The Shocking Truth about the Iranian Nuclear Deal’s Hostage Exchange between Iran and the USA

 

 

We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children… We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more that they hate us.

 Golda Meir, Former Israeli Prime Minister

 

THE IRANIAN-AMERICAN HOSTAGE EXCHANGE

Certain revelations emerged after the Obama administration left office, and gave rise to a number of troubling issues surrounding the Iranian nuclear agreement. It became apparent there were hidden, exorbitant costs in connection with the deal, and it seemed the Obama administration was prepared to go to inordinate lengths, including concealing the truth from America and the world at large, to make the deal a reality.

 Barack Obama and his administration, in order to help ensure Iran’s support for the 2015 JCPOA deal aimed at steering Iran’s nuclear program along a supposedly peaceful, industrial path, sidestepped protocol and covertly negotiated a number of questionable concessions in favor of the Iranians. Obama unfroze multiple billions of dollars of Iranian assets, lifted international sanctions and availed extortionate financial relief, and orchestrated a bewildering Iranian-American prisoner swap. The financial enablement of the Iranians via the unfreezing of assets and the lifting of sanctions were the focus of earlier discussions in this chapter. In this sub section the author addresses the bombshell Iranian-American prisoner/hostage exchange, the accompanying $1.7 billion ostensible ransom payment, and the concomitant potential for discomposing ramifications.

 On January 17, 2016, the day after the United Nations and other JCPOA participants lifted a multitude of sanctions against Iran, thus allowing the Iranians untold millions of dollars in relief, Barack Obama announced that five Americans were “coming home” after years of imprisonment in Iran, and seven Iranians held in U.S custody would return to their homes in the Islamic Republic. Obama informed the American people that the Iranians were regular civilians and none of them was “charged with terrorism or any violent offense.1

 Did Barack Obama tell the truth about the hostage swap, and did he divulge everything he knew to the American public? Subsequent revelations indicated the American President lied. An April 24, 2017 Politico* article 2 stated that not only were the seven Iranians released as part of the nuclear deal not “average civilians” as the US President claimed, but Obama also released an additional fourteen (14) fugitives who were facing charges in the United States. Charges against the 14 fugitives included sanctions evasion, illegal procurement of weapons technology, and weighty violations of American and international counter-proliferation activities. 3

 *Politico, known earlier as The Politico, is an American political journalism company based in Arlington County, Virginia, USA that covers politics and policy in the United States and internationally.

 The Politico report claimed Barack Obama and U.S. administration officials “weren’t telling the whole story.” Apparently, the U.S. Department of Justice followed orders to rescind charges and international warrants against the 14 Iranian individuals, without being apprised by the Obama administration of the identities of the fugitives, their alleged crimes and the gravity of possible ongoing threats they posed to America.

 Among the 14 fugitives was Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili, an Iranian militant implicated in an alleged undertaking to procure “thousands” of items of technology via China for utilization in the workings of uranium enrichment centrifuges. Amin Raven,  another Muslim radical, faced charges of smuggling U.S. military antennas out of the country as part of a procurement network that provided Iran with high-tech components for an especially dangerous type of IED (improvised explosive device) used by Shiite militants to murder hundreds of American troops in Iraq.

 As additional troubling revelations emerged about the Iranian nuclear deal after the agreement became official, front line American politicians and other public leaders voiced their concern that the Obama administration might have misled the American people in their preoccupation with passaging the nuclear deal. Indeed, the security and well-being of Americans across the country might have been compromised.

 An April 28, 2017 WJLA Washington D.C. article by Leandra Bernstein reported that Energy Secretary Rick Perry aired his concern about what the Obama administration agreed to in the Iranian nuclear deal and how the administration presented the agreement to the American public.

 I didn’t think it was a good deal when we signed it…I think we’re finding out things about it on a regular basis that the America people didn’t know about or was misrepresented.

 …If this was one of those things where the president was just hell-bent on having a legacy and willing to trade away some very important issues to get that, then I think that’s going to reflect rather poorly on the previous (Obama’s) administration. 4

 The WJLA article carried the following observation by American Congressman Scott Perry (R – Pennsylvania).

 The tenets of the deal were supposed to – by statute – be given to the American people through their congressional representatives, and I think it’s clear that the past administration refused to do that…Every detail of the agreement should come into light so all Americans can understand the full implications of the nuclear agreement. 5

Mr. Perry said that the reason the Obama administration did not reveal some of the details of the JCPOA agreement was because it would have been embarrassing and the American people would not have supported the deal, even to the limited extent they did at the time.

 The undercover prisoner swap was an especially emotive issue for U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch (D – Florida), who tried for many years to secure the release of one of his constituents, Robert Levinson, from Iran. Levinson worked as a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) consultant before being detained by Iranian authorities in 2007. He is the longest-held American in Iranian captivity.

Early in 2016, some months after the Iranian nuclear deal materialized, and while Robert Levinson, and who knows how many other American hostages, were languishing in Iranian jails, Barack Obama and his cohorts were kissing the feet of their captors, freeing Iranian fugitives, and shelling out multiple billions of dollars for probable use by Iranian despots in developing a nuclear bomb.

 RANSOM PAYMENT FOR HOSTAGES?

 On January 17, 2016, the Obama administration quietly shipped $400 million stacked in an unmarked plane to Iran. On the same day, Iranian authorities released four American hostages who had been held in Iranian prisons. 6

Obama, while neglecting to mention the transfer of the $400 million, later to be complemented by two other payments to Iran for a total of $1.7 billion, declared January 17th, 2016 was “a good day, because, once again, we’re seeing what’s possible with strong American diplomacy.” The Iranian nuclear deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) became effective the previous day i.e. January 16th 2016.

 The American President then embarked on a stroll of self-aggrandizement as he spoke of his “smart, patient, and disciplined approach to the world.” He lauded his administration’s “tireless” efforts to persuade the Iranians to release the American prisoners. In reciprocation to the Iranians’ kind gesture, Obama intimated he was setting seven Iranian fugitives free, and dropping all charges against them. Of course, America and the world at large later learned that fourteen additional Iranian fugitives simultaneously gained their freedom, and had all charges against them retracted. See earlier in the sub section for remarks about the criminality of the released Iranians to whom Obama referred as “average citizens.” 7

After news about the $400 million payment to Iran surfaced, Republicans and conservatives spared no effort in deeming the payment, made at the same time the Islamic Republic freed the American prisoners, a ransom doled out to terrorists, a strategy the U.S. administration always refuses to adopt. Barack Obama himself, during his two tenures as U.S. President, repeatedly averred he would never enter into any deal with terrorists. Obama, for his part, maintained the payment represented the resolution of a long standing financial dispute that involved an Iranian claim regarding money advanced by the Shah of Iran for military equipment, which the U.S. government did not deliver after the 1979 revolution ousted the Shah.

 Obama labored to explain that the U.S. was now returning Iran’s “own funds, including “appropriate interest,” but “much less than the amount Iran sought.” He cited a potential savings of “up to $6 billion or $7 billion” in a “very good deal for taxpayers.”

