Two articles concerning the Iran deal that appeared in the Wall Street Journal recently should be mandatory reading for all 2016 candidates and all media covering them, because they raise so many difficult questions. And I include in this Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders because every plausible candidate from either side should be questioned in detail directly on the specifics because they concern nuclear war. What, pray tell, is more important?
The first article is “Iran Inspections in 24 Days? Not Even Close,” by Hillel Fradkin and Lewis Libby (yes, the unfairly-incarcerated “Scooter” is back). They demonstrate how the already-excessive 24-day window for the Iranians to respond to accusations against the Islamic Republic is not even close to the real window actually being given the Iranians. That is several months or more.
Is this surprising? Not to anyone paying the slightest attention to how this deal was negotiated. But Fradkin and Libby have done a superb job in laying it out.
Yet more disturbing, if that’s possible, is this report by Jay Solomon in the Wall Street Journal — “Sanctions to be Lifted on Iranians Suspected of Nuclear Weapons Work”:
The Obama administration and European Union agreed as part of the accord last week to lift sanctions over eight years on a network of Iranian scientists, military officers and companies long suspected by the U.S. and United Nations as central players in a covert nuclear weapons program.
The U.S. also agreed to remove a German engineer from its financial blacklist by late 2023 after he was targeted by sanctions for his alleged role in a global black market in nuclear weapons technology run by the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan.
The decision to roll back sanctions on these individuals and organizations is detailed in more than 100 pages of documents released last week as part of the landmark nuclear accord reached between Iran and six world powers.
Much more, right after the page break.
Who are we talking about here? The following is from Omri Ceren’s invaluable emails that have been following the negotiation:
— Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi — U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies suspect he oversaw a secret Iranian program to develop the technologies for a nuclear weapon, at least until 2003. He’s been called by American officials the “ Robert Oppenheimer” of Iran’s nuclear efforts
— Fereidoun Abbasi-Davani — A prominent Iranian nuclear scientist… The U.N. Security Council blacklisted Mr. Abbasi-Davani in 2009 for allegedly being a close aide to Fakhrizadeh and working on Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
— The Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research — The military body Mr. Fakhrizadeh allegedly headed… known as SPND, also will be removed from the U.S. sanctions list by 2023. The IAEA has said SPND may have been involved in nuclear weapons research after 2003.
— Gerhard Wisser — The German engineer was convicted and sentenced to 18 years in prison by a South African court in 2007 for his role in supplying centrifuge components to the A.Q. Khan black market network. The U.S. and IAEA accuse Mr. Khan and his associates of facilitating the sale of nuclear equipment to North Korea, Iran and Libya during the 1980s and 1990s… He pleaded guilty in 2007 in South Africa to manufacturing components that could be illegally used in nuclear technology…
— Kalaye Electric Co. — The Iranian company was exposed by the IAEA as having secretly run a uranium-enrichment facility in the early 2000s.
— Malek Ashtar University — The Tehran research center was accused of supplying scientists who participated in secret weaponization work, according to former U.S. and IAEA officials.
What are these folks supposed to be doing after the sanctions are lifted? Twiddling their thumbs? In celluloid terms — Mein Führer (or is it Ayatollah), I can walk! Dr. Strangelove is back!
The lifting of sanctions on these hugely-dangerous individuals and groups is all the more disgusting (that’s the only word I can think of…. immoral?… suicidal? … well, maybe. Think Slim Pickens!), considering Obama, Kerry and company have been doing cartwheels to explain why they had to take the release of innocent Americans held in Iran off the table. Can some so-called “liberal” or “progressive” explain this to me? Forget the “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” nonsense or Benghazi was caused by some video no one saw, when it comes to the “bright, shining lies” of the Obama administration, the Iran deal will lap the field. Can you imagine someone in Saudi Arabia reading the articles linked above — and they assuredly do — and thinking Iran will not get the bomb.
Where do we go from here? Candidates?