Iranian Nuke Deal: An Islamist Victory

Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, is president of the International American Council and serves on the board of the Harvard International Review at Harvard University. Rafizadeh is also a former senior fellow at the Nonviolence International Organization based in Washington, DC and is a member of the Gulf project at Columbia University. He can be reached at rafizadeh@fas.harvard.edu. Follow Rafizadeh at @majidrafizadeh.


Hassan-RouhaniAfter a considerable amount of political capital was spent by the Obama administration, particularly President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, the Iranian deal of the century was struck just a few months after Iran elected President Hassan Rouhani. After four days of negotiations in Geneva, and after Kerry himself flew to Geneva to push the agreement to the finish, an agreement with the Ayatollahs was reached.  Several American and Iranian officials confirmed a report by the Associated Press that the US has been meeting in private for talks to make a deal with the Iranian mullahs ever since Rouhani was inaugurated several months earlier.

Obama and Kerry applauded the deal for being a successful and tangible. President Obama boasted about this historic deal, his unique efforts and leadership. On the other hand, Rouhani and his Foreign Minister Javad Zarif celebrated this deal at home, with Rouhani sending a letter to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, congratulating him on the historic deal. In an unprecedented move, Khamenei immediately issued a statement through a letter, showing his joy and suggesting that the Mullah had defeated the Western powers.

Khamenei stated, “Achieving what you have written is worth appreciation and praise to the nuclear negotiating team and other relevant officials and can be the basis for future smart moves,” adding “God willing, resistance against greediness (of the other sides) should always remain as an indicator showing that the officials in this sector are moving on a correct path, and (I believe) it will be so… Success in these negotiations showed the big powers can be urged to respect the Iranian nation’s rights and take firm steps towards the final definite resolution of the differences through a logical and reasonable presentation of the Iranian nation’s stances, while respecting all the principles and redlines of the ruling system”.

What are the exact details of the deal that President Obama is boasting about?  The transcript of the deal, published on the Iranian state media Fars News, indicates that the agreement implies no new nuclear-related sanctions will be imposed as long as the agreement lasts. Further, the Ayatollah and Iranian leaders will receive about $7 billion worth of sanctions relief on sectors including its metal industry. This sanctions relief can be accomplished by an executive order, by the Obama administration, without the need to appeal to Congress.

What will Iran give in return for these concessions?  Iran will not dismantle its nuclear infrastructure. Iran will not decrease the number of its centrifuges, which is about 19,000 (just a few thousands below the needed amount to created nuclear bomb). In addition, Iran will not close any of its nuclear sites. Iran will not even halt its nuclear enrichment. In fact, the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue enriching uranium. Rouhani, Khamanei, and other Mullahs and Ayatollahs have echoed the same message with glee on the Iranian news media.

Just a few hours after the Iranian nuclear team and six powers reached a first-step accord in Geneva aimed at easing Western concerns—concluding that Tehran could seek nuclear weapons— Rouhani gave a speech addressing Iranian politicians at home, pointing out that the nuclear deal was reached earlier in the day and that the US had recognized Tehran’s rights to maintain an atomic program. “No matter what interpretations are given, Iran’s right to enrichment has been recognized,” Rouhani stated.

Furthermore, Iran will not dismantle or roll back its heavy water reactor in Arak that processes plutonium— only used for militarized nuclear activity purposes. Iran will not shut down its Fordow nuclear site, south of Tehran and revealed in 2007, which is argued to be very close in its capabilities to produce a nuclear bomb. Instead, in six months, Iran would be in a much better economic position, hardening the possibility of pressing it anymore.

As a result, President Obama gave all these compromises, concessions, billions of dollars, along with Iran’s right to continue enriching uranium, keeping its nuclear infrastructure, and retaining its heavy water reactor just so that Iran and the ruling Mullahs will sign the agreement papers. If President Obama had been the same conciliatory leader, willing to give concessions and favors domestically, as he is with the Mullahs and Iran, Washington would not have been in such a deadlock, with the government defaulting, and economy staggering. Americans would more likely have been living in much better economic and political landscapes. However, President Obama is much more masterful at giving concessions and compromising to Iran.

All the efforts, decades of pressure, diplomacy, and four rounds of international economic sanctions— the same reasons that brought the Mullah back to the negotiating table—were given away by President Obama. While, in six months, Iran will regain its currency loss (Rial), will recover its economy, lure back oil companies, and would be in a much stronger position. Therefore, the leverage that the US had over Iran will be reversed and uranium will continue to be enriched, thanks to President Obama.

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  • Ahmad79

    Islam is triumphant .Even bible said that there is other prophet .

    • truebearing

      No, Islam is the very definition of failure. By its very nature, only conflict, war, and death will ever be the results of Islamic rule. It is a perverteed, negative, destructive cult that will kill off its own if there is no one else to destroy. Only a fool would celebrate the near inevitability of dying in a nuclear war.

      “Other prophet?” Yes, the Anti-Christ. Obama serves that evil being.

      • EarlyBird

        “Yes, the Anti-Christ. Obama serves that evil being.”

        Then be a real Christian American and assassinate him, you psychopath.

        • SCREW SOCIALISM

          Secret Service. Investigate “EarlyBird”.

        • Drakken

          And a dumbazz like you voted for him, twice. So who really is dumber than a bag of hammers? You are living proof that you just can’t fix stupid, let us know how that hope and change bullsh** is working out.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      islam can only be triumphant if Satan is triumphant.

      And neither will ever happen.

      Plus islamofascists are at war with people all over the world. Soon the civilized world will rise up and hang the serpent ayatollahs and the fascist “revolutionary guard”.

      This will be accomplished with the help of the Persian people who yearn to be free of the ayatollahs and the false prophet muhammed.