In a disputation of the forgoing dramatics by the U.S. President, James Phillips, the senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, spoke about an increase in the “trickle of disturbing leaks about the Obama administration’s flawed and risky Iran policy” in an August 19, 2016 The Daily Signal article.

 In the article, titled Obama’s Cash Deal Encourages Iran to Take More Hostages, Phillips referred to a Wall Street Journal article that said, “New details of the $400 million U.S. payment to Iran earlier this year depict a tightly scripted exchange specifically timed to the release of several American prisoners held in Iran.”

Phillips noted that although Barack Obama’s administration persistently denied the cash transfer amounted to a ransom payment, a U.S. State Department spokesman admitted on Thursday, August 18th 2016 that the U.S. government delayed making the payment “to retain maximum leverage” over Iran. 8 Such an admission confirmed widespread suspicion that the negotiations over the release of the four Americans were in one way or another predicated on discussions about the return of frozen Iranian money paid to the U.S. government for military weaponry prior to the 1979 revolution in Iran. In other words, the $400 million, and the subsequent two other payments of $1.3 billion to Iran, was in effect, a ransom payment.

Iranian officials clearly consider the $400 million cash payment the satisfaction of a hostage ransom. James Phillips reported that the commander of the Basij, a volunteer force affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, boasted in January 2016 that the United States secured the freedom of the American prisoners with the payment.

Barack Obama’s hostage exchange with the Iranians was a reckless and ill-advised undertaking that jeopardizes the lives of Americans around the world. Iranian despots and their terrorist henchmen, after realizing the U.S. administration played right into their hands and paid a ransom for the hostages set free in January 2016, must feel encouraged to target and detain Americans on trumped up charges and try to extract ransom payments for their release.

As a matter of fact, Iranian authorities arrested at least six more foreigners since the January 2016 $400 million ransom payment from the U.S. government. Among those imprisoned in Iran were the following:

  • Chinese-American student Xi Yue Wang – Arrested in July of 2016 while researching his Ph. D. dissertation
  • Baquer Namazi, the father of Siamak Namazi, a Dubai-based businessman (jailed by the Iranians in October 2105) – Detained in February 2016
  • San Diego resident Reza Shahini – Arrested while visiting family in Gorgan (250 miles north east of Tehran) in July, 2016
  • Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese national with U.S. permanent residency – Apprehended late in September 2015
  • Reza Shahini, a dual Iranian-American citizen – Incarcerated in July 2016.

 Such is part of the perilous legacy Barack Obama left for the incumbent president Donald Trump, future American presidents, and Americans in general.

 LIES, MISREPRESENTATION AND INVEIGLEMENT

 Barack Obama’s artfully gauged statements about the hostage exchange between the U.S. and Iran and the simultaneous transfer of $400 million by the U.S. to the Islamic Republic failed to include a great measure of germane information. Or it could be that even after two terms as president of arguably the most powerful nation in the world, Obama was still a neophytic politician and statesman who was unable to distinguish fact from fiction. Further still, maybe it was deliberate misrepresentation.

The following vexing issues, indisputably pertinent to the January 2016 hostage exchange and the $400 million transfer to the Iranians, translate into an acutely embarrassing situation for Barack Obama and the U.S. administration under his watch.

  1. While Obama lumbered to justify the return of $400 million in Iran’s “Foreign Military Sales” (FMS) account with the Pentagon, plus $1.3 billion in interest, he neglected to mention that in 1981, when Iran presented its claim before the Claims Tribunal at The Hague (The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal (IUSCT)*, the United States responded with a counterclaim for $817 million in connection with the Islamic Republic’s violations of its obligations under the FMS program. In 2016, with decisions relative to both the claim and counterclaim still pending at the Claims Tribunal at The Hague, it was possible Iran owed billions of dollars to America, instead of the reverse being true.

 *The Iran–United States Claims Tribunal (IUSCT) is an international arbitral tribunal established pursuant to the Algiers Accords of January 19, 1981, the latter an agreement between the United States and Iran mediated by Algeria to resolve the hostage crisis.

  1. Obama chose not to mention the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act, which former U.S. President Bill Clinton signed into law in 2000 and that stipulated Iran’s FMS account could not be refunded until court judgements held by the U.S. government against Iran for damages for terrorist attacks against American citizens were resolved to America’s satisfaction. The aforementioned judgements, including accumulated interest up to 2016, amounted to approximately $1 billion. President Obama did not explain how, under the 2000 law, with the judgements on behalf of the USA against Iran still outstanding, he could make any kind of payment to the Islamic Republic.
  1. It was not until seven months after the Obama administration made the $1.7 billion payment to Iran when news surfaced that the funds consisted of untraceable European cash. The president attributed the method of payment to banking restrictions with the Islamic Republic, claiming his administration had no other choice but to remit the refund in cash. Sanctions regulations, however, expressly dictate that the settlement of Iran’s claims at The Hague must be satisfied via bank payments.

Bipartisan skepticism ensued over the U.S. administration’s January 2016 $1.7 billion untraceable payment to Iran. The prevailing mindset was demonstrably disquieting. Various Republicans and Democrats of the American political system voiced their disapproval of the more or less surreptitious cash payment to Iran – a fund transfer many people also deemed the settlement of a ransom.

 Republican Senator Mark Kirk (Illinois), chairman of the Banking subcommittee on national security said, “Hard cash is the preferred currency of terrorism. How much more harm can Iran and its terrorist allies do to Americans and the world?” 9  Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota), a subcommittee ranking official, added, “An unchecked Iran poses not only a threat, but a grave threat. I hope this hearing can shed some light on those answers.” 10  Michael Mukasey, former U.S. attorney general, opined, “There could be only one purpose in which cash was useful – sponsoring terrorism around the world…That money is going to buy a lot of dead westerners.” 11. Mukasey intimated the Iranians could utilize the cash to purchase nuclear weapons from North Korea, noting that the cash-strapped North Koreans, who continuously conduct nuclear tests, would welcome the funds to finance such activity.

 Democratic Senator Bob Menendez (New Jersey) hearkened back to a 2000 law (see 2. above) that limits payments to Iran until American terror victims with lawsuits against the Islamic Republic experience closure to their cases and receive possible restitution for the criminal acts carried out against them. Menendez said, “This action (the hostage exchange and cash payment to Iran) took place so precipitously. Those victims of terrorism who have outstanding claims that have not been satisfied in the case of Iran were cheated out of the opportunity.” 12

Courts in the United States handed out no less than sixteen decisions against Iran during the years 1998 and 2004, with awards of compensatory damages amounting to some $400 million and punitive damages reaching $3.5 billion.

American lawmakers subsequently introduced several bills with a view towards cracking down on future payments to Iran and other terrorist sponsoring nations. One such proposition, by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce sought to block all cash payments to Iran and add transparency requirements for future settlements between the United States and the Islamic Republic. Another bill served to inhibit the U.S. Treasury Department’s Judgment Fund until Iran returns the January 2017 cash payment and settles cases with American victims of terrorist attacks in which the Iranians participated.

