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Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz: Iran’s Negotiating Triumph Over Obama and America

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The U.S. is surrendering control of verification to the United Nations, where our influence is weak

Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz write: President Obama believes that the nuclear “framework” concluded Friday in Switzerland is a historic achievement. Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, says he believes the same. Those two positions are incompatible.

“The American, French and Israeli governments have compiled fat files on the clerical regime’s nuclear-weapons drive. No one who has read this material can possibly believe Iranian assertions about the nuclear program’s peaceful birth and intent.”

Mr. Zarif is also a loyal servant of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,who believes that the West, in particular the U.S., and Iran are locked in a “collision of evil and evil ways on one side and the path of…religious obedience and devotion on the other,” as he said in July 2014.

“The inspections regime in Iran envisioned by the Obama administration will not even come close to the intrusiveness of the failed inspections in Iraq.”

The supreme leader says the Islamic Republic has a divine calling to lead Muslims away from the West and its cultural sedition. The Obama administration has never adequately explained why Mr. Zarif’s relentlessly ideological boss would sell out a three-decade effort to develop nuclear weapons.

“Worse, once sanctions are lifted and billions of dollars of Iranian trade starts to flow again to European and Asian companies, the U.S. likely will be dealing with a U.N. even more politically divided, and more incapable of action, than in the days of Saddam and the run-up to the Iraq war in 2003.”

The defensive and offensive strategies of the Islamic Republic, given the chronic weakness of its conventional military, ultimately make sense only if nuclear weapons are added to the mix. The American, French and Israeli governments have compiled fat files on the clerical regime’s nuclear-weapons drive. No one who has read this material can possibly believe Iranian assertions about the nuclear program’s peaceful birth and intent. The history of this effort has involved North Korean levels of dishonesty, with clandestine plants, factories and procurement networks that successfully import highly sensitive nuclear equipment, even from the U.S.

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A White House less desperate to make a deal would consider how easily nuclear agreements with bad actors are circumvented. Charles Duelfer has written a trenchant account in Politico of how Saddam Hussein tied the United Nations Security Council and its nuclear inspectors into knots in the 1990s, rendering them incapable of ascertaining the truth about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.

The inspections regime in Iran envisioned by the Obama administration will not even come close to the intrusiveness of the failed inspections in Iraq. Worse, once sanctions are lifted and billions of dollars of Iranian trade starts to flow again to European and Asian companies, the U.S. likely will be dealing with a U.N. even more politically divided, and more incapable of action, than in the days of Saddam and the run-up to the Iraq war in 2003.

In an effort to circumvent possible congressional disapproval of his deal-making, Mr. Obama is voluntarily surrendering control of the implementation and verification of any agreement to the Security Council, where American leadership and influence are weak…. (read more)

WSJ

Mr. Gerecht, a former Iranian targets officer in the Central Intelligence Agency, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. Dubowitz is the foundation’s executive director and heads its Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance.

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