On April 5th, the President told Tom Friedman of the New York Times, “I’ve been very clear that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch.”
Yet in the days that followed, the President admitted that Iran’s leaders could race to The Bomb with essentially no “break out” time and with very little way the world could stop them once the deal concluded in 13 to 15 years.
Specifically, the President noted that the deal would be “purchasing” a one year “break out” period during the life of the deal, meaning it would take at least a year for Iran to enrich enough uranium to military grade and build an operational nuclear weapon from the time it made the decision to do so, if it wasn’t already cheating. The President says this would be an increase from the current two to three month “break out” time that U.S. intelligence officials says Iran currently has.
This is no small matter.
Mr. Obama will be out of office in 20 months. Preventing a nuclear weapon on his “watch” is not enough. Future American presidents, Members of Congress, the American people, the Jewish and Arab people of Israel, the Palestinians, and everyone else in the Middle East and the world will have to live with the consequences of this deal. What if Iran cheats and builds nuclear weapons in secret during the period of the deal? Or, what if they wait and build nuclear weapons openly in 13 to 15 years when they are free to do so? That’s not so far away.
What’s more, how can we prevent Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other countries in the region from pursuing their own arsenal of nuclear weapons? The Saudis have already signaled they are talking to the Pakistanis about buying nukes already built. A nuclear arms race is about to begin.
Meanwhile, Iran’s leaders immediately began accusing the White House of “lying” about the agreement. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told reporters that the U.S. assertion that sanctions would be phased out over time was a lie and that the U.S. had proposed immediate termination of all economic sanctions. Zarif also bragged that “none of those measures” that Iran had tentatively agreed to “include closing any of our facilities,” and added, “We will continue enriching; we will continue research and development.”
What’s more, Iran immediately began announcing a series of steps that would prevent the world from really knowing for certain whether they were complying with the deal.
Consider the following developments:
- Iran says absolutely no cameras can monitor its nuclear sites
- Iran’s leaders flatly refuse to allow inspections of its military sites
- Iran’s leaders say they will start using the fastest-possible centrifuges from the moment the deal takes effect
- Iran’s Supreme Leader insists all economic sanctions on Iran must be removed the very day a final deal is concluded
- Iran’s Supreme Leader is already accusing the White House of “lying” about the details of the initial agreement, being “deceptive,” and having “devilish intentions.”
“If Iran cheats, the world will know it,” President Obama insists. “If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it. So this deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification.”
But experts say it will be nearly impossible to verify that Iran is not cheating and secretly building The Bomb.
- Dr. Dore Gold, a top Middle East expert in Israel, warns that even though Iran will be limited to about 5,000 centrifuges, that is more than enough to build nuclear weapons without the world noticing. “Pakistan enriched uranium for its first nuclear device with only 3,000 centrifuges,” he noted.
- “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will not be effectively verifiable,” said Paula DeSutter, assistant secretary of state for verification, compliance, and implementation from 2002 to 2009.
- William R. Harris, an international lawyer who has worked on arms control treaties said Iran could cheat by collaborating with North Korea. “So what would prevent storage of Iranian nuclear weapons at underground North Korean sites? If there is to be full-scope inspection in Iran, the incentives for extraterritorial R&D and storage increase.”
Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz expressed grave concerns about the deal in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this week.
- “For 20 years, three presidents of both major parties proclaimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon was contrary to American and global interests – and that they were prepared to use force to prevent it. Yet negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability. The threat of war now constrains the West more than Iran….”
- “Having both served in government during a period of American-Iranian strategic alignment, we would greatly welcome such an outcome. But there exists no current evidence that Iran and the U.S. are remotely near such an understanding. Iran’s representatives (including its Supreme Leader) continue to profess a revolutionary anti-Western concept of international order; domestically, some senior Iranians describe nuclear negotiations as a form of jihad by other means….”
- “The final stages of the nuclear talks have coincided with Iran’s intensified efforts to expand and entrench its power in neighboring states. Iranian or Iranian client forces are now the pre-eminent military or political element in multiple Arab countries, operating beyond the control of national authorities. With the recent addition of Yemen as a battlefield, Tehran occupies positions along all of the Middle East’s strategic waterways and encircles archrival Saudi Arabia, an American ally. Unless political restraint is linked to nuclear restraint, an agreement freeing Iran from sanctions risks empowering Iran’s hegemonic efforts….”
The deadline for the final details of the Iran deal to be wrapped up is June 30th. An extension is permitted until September 30th. Let’s pray a much better, tougher deal can be concluded by then. I shudder to think what the world will look like if the current deal is ratified and set into motion.
- Special “Third Target” simulcast event for churches, small groups Bible studies and individuals set for Sunday, April 19th. Register today.
- I’m excited to announce The Joshua Fund’s 2015 “Prayer & Vision Tour of the Holy Land.” Come visit Israel & Jordan and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Here are the details.
- To order a copy of THE THIRD TARGET, please click here. It is now available in book stores across the U.S. and Canada in hardcover and audio book formats . It is also available in e-book formats like Kindle, Nook & others.
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