  1. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, in February of 2016, requested that the Obama administration provide legal justification of its payment of Iran’s claim, and a detailed computation of the interest paid. Royce asked again in June 2016 for the information, adding that the Congressional Research Service advised him that the Hague Tribunal stipulated a 10-percent simple interest charge on such claims.

 Author and lawyer Rick Richman, in a November 1, 2016 Mosaic – Advancing Jewish Thought article, revealed that the January 2016 payment to Iran, computed at the 10-percent rate, and before considering the U.S. counterclaim under the FMS and with the terror judgments still outstanding, was virtually identical to the $1.7 billion the administration paid, with no “billions” in savings. 13

Richman reported, up to the time he wrote the aforementioned article, the Obama administration had released no legal analysis to support its payment, no evaluation of the U.S. counterclaim, no text of the settlement agreement, no computation of the interest, no credible explanation for issuing the payment in cash, and no document showing the approval of the attorney general as required for issuing such a payment. For months, the administration hid important facts—including how the settlement was paid—even in response to direct congressional inquiries. 14

 A Shameful Blot on American Diplomacy and Foreign Policy

 The $1.7 billion January 2016 payment to Iran seems, from a multitude of perspectives, to have been a ransom, as the Iranian commander of the Basij, a volunteer force affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, boasted in January 2016. The enormous sum, in the form of cash and other liquid currency, accompanied a lopsided exchanged of twenty-one Iranian fugitives, duly charged and convicted under American law, for five Americans, held hostage on trumped up charges under unrepresentative legal proceedings.

Given the aforementioned facts and circumstances surrounding the Iranian-American hostage exchange and the $1.7 billion payout to Iran, the Obama administration’s submission that outstanding American claims against Iran for various terrorist acts were satisfied by the U.S. securing a favorable resolution on interest owed to the Islamic Republic i.e. paying the Iranians much less than the amount due to them, was a suggestion that bordered on flummoxing inanity. Actually, the settlement with Iran cost America $2.7 billion i.e., the $1.7 billion in cash plus an additional billion dollars in pardoned court judgements. Such funds covered a claim that was not yet due, may not have been owed, and may have been far less than the value of the U.S. counterclaim of $817 million against the Islamic Republic.

 Barack Obama’s “settlement” with the Iranians not only evinced the payment of a ransom in untraceable cash for the release of five innocent Americans, but the parallel discharge of twenty-one convicted Iranian fugitives. Additionally, and disgracefully, Obama facilitated the outrage of having the Iranians essentially wheedle U.S. taxpayers into financing the cost of damages owed by Iran for committing dastardly acts of terrorism against Americans over many years.

In summary, Barack Obama’s statement on January 17, 2016 that the day instant was “a good day, because, once again, we’re seeing what’s possible with strong American diplomacy” was a recitative mired in disgusting pretense and treachery. He attributed the implementation of the Iranian nuclear deal just the day before i.e. January 16, 2016 to his “smart, patient, and disciplined approach to the world.”

 Mr. Obama was being supercilious and insincere when he addressed the American nation on January 17, 2016, as he had been duplicitous throughout the planning, developing and implementing of the Iranian nuclear deal, and as he was two-faced during the hostage exchange with Iran and the $1.7 billion payment. He lied shamelessly, or else he was pitiably ignorant of the truth.

The former U.S. president engaged in uncommon diplomatic trickery – not against Iran, the leaders of which country were aware of what the U.S. administration was doing and gloried in its double-dealing tactics – but against the American people, who were thrust into the darkness about the hostage exchange and the transfer of nearly $2 billion to the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism, and about the Iranian nuclear deal proper. As the lawyer and writer Rich Richman laments in the article “The Story of Obama’s Ransom Payment to Iran Gets Worse:”

 January 17, 2016 was in fact a shameful day in the history of American diplomacy. The only question is which aspect was most shameful: the craven abandonment of American claims against the Islamic Republic of Iran for past terrorism, the provision of a huge amount of cash enabling it to engage in future terrorism, the systematic mendacity about the process and the willful failure to inform the American people of everything that had been done, or the underlying policy of appeasing Iran that precipitated both the process and its cover-up.

 What happened on January 17, 2016 was much worse than paying ransom.15

 THE NUCLEAR DEAL – IRAN’S LEGAL PATH TO THE BOMB

The Iranian nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action), whether its sponsors and supporters would care to admit it, is Iran’s lawful means of attaining nuclear weaponry, or put alternatively, the arrangement represents Iran’s legal path to the bomb.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s continued insistence that the nuclear deal be revised and amended elicits shock and disbelief from the plan’s supporters, including American negotiators of the deal who fell under the inspectorate of former US President Barack Obama, the latter a principal architect of the arrangement.

Mr. Trump is one of a few prominent world leaders who openly opposes the Iranian nuclear deal. In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2017, the U.S. President characterized Iran as a “murderous regime.” Further, Trump remarked that the nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama with Iran was a transparent “embarrassment”, and “…was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the US has ever entered into.” The President typified Iran as a violent and oppressive regime, and called on the country to release US and other foreign citizens currently held in prisons there.

Mr. Trump called on the leaders of other nations to address Iran’s incessant misdeeds, and the calamitous consequences of such actions for the Islamic Republic’s own people, and people around the world.

 It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction…It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. And above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors. 16

On May 8, 2018, the American president announced his decision to withdraw from the JCPOA agreement.

Supporters of the Iranian nuclear deal comprise a credulous and misinformed lot. The architects and implementers of the unprecedented 2015 agreement, however, might be less naïve. This is because they ought to be aware, unless they subscribe to a discernible measure of fatuousness, of the seriously flawed nature of the agreement. The Iranian nuclear deal (JCPOA) is a plan that covertly accommodates the insidious strategy of a party sworn to socio-religious and political extremism, while it ostensibly caters to the placation of the other party’s fears and concern over regional and international terrorism, and peaceful co-existence among certain prominent world powers. The former party, of course, is the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the latter, the coalition of the six global superpowers i.e. the USA, England, France, Germany, China and Russia, and the European Union.

The willful ignorance and/or the lack of astuteness on the part of JCPOA’s supporters and promoters notwithstanding, the ill-informed, noninterventionist media recklessly feeds a gullible public with erroneous assumptions and foolish arguments about the nuclear deal. Consequently, the mindset among many people is that unless America, or more specifically its President, desist from criticizing and condemning the current nuclear deal and refrain from demanding a revision, while decrying Iran’s furtive destabilization of the JCPOA agreement and the Islamic Republic’s continued participation in terrorist activities, he will create a dangerous crisis, or worse, another war in the Middle Eastern region. Mr. Trump’s May 8, 2018 decision to discontinue America’s participation is the nuclear deal signals his intention to continue his steadfast opposition to the JCPOA accord.

