Friends of Israel Initiative: DISPATCH December 13th. 2013.
The interim agreement signed in Geneva last November 24, is a victory for Iran and consequently it does not stop the nuclear program at all. On the contrary, the agreement allows Iran to keep its ability to produce enriched uranium and opens the possibility that, in a possible breach of the agreement, Iran easily reaches the nuclear weapon-grade stage.
The interim agreement also contradicts all the UN Security Council Resolutions calling for Iran to suspend all activities related to enrichment and reprocessing of uranium, which are: 1696 (2006), 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), 1835 (2008), 1887 (2009), and 1929 (2010). Due to the Iranian breaches and obstructions to not fulfill such resolutions, economic sanctions were approved in order to force the Ayatollahs’ regime to halt the nuclear program. These economic sanctions are, by the way, the real reason that has moved Iran to sit at the negotiation table. Moreover, after the interim agreement, some of those effective sanctions are lifted and others are relaxed.
Actually, it is not the first time that the international community signs an agreement with Iran to stop activities related to uranium enrichment. In 2003 with the Brussels Agreement and in 2004 with the Paris Agreement, Iran committed in similar terms to later violate both agreements deliberately. It is noteworthy to point out that, in those days, the current president Hassan Rouhani served as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator.
Basically, according to this interim agreement, Iran is committed to blend down the uranium enriched concentration to 5%, and in the coming months it will not enrich uranium beyond that limit. To this end, Iran shall disable and reduce the production of its centrifuges in order to avoid exceeding these limits, and the facility of Arak, designed to build a heavy water reactor, will halt its activities during the six-month term of the agreement. In this regard, the construction of new facilities for nuclear purposes is suspended. Plus, Iran is also committed to provide transparent information on its nuclear program and to ease total access to IAEA to the main facilities for verifying the compliance of the interim agreement´s conditions. The questions and issues that arise from the agreement shall be argued and resolved by an ad hoc committee formed by both parties (P5 +1 and Iran).
In exchange, the P5 +1 will not increase sanctions or impose new ones in the first six months. The P5+1 will immediately suspend sanctions over gold and precious metals, automotive and Iranian petrochemical exports, and will unlock 8 billion dollars in assets as well.
However, despite the optimistic statements of the P5+1 negotiators, Iran has won this diplomatic battle. According to Former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden; “We have accepted Iranian uranium enrichment.”
First, the interim agreement allows Iran to keep means that could double its production of enriched uranium without prior notice, so they could begin a process of highly enriched uranium (HEU), which would enable Iran to produce nuclear weapons within weeks, leaving no time for the international community to respond. The agreement does not mention either the Iranian ballistic missile program, which has currently up to 2,000 km-range missiles such as the versions of the Shahab-3, Qadr and Gadhr, tested successfully and capable to carry nuclear and chemical weapons, according to IHS Jane’s Military and Security Assessments Intelligence Centre report released last August. In this regard, the IAEA made clear in its report last November that Iran has carried out much of the work necessary to militarize its nuclear program.
Second, in the face of relaxing the sanctions… what pressure method may the international community use to stop the nuclear program if Iran violates the interim agreement? The P5+1 should have subjected the lifting of sanctions to the total fulfillment of the agreement.
Third, the IAEA, as its Director General Yukiya Amano stated, has no staff or money for such inspections. The regime in Iran has concealed its nuclear program for years, has hindered inspections, and has not fulfilled the international agreements over the last decade. Considering this lack of resources by the IAEA, Iran could continue with its cover-up and deception policy.
Fourth, there were no talks about Hezbollah in Geneva. The terrorist group is Iran´s primary terrorist proxy and foothold in the Arab world as well as a global organization with unparalleled financial and commercial resources according to U.S. Assistant Treasury Secretary Daniel Glaser, who testified before US Congress in 2011 and concluded that, “the real power behind Hezbollah lies in Tehran”. Hezbollah announced on November 25 in Al Manar—the Lebanese satellite television station affiliated with Hezbollah—that the Geneva interim agreement has been a great victory. As former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold has said, if Belgium were involved in a nuclear program, the problem would be testimonial, but being Iran, due to its relationship with Hezbollah and the fact that it is Assad’s main ally in the world as well, the case is completely different.
If this interim deal, whose goal is to reach a final agreement in the next six months, does not achieve this goal, Iran will keep its breakout capability intact for producing nuclear bombs.
Nevertheless, amid these weak and unfathomable commitments made by the great powers, there is one contrasting attitude: Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird has stated that, “Iran has not earned the right to be granted the benefit of the doubt.” He confirmed that Canadian sanctions will remain in place until it is a certainty that Iran is complying with the interim agreement. It is an exemplary attitude.
As The Friends of Israel Initiative has constantly pointed out, a bad deal is worse than no agreement. The P5 +1 in Geneva accomplished a bad and short-term oriented deal. What they got back was just a handshake in a picture. The agreement paves the way for Iran to get the bomb and trigger an unprecedented global crisis.
The Friends of Israel Initiative: Here