the deal,” Stern wrote, citing an IAEA report that said Iran has exceeded its limit of heavy water under the deal.

Iran has also conducted as many as 14 missile tests, in defiance of UN Resolution 2231, since the deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was inked in 2015, Stern noted.

“Then there is the process of verification, which is inherently flawed. Anything that Iran deems as a ‘military site’ is, according to Iranian leadership, off limits to inspectors. These include those ‘military sites’ which we don’t even know about. That means that the IAEA’s means of obtaining critically important information is via a letter certifying compliance written by the government of Iran. That is akin to releasing murderers and rapists from prison and having them certify in a letter that they are no longer committing murder and rape.”

Iran’s deal with world powers was not allowed to be voted upon as a treaty because former President Barack Obama “made an end-run around the U.S. Constitution, as well as around the Congress, by going first to the UN, and then presenting it to Congress as a fait accompli,” Stern wrote.

“We also know that the deal that the Majlis, the Iranian Parliament, voted on, was more than 1,000 pages long, while the agreement that we saw in the United States was only 159 pages long.”

Obama “was hell-bent on securing this deal as his foreign policy legacy,” Stern wrote. “He basically refused to acknowledge the Iranian government for what it is: an apocalyptic, messianic regime that believes that destroying Israel and America will bring about the coming of the 12th Imam, (the Shia Messiah). Equipping this sort of regime with nuclear weapons presents a clear and present danger to the survival of the United States, Israel, and to the Sunni Arab nations, as well as much of Europe.”

Since the deal was negotiated, “the Iranians have received more than 100 billion dollars in unfrozen assets, and the regime has been further enriched by corpulent, lucrative deals since the sanctions have been lifted,” Stern noted. “This has been used, in good part, to enrich and empower Iran, and to help the Islamic Republic destabilize the globe in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and in Saudi Arabia.”

If Trump certifies that the Iranians have been in compliance, the United States “will be continuing the Obama administration’s policy of willful blindness combined with grand deception about the Iranian regime and its destructive behavior,” Stern wrote.

“We are now witnessing how North Korea’s possession of a nuclear bomb is allowing them to threaten its neighbors, Japan and South Korea, with almost total impunity. We now have a tiny window of opportunity to prevent this from happening with Iran. President Trump should seize this opportunity and refuse to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal.

“We can’t afford another rogue regime able to threaten the world with nuclear weapons.”