The aforementioned state of affairs pushes to the fore, three disconcerting issues. Firstly, the Iranians are confident they have free rein to pursue a nuclear bomb while they appear to the world at large to be compliant with the JCPOA guidelines. Secondly, a more or less global consensus of opinion concedes the benefit of the doubt to Iran as far as honoring its so-called commitment to the nuclear deal goes, notwithstanding growing evidence that the Islamic theocracy is circumventing the rules. Thirdly, the global community, including many Americans, appear to be fearful of possible far-reaching repercussions, which do not preclude military action on Iran’s behalf if America and other nations do not acquiesce or condescend to Iran’s circumlocutory agenda to see the nuclear deal through.

The Iranian nuclear deal is sieved with dubious provisions and inconsistencies that prefigure favorably for the Islamic Republic’s underhanded agenda aimed towards acquiring the nuclear bomb. The JCPOA agreement, for instance, encompasses an inspection program that is imprecise and ill-defined, and that enables Iran to circumvent the rules to its advantage, while inveigled IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency – the organization commissioned to perform the inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites during a 25-year phase of the nuclear deal) inspectors unwittingly certify so-called industrial nuclear sites as being compliant with conditions of the nuclear deal.

Secret Exemptions and Loopholes

There are reports about clandestine exemptions and allowances granted to Iran by the United States and other world powers involved in the nuclear deal around the time of the JCPOA agreement’s Implementation Day i.e. January 16, 2016 because the Islamic Republic failed to comply with certain pre-requisites of the nuclear program. The reports state that information about the exemptions and loopholes were kept from public knowledge and that former U.S President Barack Obama only informed the U.S. Congress about the exemptions on January 16, 2016 after they had been granted. 17, 18

January 16, 2016 was the deadline for Iran to be in full compliance with JCPOA provisions that required limits on certain nuclear stocks and facilities housed in the country in order for the lifting of previously imposed sanctions, including monetary restrictions. The Iranians knew multiple billions of dollars were at stake. Barack Obama and other world leaders who orchestrated the nuclear deal were also aware of the enormous sum of money the JCPOA overseers could make available to Iran, a theocratic nation with an acknowledged reputation as the world’s leading exporter of terrorism. If the reports are true, then Obama and the other JCPOA negotiators knowingly and dishonestly sidestepped protocol and enabled the release of scores of billions of dollars to a vicious, cold-hearted regime with a notorious reputation for breaching international treaties and multilateral agreements.

In addition to the problems surrounding the IAEA administered inspection program, Iran’s missile arsenal continues to expand, much to the consternation of the majority of the parties directly and indirectly involved in the JCPOA agreement. The JCPOA agreement, however, excludes issues surrounding Iran’s ballistic missile program. Consequently, the consensus of opinion according to a generally laissez-faire global media is the Iranian nuclear deal is moving along an unencumbered path and the Islamic Republic is honoring its assigned directives.

JCPOA’s Impractical Research & Design Provisions

The JCPOA’s research and development provisions comprise a major flaw in the Iranian nuclear deal. The timing of the lifting of a number of restrictions that would allow the rogue Islamic nation to pursue research, design and construction activities unhindered is even more problematical.

The notoriety of Iranian leaders to deceive others ought to be a primary concern of the other nations directly involved in the JCPOA agreement. Iran’s track record of shameless inveiglement in the arena of international politics and peacekeeping and its complicit involvement in terrorist activities around the world, combined with the recent receipt of multiple billions of dollars as a result of the lifting of economic sanctions that date back to the nineteen-seventies, have to figure prominently in the thinking of those aware of the Islamic Republic’s continuous quest to develop nuclear arms. Yet, most people seem not to care.

Iranian leaders are unquestionably aware of the implications germane to attempting to develop a bomb at one of its announced facilities or nuclear sites. Such an undertaking would constitute a major act of non-compliance with JCPOA conditions and subject Iran to harsh penalization, the re-imposition of sanctions, over and beyond those instituted after Donald Trump’s exit from the nuclear deal, and even military reckoning. The republic’s leaders are sure to be very circumspect about their strategy to retain possession the mind-boggling sums of money “gifted” to them as a result of the easing of various long-standing sanctions – money that many who distrust the Iranians fear may be used to finance the acquisition of a nuclear bomb.

There are about 500 commercial nuclear power reactors in operation or under construction in the world today. Such reactors require uranium” enriched” in the U-235 isotope for their fuel. The commercial process employed for the U-235 enrichment involves gaseous uranium in centrifuges. Prior to enrichment, uranium oxide must be converted to a fluoride so it can be processed as a gas, at low temperature.19

The enrichment of uranium, a salient prerequisite for advanced nuclear processes, is a complicated procedure that necessitates the utilization of advanced centrifuges that are capable of operating efficiently at very high speeds. Scientists today consider older IR-1 centrifuges embryonic contraptions compared with the much more advanced IR-8 centrifuges. The enrichment level achieved by a lone centrifuge is insufficient to obtain the required concentration range of between 3% and 5% U-235 in a single phase of operation. For there to be a centrifugal complement powerful enough to generate or produce a satisfactory uranium enrichment level for advanced nuclear operations, it is necessary to combine a series of centrifuges to form a ‘cascade’ (see below).

In order to obtain a sizeable throughput of material, scientists connect centrifuges in parallel positions in an industrial plant. The arrangement of centrifuges connected in such a manner, and in a series, is called a ‘cascade’. In a uranium enrichment plant several cascades operate in unison to form an ‘operational unit’, producing one U-235 assay. Several operational units together form one enrichment plant.20

According to the Iranian nuclear deal guidelines, after seven years when the transitional period ends, the United Nations would lift its ballistic missile sanctions. An industrial phase then effectively begins whereby Iran’s nuclear program would undertake huge strides towards a state of complete industrial enrichment. The JCPOA agreement would allow Iran to continue to pursue enrichment research and development activities. Additionally, the Islamic Republic would be free to utilize advanced centrifuges i.e. IR-4, IR-6 and IR-8 components in its experimentation.

As the nuclear plan runs continues its course, barring violations by Iran, the republic may use up to thirty (30) advanced centrifuges in test cascades. A centrifugal complement such as the forgoing would facilitate uranium enrichment processes at levels that would enable advanced nuclear operations, free of the implications of sanctions that would curtail such an agenda.

Ten years into the JCPOA agreement, i.e. Termination Day, existing limits on Research and Development of enrichment technology end. At the end of fifteen (15) years there will be an end to physical restraints on uranium enrichment. The forgoing concessions represent major advantages to Iran in pursuing its nuclear program. The IAEA, by the end of the twentieth (20) year, will cease to monitor centrifuge production, and after twenty-five (25) years, will no longer monitor uranium production by the Iranians.

As intimated earlier, the JCPOA’s compromise to grant Iran the privilege to research, design and construct advanced centrifuges comprises a major flaw in the accord. The permissive R & D provisions essentially allow Iran to modernize its nuclear infrastructure while honoring JCPOA stipulations. It would not be difficult for the Iranians to adhere to JCPOA rules, at least for the initial seven years – since such ill-advised conditions permit them to do what they had planned to do anyway – phase out lower level IR-1 centrifuges.

