Back in May, the Senate voted almost unanimously to approve legislation requiring Obama to submit his nuclear deal with Iran to Congress for approval or rejection. The measure passed 98-1 with only Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) opposing because he objected that the deal was not to be presented to the Congress as a treaty. The House also produced overwhelming support for the bill with 400 votes in favor and only 25 opposing. Obama signed the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) into law on May 22, 2015.
The bill garnered its huge bipartisan support mainly because it ensured Congress could, if necessary, nullify the agreement (at least as far as U.S. sanctions are concerned) if the deal fails to halt Iran from obtaining any nuclear weapon technology.
Now that the administration has released the full text of the Iran deal, it has become clear that the agreement is not only a bad deal, but is a horribly dangerous one that must be soundly rejected. Here are 5 reasons why it truly is “the worst deal since the Munich deal of 1938,” as Charles Krauthammer noted.
1. Obama has to violate the law for the Iran deal to work
The INARA states unequivocally that the president
ensures that Iran’s nuclear activities permitted thereunder will not be used to further any nuclear-related military or nuclear explosive purpose, including for any research on or development of any nuclear explosive device or any other nuclear-related military purpose.
Under Obama’s deal, military sites are for all practical purposes off limits. Iran has stated categorically that inspection of military sites (which is quite obviously where “research on or development of” nuclear-related military applications would be conducted) will never occur, regardless of whether 24 hours, 24 days or 24 years notice is given.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who negotiated for Iran, stated just this week that access to military sites is a “red line” and that Iran “fully achieved” the sites’ exclusion in the bargaining. Iran’s top theocrat Khamenei has also made it abundantly clear in previous statements that military-designated sites are off limits, most recently reiterating the point through his aide. The defense minister, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, and — most significantly — the terrorist designated Revolutionary Guards are all unanimous on the matter, leaving no doubt that only by war will inspectors have access to Iran’s military facilities.
By failing to secure military-site inspections as part of the agreement, the law that Obama signed on May 22 has been breached. There is no possible way under this agreement to “ensure” that Iran’s nuclear activity will be only for peaceful purposes.
2. Iran’s prize is more realistically $700 billion from sanctions relief
Much attention has been paid to the financial boon that Iran will reap once sanctions are lifted. But former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren contends that the commonly sited $150 billion is substantially less than what the real windfall will be for the world’s most prolific state sponsor of terrorism. According to Israeli government sources, the amount is closer to $700 billion, he says.
Sanctions expert Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies says Iran will use some of the money to immunize its economy against any economic or inspection pressure, again making military force the only viable option to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez expects that the Iranian government “will use a significant percentage of this payout to foment instability and violent extremism across the Middle East… regardless of whether there is a nuclear deal, and we must take steps urgently to formulate a strategy that pushes back and counters Iranian terrorism.”
Even the White House said we should expect that some of the restored funds will be used by Iran to continue waging jihad the Shi’ite way.
While no one but the ayatollah himself knows how much Iran spends advancing Islamist jihad and terrorism across the globe, numerous sources contend it’s at least in the tens of billions. According to Der Spiegel, no less than $9 billion has been spent since 2011 supporting the Syrian terror regime alone. Sources listed in Eli Lake’s Bloomberg article put the number much higher at $6 billion annually given to prop up Assad.
As for more radical terror organizations, Iran supported Hamas to the tune of several hundred million dollars between 2006-2008 as I documented here. More recently, Con Coughlin on the Wall Street Journal showed that in the first few months of this year (while Obama was assuring the world that this was a good deal), Iran sent tens of millions to Hamas in renewed ties. Regarding Hezbollah, Iran’s suicide army in Lebanon, Western diplomats and analysts in Lebanon estimate Hezbollah receives close to $200 million a year from Iran.
Currently Iran’s economy is in shambles because of the long years of crippling sanctions, and yet the mullahs have not hesitated to pump billions into their efforts to establish an Iran-led global caliphate. It doesn’t take a Persian nuclear rocket scientist to figure out that we can expect a significant increase in jihad once the funds start to flow.
3. Snapback sanctions are a moot fantasy
In April, Obama made clear that “if Iran violates the deal, sanctions can be snapped back into place.” Although the agreement details the process of these snapback sanctions, it turns out they actually cannot be immediately or even quickly snapped back.
The convoluted process outlined in the agreement for sanctions to be imposed will likely take much longer than 24 days — more likely at least two months and possibly many more. And even these might be optimistic estimates as the agreement is complex enough to make defining and determining a violation difficult if not impossible. We would do well to remember that the game of chess began in Persia and thinking many moves ahead is still an Iranian specialty.
Additionally, the current U.S. sanctions are slated to expire next year. Unless renewed, as Senator Menendez said this week in Senate hearings on the deal, “there is nothing in that context to snap back to.”
On top of that, Iran has its own snappy provision in the deal. If Iranian officials believe that sanctions were for any reason unfairly reinstated, the Islamic Republic can legitimately start enriching uranium without limits.