A small cascade of IR-8 centrifuges is versatile and powerful enough to enrich large quantities of uranium to weapons-grade quality. Since relatively few IR-8 centrifuges are capable of enriching substantial amounts of uranium, the Iranians may easily conceal them in small facilities or sites.  Geographically, Iran is a vast country and if its leaders choose to, they can disperse small enrichment facilities in selective locations across the land, which would make it difficult for IAEA inspectors and other monitoring personnel to find them. The prospect of protracted, continuous uranium enrichment being undertaken at hidden nuclear facilities or sites assumes a worrying tone as sanctions and restrictions on Iran disappear with the passage of time (see above).

The U.S. administration under the superintendence of Barack Obama must take much of the blame for the increasingly precarious position in which the international community finds itself since the ratification of the JCPOA agreement; this in spite of the general atmosphere of complacency that surrounds the progression of the accord over the past three years or so. Crafty, unscrupulous Iranian leaders, aided and abetted by IAEA inefficiency, have managed to befuddle and mislead the world into thinking that the JCPOA’s course is running smoothly and that Iran continues to honor its end of the entire agreement. It is news a nervous and apprehensive global audience wants to hear!

Concomitantly, leaders of the other world powers i.e. the P5+1 (The USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union) must acknowledge their blunder in allowing American leaders, and Barack Obama himself, to dupe them and have them commit to be party to an unprecedented program (JCPOA). Additionally, P5+1 and European Union leaders neglected to acknowledge Iran’s track record of repeatedly failing to honor international agreements aimed at curbing the acquisition of nuclear weapons and maintaining peaceful relationships with other nations.

JCPOA Conditions Dictated by Iranians

It may a little known fact that the Iranians, not the American representatives, or the emissaries of the P5+1 countries and European Union nations, were effectively the architects of the JCPOA agreement. Whether the negotiators of the P5+1 and European Union nations were inexperienced in matters relating to international bargaining, particularly in the sphere in military or nuclear disarmament, or whether they deliberately overlooked or neglected to acknowledge certain inequities or loopholes in the discussions, Iran came out of the winner. In other words, the Islamic Republic cunningly dictated the conditions applicable to the agreement, especially as they pertained to uranium enrichment via the use of advanced centrifuges.

In the midst of discussions about the Iranian nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (1939 – ) and President Hassan Rouhani (1948 – ) engaged the services of nuclear expert Ali Akbar Salehi (1949 – ), an Iranian academic, diplomat and the head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Salehi is also a Vice President of Iran, and is fluent in English and Arabic, in addition to his native Persian. Salehi served as the chancellor of the Sharif University of Technology from 1982 to 1985 and once again from 1989 to 1993. While chancellor, Salehi figured in a felonious attempt to obtain dual-use technologies (uranium processing methods to enhance both industrial and nuclear projects) from a European supplier, according to David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security. Albright cited some 1,600 telex documents from the 1990s. 21

Salehi realized Iran’s nuclear program was more or less in a state of stagnation as long as scientists continued to add primitive IR-1 centrifuges to the country’s stock of uranium enrichment processors, instead of more efficient ones. Outdated IR-1 centrifuges would only marginally strengthen Iran’s nuclear capacity, not contribute significantly to a viable nuclear program. The notorious bomb maker understood in order for Iran to focus on and maintain a nuclear strategy that would facilitate the eventual, or timely, acquisition of nuclear weaponry, Iranians had to phase out IR-1 centrifuges and replace them with advanced IR-8 components. Salehi and other members of Iran’s team of negotiators, ever mindful of the nuclear deal’s timeline, saw a unique opportunity to tailor the JCPOA plan to cater to their needs while impressing upon the world at large that Iran was compliant with the deal’s guidelines. The following observations shed more light on the preceding inferences.

JCPOA stipulation – Iran must take confirmable steps to reduce its nuclear activities, especially during the first seven years of the agreement until transition day, after which the United Nations will lift its ballistic missiles sanctions.

Iranian response – Iran, in keeping with an original, non JCPOA plan to disassemble and abandon outdated IR-1 centrifuges, does just that and persuades international observers and IAEA inspectors that it is being compliant with the JCPOA agreement. Iran’s surreptitious strategy is to replace antiquated IR-1 centrifuges with more advanced IR-8 versions of the apparatus anyway.

 JCPOA stipulation – United Nations will lift its ballistic missiles sanctions after seven years into the nuclear deal i.e. on Transition Day.

Iranian response – The foregoing JCPOA directive coincides with Iran’s covert nuclear agenda. At the time of the nuclear deal negotiations in 2015, Iranian leaders were at a loss to determine how long it would take them to design and make operative, the new generation of centrifuges. The Iranian team eventually ascertained the transition period would end just in time for the industrial stage of Iran’s nuclear program to begin i.e. at the beginning of the eighth year. As one member of Iran’s negotiating team, Hamid Baidinezhad, explained on August 23, 2015:

We came to the conclusion that the transition period that would take us to the industrial stage would start at the beginning of eight years. . . After the completion of that transitional period, Iran’s nuclear program would witness an industrial leap and Iran would enter the state of complete industrial enrichment [of uranium]. 22

This was precisely the research-and-development plan Iran negotiated: the agreement stipulates that “Iran will continue to conduct enrichment, research and development . . . including (the development of) IR-4, IR-6, and IR-8 centrifuges.” An American negotiating team that was unduly concerned about stages of sanctions relief and inspections seems to have conceded this point as part of the negotiating trade-offs. Salehi himself touted this achievement, declaring in an interview with the Islamic Student Agency on September 8, 2015:

According to the JCPOA, we have kept our nuclear program in accordance with our needs and requirements for (carrying out) research and development.

In a clever move, he preserved Iran’s nuclear modernization efforts while agreeing to trade away IR-1s that Iran would phase out even if the JCPOA never happened. 23

JCPOA stipulation – Iran may use up to 30 advanced centrifuges in test cascades after eight and one half years. After ten (10) years into the JCPOA agreement i.e. on Termination Day, overseers will remove the limits on Research & Development of enrichment technology.

 Iranian response – By this time i.e. after ten years into the JCPOA accord, Iran would already have embarked on an industrial leap that more or less would ensure a state of complete industrial enrichment. Iran would have disposed of low efficiency IR-1 centrifuges and would have begun constructing high efficiency IR-4, IR-6, and IR-8 centrifuges. JCPOA regulations will permit the Islamic Republic “to continue to conduct enrichment Research & Development…including IR-4, IR-6, and IR-8 centrifuges.” 24

It is eminently conceivable that Iranian leaders, who display a shameful track record as unabashed betrayers of international peace-keeping and nuclear demobilizations, will not honor the present nuclear deal with the P+5 nations (minus America) and European Union countries (see earlier in the chapter for various arguments as to why the Iranians are untrustworthy). It is entirely plausible that by the end of ten years into the JCPOA deal Iran would possess nuclear weaponry that includes an atomic bomb, this notwithstanding the inclination by observers around the world, including P+5 leaders to  admit to the Islamic Republic’s apparent compliance with the nuclear deal’s conditions. Even more portentous is the realization that the nuclear deal’s various sunset clauses, whereby restrictions disappear as the nuclear plan runs its course over the envisaged twenty-five year period, most likely will accommodate unbridled advancement toward a more or less full nuclear arsenal. The end of the fifteen-year phase, for instance, will coincide with the cessation of physical restraints on uranium enrichment. IAEA monitoring of centrifuge production ends five years later, and IAEA monitoring of uranium production ceases after twenty-five years from the outset of the JCPOA agreement.

OBAMA’S LEGACY PROJECT

Barak Obama pursued a legacy project towards the end of his tenure as President of the United States. Obama seemed to have been obsessed with “leaving his mark on history.” He cleverly courted an alliance with six of the world’s most powerful nations and the European Union (EU), a political and economic union of 28 member states located primarily in Europe.

Why did the leaders of America, France, China, Russia, Germany, Great Britain and countries of the European Union seek to negotiate a nuclear arms deal with Iran, the world’s premier sponsor of international terrorism? The author volunteers what he thinks are a number noteworthy considerations, albeit tinged with a measure of subjectivity, as to why the leaders of the P+1 nations and the EU entered into the JCPOA nuclear agreement. The reasons revolve mostly around the histrionics of the Obama administration – a few more expressly around the maladaptive prejudices of the former American president himself.

  1. The climate of increasing global anti-Semitism whereby a consensus of opinion relegates Israel and people of Jewish ancestry to a status of land-grabbing occupiers of other people’s property serve as a kind of stimulus to take steps to confront the seeming problem and those perceived as victims i.e., Palestinians, the so-called rightful owners of the Judea, Samaria and West Bank locations.

The majority of Middle Eastern Arabs and Muslims – Arabs and Muslims easily comprise ninety percent of the region’s populace – constantly clamor for the destruction of Israel and the summary annihilation of its Jewish inhabitants. Iranian leaders, notwithstanding their obligation under the JCPOA agreement to curtail their nation’s nuclear weapons program with a view toward peaceful co-existence among Middle Eastern countries, shamelessly and repeatedly call for the total obliteration of the Jewish nation, instead of pursuing, or encouraging a peaceful resolution to the controversy between Israel and Palestine. JCPOA participants, including the USA, the European Union and international observers seem oblivious to the forgoing, fear-provoking dichotomy.

  1. Barack Obama’s strategy of working with the P+5 world powers in developing and implementing the JCPOA agreement along with the Islamic Republic of Iran was predicated on a two-fold premise. Firstly, Obama knew a nuclear plan with Iran was disputatious and unprecedented in scope and temperament. Such a project demanded the cooperation of visible and established colleagues if it were to assume any semblance of credibility and/or legitimacy. The American president found such an alliance in the five world powers that helped comprise the P+5 axis, in addition to the willingness of the European Union to lend its support to the project.

Secondly, the time-honored “there is safety in numbers” presupposition probably appealed not only to Obama, but to the other JCPOA negotiators as well, and in a converse or antipodal sense, also to the Iranians. If the deal fell through for one reason or another, Iranian leaders may point to the complexion of the negotiating parties in directing or diffusing blame for the plan’s failure. The Obama administration and members of the P+5 alliance and the European Union most likely also recognized the existence of such an option.

  1. The political and socio-religious volatility in the Middle Eastern region makes any endeavor to empower a nation known for its penchant for breaking peacekeeping and military disarmament a patently dangerous venture.

The perennial animosity between Middle Eastern Arabs/Muslims and Jews – the overwhelming majority of the latter who reside in Israel because they are proscribed from living in Muslim fundamentalist Middle Eastern nations – lends to an atmosphere of intense trepidation and worry. The JCPOA P+5 members and the European Union with its 28 member states, in negotiating and implementing a nuclear deal with Iran, generally acknowledged as the world’ premier sponsor of state terrorism, puts the Jewish nation at perennial and considerable risk of harm and/or annihilation. Indeed, in a probable infringement of JCPOA regulations in 2017, Iran launched a ballistic missile with the words “Death to Israel.”

Israel not only faces the perpetual threat of murder, mayhem and destruction by the Palestinians, who claim the Jews “occupy” their land – less than one percent of the entire Middle Eastern region, with Arabs and Muslims confiscators of more than ninety-nine percent of the total territory – but Jews have to contend with the fearsome possibility of attacks from just about any Arab/Muslim nation in the region; many such nations sworn to the eradication of Jews.

One can only wonder why America (under Barack Obama’s inspectorate), France, Germany, China, Russia, Great Britain and the European Union would want to develop and confirm a nuclear arms deal such as the JCPOA, given the aforementioned attendant considerations, unless there exists a more or less total disregard for the welfare and well-being of Jews in the region. Did the nuclear deal with Iran proceed from deep-seated anti-Semitic sentiments?

Did Obama’s dislike for the Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu play a part in his role in the development and passing of the Iranian nuclear deal – or at least engendered an attitude of indifference relative to the threat of a military attack or attacks by Iran against Israel? Most people would be inclined to dismiss such a suggestion as unthinkable, but in the ambit of global politics and socio-religious predisposition, where unpredictability and uncertainty abound, nothing is concretely certain. The former American leader and the incumbent Israeli leader, after all, were always at loggerheads, especially where foreign policy impacted relations between the two nations. Netanyahu, from time to time, was known to overshadow his American counterpart on the stage of international politics.

  1. Some socio-political pundits speculate that Barack Obama, as he neared the end of his tenure of his presidency in 2015, felt justified to undertake a project that accommodated significant risk, knowing that should the venture fail, his successor or the next President of the United States would have to stand in the line of fire. Obama, towards the end of his second term as president, knew that Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner in the 2016 general elections and a man for whom Obama exhibited little respect, stood a fair chance of becoming the new American President. Donald Trump, beyond the expectations of most people, won the elections and assumed the office of President of the United States in January of 2016.

The JCPOA agreement runs for an initial period of 10 years, and continues via the provisions of so-called “sunset clauses” for a total duration of 25 years before the full implementation of a Non-Proliferation Treaty and an Additional Protocol (see below). Any infringement by Iran of JCPOA stipulations during the aforementioned period would entail remedial and/or punitive efforts by the leaders of the  P+5 countries involved in the JCPOA agreement , and subsequently, their replacements, and the United Nations to some extent. Barack Obama would be only a spectator to the sorry mess he would have helped create.

  1. Barack Obama, while he was President of the United States, often intimated he intended to leave a noble legacy for posterity. He assumed the office of President of the United States hoping to become a transformational leader. He was, after all, America’s first black president, and many felt he could be a unifying leader who was capable of healing America of its racial, ideological and parochial divides.

While he might have orchestrated a few worthy accomplishments over a tenure of two presidential terms, many people are reluctant to consider Obama a successful president, the main reason being his underperformance in a number of high visibility areas.

(a) Immigration – Obama’s legacy in this sphere must, at best, be mixed.