Iran knows that once the gates are open and multinational corporations and eager nations from around the world jump to secure commercial deals with them, the sanctions regime is basically over. The nuclear agreement allows all contracts secured prior to any sanctions reinstatement to continue in full force.
4. The nuclear arms race in the Middle East has already started
Kerry is “absolutely convinced” that the “threat of other countries going for a weapon in the Middle East is greatest if you don’t have the deal [rather] than if you do.”
It seems Kerry has been much more than “bamboozled.” The race has already started thanks to the administration’s efforts with Iran. Saudi Arabia has already signed a $12 billion deal with France for two highly modernized nuclear reactors. The Saudis are also reaching out to Russia and South Korea to ensure they’re not left behind their Shi’ite nemesis in the quest for regional hegemony.
The other powerhouse of the region, Egypt, announced just days before the Iran agreement was inked in Vienna that it will establish an advanced technical school in the field of peaceful nuclear power.
But the contagion may not be limited only to Iran’s foes. PJ Media’s own Victor David Hanson from Stanford’s Hoover Institution ponders that because of the Iran deal, the nuclear arms race may break out beyond the borders of the Middle East:
The cost of giving into Greece is hundreds of millions of euros; giving into Iran will involve blood rather than money. Perhaps if Greece just had a few thousand spinning centrifuges, it might have been bailed out more quickly by terrified Westerners.
Pandora’s nuclear box has been opened and if this agreement is allowed to go forward with America’s approval, going nuclear may be considered the new geopolitical roadmap for nations seeking international concessions or hegemony. A U.S.-approved deal sends the unequivocal message that unless you are a rogue nuclear nation, you’re not going to get the payoffs, U.S. protection and privileges Obama just afforded the Iranians.
5. Rejecting the deal is a rejection of Obama’s attack on the Constitution and U.S. sovereignty
Obama is a revolutionary. Not like those who fought against tyranny as in the U.S. War for Independence (which more accurately was a counter-revolutionary war) but of the Marxist sort dedicated to the establishment of an international socialist order. This may help explain why he unashamedly sprinted to the United Nations for approval before the U.S. had even signed off on the deal.
Some have written off his fast track to the UN for approval as a political move to put pressure on Congress members to vote for his deal. “My … assumption is that Congress will pay attention to that broad-based consensus,” Obama quipped after the Security Council unanimously approved the deal.
But political pressure aside, the fact is that he deliberately went to the UN before the U.S. had a deal. The P5+1 had an agreement on paper but not one the United States had approved. And so the question is obvious: how can the U.S. vote in the United Nations for an agreement that the U.S. hasn’t even agreed is a deal?
“Citizen of the world” Obama knows his dash to the UN was not in the spirit of how our constitutional system operates. But leftist revolutionaries have never really been sticklers for law, procedure or national sovereignty.
In an interview with Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), Chris Wallace of Fox News asked the senator what difference going to the UN first made. His answer: “I think it is not consistent with Iranian Review Act.” That’s a nice way of saying that again, Obama violated the law by going to the UN first.
But it’s not just the INARA that Obama ignored (and thereby breached), but, once again, the entire constitutional system of checks and balances. By seeking UN approval before congressional approval, Obama attempted to relegate Congress to irrelevance by making his deal international law before it became U.S. law. Kerry confirmed the administration’s view of Congress’ role in the deal on CBS’s Face the Nation:
John Dickerson (Face the Nation host): Secretary Kerry, if you don’t get a majority in Congress to support the Iranian nuclear deal, doesn’t that undermine it?
Secretary Kerry: No, not in the least. I mean, the Con… They don’t care over there whether it’s a majority or minority or whatever it is, as long as the deal is implemented, and that’s what we care about, that this deal be implemented. We’d love to see the Congress listen carefully, and we’re gonna go up there and we’re gonna meet with people, and we’re gonna do our utmost to persuade people. But no, I don’t think that undermines this deal.(emphasis mine).
Obama is in clear violation of the INARA, at least in spirit, because military sites will never be inspected. The $700 billion Iran will reap from the removal of sanctions will certainly enable Iran to better camouflage its bomb making, remove any incentive or requirement to yield to inspections in the critical locations, and will enable them to ramp up their global jihad, without any worry of the sanctions snapping back.
Recognizing how much power the deal gives to Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have already started the nuclear arms race and are looking to other more advanced nations for help.
All these factors can only lead to one conclusion — the Middle East will become much more volatile, making regional if not world war more likely.
But most significantly, Obama fast-tracked the deal to the UN and bypassed Congress and the Constitution, once again putting his dreams (and dreams from his father) of an international socialist system ahead of American security and sovereignty.
You’ll know Congress comprehends Obama’s revolution and its security implications for the U.S. if they reject this agreement with the same veto-proof majority that passed the Corker bill. Other than that, God help America.
Mark Hanna holds an MA in International Studies with specialization in political violence, Islam and the Middle East. He has held positions with CNN, NBC and PBS and can be reached at [email protected]