(b) Foreign Policy – Obama left the incumbent US president Donald Trump with the daunting prospect of helping to resolve the Afghanistan conflict, easily America’s longest war to date.

(c) Foreign Policy – Barack Obama’s perennially strained relationship with Israel, America’s most loyal ally in the Middle East, is an embarrassment to most Americans, and is of unsettling concern to numerous democracies in Europe and across the world. Hardly any American President ever became estranged from an Israeli prime minister as did Obama.

(d) Obamacare (Healthcare System) – Vainly named after the American president, Obamacare proved to be riddled with inequities and inconsistencies that threw America’s healthcare system into national disarray.

(e) The Economy – Over the two terms (8 years) Barack Obama held office, America’s economy underwent perilous fluctuations and was never a robust one. Obama incurred international debt that was many times more than any other American president in history, and exited the presidency with the US economy teetering on collapse.

(f) Race Relations – Many political and social pundits consider Barack Obama the most polarizing president in American history.

There were other claims of ineptitude and corruption on the part of the US administration during Obama’s two tenures, but these are better addressed in exclusive, lengthier discussions.

Of all Barack Obama’s attempts at leaving a legacy worthy of historical citation, his participation in negotiating, developing and implementing the Iranian nuclear deal must rank as his most audacious and risky undertaking – if only because of the inherent risk therein relative to the activation of nuclear weaponry and consequential military action should Iran default on the agreement. Iran’s well-known track record of violating international treaties and multilateral agreements lends credence to the unease and foreboding a global audience must experience as the nuclear deal progresses. Additionally, the notoriety of Iranian leaders as violators of human rights whereby innocent citizens face summary execution for even conjectured opposition to the Islamic Republic’s dictatorial goals is frighteningly disquieting.

Obama’s obsession with departing the presidency with a legacy that honors him in posterity may translate into one of the biggest blunders in the history of United States foreign policy. The risks involved in the Iranian nuclear deal are monumental, not only for America, but for the entire Middle East and the world at large. The recurrent threat by Iranian leaders to decimate the Jewish nation of Israel is the single greatest source of concern.  It is incomprehensible that the parties responsible for the development and implementation for the nuclear deal with Iran, with America at the forefront of the undertaking, would be unmindful of the implications appertaining thereto.

Disappointingly, Barack Obama’s flagship legacy, instead of being one of unprecedented approach and purpose, really may be an exercise in callous disregard for the welfare and well-being of others and may result in ruin, death, and the destruction of countless innocent lives.

The Non-Proliferation Treaty and Additional Protocol

The JCPOA agreement includes a provision for the full implementation of a Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and an Additional Protocol, after the end of twenty-five years, whereby the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA), via a voluntary agreement with Iran, would be able to access information that confirms the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program supports a solely peaceful agenda.

The NPT aims to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to foster the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of disarmament. The Treaty establishes a safeguard system under the responsibility of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which also plays a central role under the Treaty in areas of technology transfer for peaceful purposes.25

The Additional Protocol is not a stand-alone agreement, but rather a protocol relative to a safeguards agreement that provides additional tools for verification. In particular, it significantly increases the IAEA’s ability to verify the peaceful use of all nuclear material in States (member nations) with comprehensive safeguards agreements. As of May 2017, Additional Protocols are in force with 129 states (nation members) and Euratom (see below). Another 19 states signed an Additional Protocol but have yet to bring it into force. One state provisionally applied an Additional Protocol to its comprehensive safeguards agreement, pending its entry into force. 26

Under the Additional Protocol, the IAEA has expansive rights of access to information and locations in the states. For nations with a CSA (comprehensive safeguards agreement) the Additional Protocol aims to fill the gaps in the information reported under a CSA. By enabling the IAEA to obtain a much fuller picture of such states’ nuclear programs, plans, nuclear material holdings and trade, the Additional Protocol increases the IAEA’s ability to provide much greater assurance on the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in those nations. 27

The European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) is an international organization founded in 1957 with the purpose of creating a specialist market for nuclear power in Europe, developing nuclear energy and distributing it to its member states while selling the surplus energy to non-member states. It is legally distinct from the European Union (EU), but has the same membership, and falls under the governance of many of the EU’s institutions. Since 2014 Switzerland also was a participant in Euratom programs as an associated state. 28

The NPT and Additional Protocol safeguards were incorporated into the JCPOA agreement with Iran, and the general consensus of opinion is that such safety measures will serve to prevent Iran from circumventing the plan’s conditions. In other words, the majority of people are confident the nuclear deal between the P5 +1 countries, the European Union and Iran will be a success and the Islamic Republic will honor its obligations under the arrangement, and develop and maintain a nuclear program that is industrial and peaceful. The forgoing conclusion is ill-advised for the following inescapable reasons.

Any determination as to whether Iranian leaders can be trusted to honor their commitments under the JCPOA accord or the nuclear deal with the P5+1 and the European nations should be based on the regime’s previous performance relative to treaty obligations and multilateral agreements dealing with disarmament and weapons abandonment and human rights violations.

The historical record establishes that Iran failed to fulfill its obligations in connection with the provisions and conditions attaching to multilateral treaties to which it was a party. In other words, Iran is incapable of honoring its commitments under the requirements of international law, such as in the case of the JCPOA agreement. The following examples support the Islamic Republic’s inclination towards non-performance.

To make matters worse, Iran’s apparent contravention of JCPOA guidelines as recently as 2016 and 2017, notwithstanding the IAEA’s confirmation that the Islamic Republic adhered to protocol, is a cause for much concern in the international community, including the Jewish State of Israel. Additionally, the accusations leveled by observers against the former U.S. president Barack Obama and his administration that the American government deliberately overlooked the non-performance of certain pre-requisite tasks the Iranians had to complete in order for the nuclear deal to go into effect by Implementation Day (January 16, 2016), engender much anxiety and distrust in the minds of many people. See earlier in this chapter for an extract from a report titled “U.S. Agreed to Secret Exemptions to the Iran Deal” issued by the Institute for Science and International Security.

An extract from a United against Nuclear Iran (Iran Business Risk) – American Coalition against Nuclear Iran website about Iran’s history in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) reads as follows:

Violations: For years, Iran has violated the terms of the NPT by illicitly developing its nuclear program without consulting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In response to heightened international pressure, Iran eventually declared parts of its nuclear program in 2003, although the announcement was shrouded in misinformation regarding past nuclear activities. Iran further blocked IAEA access to requested sites. Despite multiple UN Security Council Resolutions condemning Iran and levying sanctions, Tehran has continued on its path of non-compliance, failing to meet crucial, mutually-agreed deadlines with the IAEA. 29

Following is another extract from the abovementioned United against Nuclear Iran (Iran Business Risk) – American Coalition against Nuclear Iran website. The extract is about Iran’s history in its dealings with the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) and reads as follows:

Iran’s Record: The Iranian regime has consistently obstructed the mission of IAEA by developing nuclear capabilities without reporting its actions. In 2002, Iran was elected to the governing board of the IAEA, the same year that Iranian dissidents exposed Iran’s clandestine nuclear program. Although Iran announced parts of its program the following year, it has continued to obstruct the mission of the IAEA, refusing to allow full transparency into its nuclear program. Iran has continued to undermine the goals of the IAEA with delayed and incomplete information regarding its program. To date, the IAEA is unable to conclude that Iran’s nuclear program is intended exclusively for peaceful purposes. 30

Notwithstanding the perceived assurance provided by the involvement of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) to parties that anticipate the success of the JCPOA program, no measure of trust placed in leaders of a corrupt regime known for lying and cheating and dishonoring multilateral agreements and international treaties will encourage them to change for the better. No amount of so-called safeguards and/or monitoring mechanisms will guarantee unencumbered passage of any plan aimed at producing a noble outcome if a theocratic or rogue nation with a track record of dishonesty and inveiglement is party to such a program, even if such a party supposedly commits to honor its end of the agreement. Any regime given to resorting to murder and mayhem and unprovoked acts of terrorism may be expected, in spite of having to face major repercussions for beaching its promise, to cast all caution aside, break all the rules, and unleash its fury at its enemies, innocent or otherwise.

Were it that the negotiators of the Iranian nuclear deal, including the Iranians, and the multitudinous supporters and other enablers of the arrangement recognized that between the extremes of professed intelligence and overdone stupidity, lies the option of plain common sense.

The Iranian nuclear accord is a deal that never should have been made.

Christopher H. K. Persaud

 

Notes:                                                       

  1. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/01/17/statement-the president-iran
  2. http://www.poltico.com/story/2017/04/24/obama-iran-nuclear-deal-prisoner-release-236966
  3. http://www.poltico.com/story/2017/04/24/obama-iran-nuclear-deal-prisoner-list-details-237381
  4. April 28, 2017 WJLA Washington D.C. article – “Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on His New Role in Nuclear Oversight” by Christine Frazao. http://wjla.com/news/nation-world/secretary-of-energy-rick-perry-on-his-new-role-of-nuclear-oversight
  5. April 28, 2017 WJLA Washington D.C. article by Leandra Bernstein – New Details Emerge on Obama Hostage Exchange with Iran as Trump Reviews Nuclear Deal. http://wjla.com/news/nation-world/new-details-emerge-iran-nuclear-agreement
  6. CNN Politics – US Sent Plane with $400 Million in Cash to Iran. By Elise Labott, Nicole Gaouette and Kevin Liptak. August 4, 2016
  7. LA Times – Iran Releases 4 Americans in Prisoner Swap with U.S. By Patrick J. McDonnell, Tracy Wilkinson and Ramin Mostaghim, January 16, 2016 http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-iran-prisoners-released-20160116-story.html
  8. The Heritage Foundation – Obama’s Cash Deal Encourages Iran to Take More Hostages. Aug 19th, 2016. James Phillips (Commentary, Global Politics) https://www.heritage.org/global-politics/commentary/obamas-cash-deal-encourages-iran-take-more-hostages
  9. Sylvan Lane, Administration Takes Bipartisan Fire over Iran Payment, 9/21/2016 The HILL – http://thehill.com/policy/finance/297041-bipartisan-concern-grows-over-cash-payment-to-iran.
  10. Sylvan Lane, Administration Takes Bipartisan Fire over Iran Payment, 9/21/2016 The HILL – http://thehill.com/policy/finance/297041-bipartisan-concern-grows-over-cash-payment-to-iran.
  11. Sylvan Lane, Administration Takes Bipartisan Fire over Iran Payment, 9/21/2016 The HILL – http://thehill.com/policy/finance/297041-bipartisan-concern-grows-over-cash-payment-
  12. Sylvan Lane, Administration Takes Bipartisan Fire over Iran Payment, 9/21/2016 The HILL – http://thehill.com/policy/finance/297041-bipartisan-concern-grows-over-cash-payment-to-iran
  13. Rick Richman, The Story of Obama’s Ransom Payment to Iran Gets Worse – Mosaic (Advancing Jewish Thought), 11/1/2016. https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/2016/11/the-story-of-obamas-ransom-
  14. Rick Richman, The Story of Obama’s Ransom Payment to Iran Gets Worse – Mosaic (Advancing Jewish Thought), 11/1/2016. https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/2016/11/the-story-of-obamas-ransom-payment-to-iran-gets-worse/
  15. Rick Richman, The Story of Obama’s Ransom Payment to Iran Gets Worse – Mosaic (Advancing Jewish Thought), 11/1/2016. https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/2016/11/the-story-of-obamas-ransom-payment-to-iran-gets-worse/
  16. Clark Mindsock, Independent News. September 19, 2017 http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-iran-un-speech-murderous-regime-saudi-arabia-latest-a7955641.html
  17. Fox News Politics, September 1, 2016. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/09/01/us-world-powers-reportedly-agreed-in-secret-to-exemptions-for-iran-after-nuke-deal.html
  18. Reuters, September 1, 2016, Jonathan Landay, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-exemptions-exclusive/u-s-others-agreed-secret-exemptions-for-iran-after-nuclear-deal-think-tank-idUSKCN1173LA
  19. World Nuclear Association, Uranium Enrichment, May 2017. http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/nuclear-fuel-cycle/conversion-enrichment-and-fabrication/uranium-enrichment.aspx
  20. Centrifuge Cascade, URENCO – Enriching the Future https://urenco.com/about-us/business-activity/nuclear-fuel-supply-chain/centrifuge-cascade/
  21. US nuclear expert: Iranian FM Salehi linked to past program”. The Jerusalem Post. 16 May 2012.
  22. Ray Takeyh, October 3, 2017, Advancing Jewish Thought (Mosaic) Thanks to the Nuclear Deal, Iran Is On Its Way To Making Atomic Weapons. https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/2017/10/thanks-to-the-nuclear-deal-iran-is-on-its-way-to-making-atomic-weapons/
  23. Ray Takeyh, October 3, 2017, Advancing Jewish Thought (Mosaic) Thanks to the Nuclear Deal, Iran Is On Its Way To Making Atomic Weapons. https://mosaicmagazine.com/picks/2017/10/thanks-to-the-nuclear-deal-iran-is-on-its-way-to-making-atomic-weapons
  24. Ray Takeyh, September 22, 2017, POLITICO Magazine, The Nuclear Deal Is Iran’s Legal Path To The Bomb. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/22/iran-nuclear-deal-bomb-215636
  25. International Atomic Energy Agency -https://www.iaea.org/publications/documents/treaties/npt
  26. International Atomic Energy Agency https://www.iaea.org/topics/additional-protocol
  27. International Atomic Energy Agency https://www.iaea.org/topics/additional-protocol
  28. Document 32014D0954, Council of the European Union.
  29. United against Nuclear Iran (Iran Business Risk) – American Coalition against Nuclear Iran https://www.unitedagainstnucleariran.com/violation-of-treaties
  30. United against Nuclear Iran (Iran Business Risk) – American Coalition against Nuclear Iran https://www.unitedagainstnucleariran.com/violation-of-treaties

 

 

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