  • NAHALKIDES

    Where are the Republican accusations of appeasement? They should out there beating Obama over the head with this monumental blunder every day.

    • EarlyBird

      If in fact Iran starts undoing its weapons making capacity as promised over the next six months, will you still call it a blunder? We don’t know yet if its going to work or fail. We only know that this deal entails very little risk for the US, and that it is a risk worth taking.

      • NAHALKIDES

        Yes, we know it’s a failure. We got nothing and lifted the sanctions. The sanctions should have been kept in place until Iran hollered “Uncle!” and agreed to give up its enrichment capability. Below, you state that Iran can enrich Uranium and not have a weapons capability – that is false. If they can enrich, they have a weapons capability, and as the leading state sponsor of terrorism, that is unacceptable.

        We also know they’re lying because they don’t need or want a peaceful nuclear program – the only thing they want is nuclear weapons, and we must take any measures, including a first strike against them, to keep them from getting those weapons.

        • EarlyBird

          “…The sanctions should have been kept in place until Iran hollered “Uncle!”..”
          The weapons program was moving forward WITH the sanctions. Sanctions were not enough on their own to stop them. Carrots were needed.

          “Below, you state that Iran can enrich Uranium and not have a weapons capability – that is false. If they can enrich, they have a weapons capability,…”
          Not all uranium is the same or useable for weapons. Uranium is used everyday throughout the world in radiology and radiation oncology medical applications, not to mention for energy.
          “We also know they’re lying because they don’t need or want a peaceful nuclear program…”
          They might want nuclear power and medical applications.
          Again, we won’t really know if this deal is good or bad, and won’t until over the next six months. Any inspections are valuable to us. And if they don’t comply we can put the sanctions back on or bomb them. We should be skeptical but hopeful.

      • Drakken

        Your on effing drugs if you think the Ayatollahs are going to follow any type of agreement, Obummer and his less than useless minions just handed Iran a victory, war is all but inevitable and effing moron leftards like you cheer this bloody abomination and for your own demise. Effing retard!

  • EarlyBird

    “Iran will not dismantle its nuclear infrastructure…Iran will not even halt its nuclear enrichment. In fact, the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue enriching uranium.”
    Correct, but misleading. The entire article (surprise!) is misleading. It is built on the premise that only the complete and total dismantling of any and all enrichment capabilities by Iran is acceptable, and any less is capitulation by ObamaChamberlainMohammedAlQuedaMarxist.
    Iran will continue to enrich uranium, but in a manner in which weapons can not be produced. Here is what Iran has committed to do:
    - Halt enrichment of uranium above 5% (over which you get into nuclear weapons territory);
    - Dismantle the technical capacity to enrich above 5%, eliminate or dilute its current stockpile of near-20% (weapons-grade) uranium;
    - Not install additional centrifuges of any type;
    - Not install or use any next-generation centrifuges to enrich uranium;
    - Leave inoperable roughly half of installed centrifuges at Natanz and three-quarters of installed centrifuges at Fordow, so they cannot be used to enrich uranium
    - Limit its centrifuge production to those needed to replace damaged machines, so Iran cannot use the six months to stockpile centrifuges.
    - Not construct additional enrichment facilities.

    If they indeed follow this deal – and of course that is to be seen – they will in fact have eliminated any weapons-building capability.
    What Netanyahu, this guy Rafizadeh, and all the right wing zealots on this board want is for the US to demand the complete and total dismantling of any nuclear capacity what so ever, or face war. That was of course a complete non-starter for Iran.
    Yes, Rouhani and Khamenei are playing to their domestic audience, like all politicians do, making it sound like the ultimate triumph for Iran. Let them, if it helps them comply with the deal. It doesn’t matter what they say, but what they DO over the next six months, which is important.

    This is a chance for the West to test Iranian intentions, to see if they are willing and able to abide by an agreement, and if not, the sanctions, and even the zealots’ preferred war, can be turned back on with the flip of a switch.
    The only reason we’re even here at this point is because the Obama White House led a brutal sanctions regime which brought the Iranians to the bargaining table. And then had the wisdom to explore this opportunity.
    This is not “peace in our time,” and nobody is suggesting that the Iranian threat is over. But it’s a very early opportunity to see if the 30+ year cold war with Iran can be brought to a peaceful end. (Hint: if it ended with a whimper, not a bang, that would be a good thing, not a bad thing.) Diplomacy always entails risk, but war entails far, far, far greater risk. And given our respective balance in power, so far, this deal represents a tiny risk.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Bottom line…

      DEATH to the islamofascist regime of iran.

      LONG LIVE PERSIA!

      • Drakken

        Persia has been dead for over 800 years, it is run on islam and the arabs muslims bred the Persian right out of them.

    • Drakken

      You effing moron, if you think that this ends peacefully, there really isn’t anything left to do to people like you, but keep you away from a ballot box, for you are as dangerous to the US, as what we have occupying the white house now. Wishful less than useless leftards have all but made war inevitable.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    islam can only be triumphant if Satan is triumphant.

    And neither will ever happen.

    Plus islamofascists are at war with people all over the world. Soon the civilized world will rise up and hang the serpent ayatollahs and the fascist “revolutionary guard”.

    This will be accomplished with the help of the Persian people who yearn to be free of the ayatollahs and the false prophet muhammed.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    Secret Service. Investigate “EarlyBird”.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    Bottom line…

    DEATH to the islamofascist regime of iran.

    LONG LIVE PERSIA!

  • Drakken

    And a dumbazz like you voted for him, twice. So who really is dumber than a bag of hammers? You are living proof that you just can’t fix stupid, let us know how that hope and change bullsh** is working out.

  • Drakken

    Persia has been dead for over 800 years, it is run on islam and the arabs muslims bred the Persian right out of them.

  • Drakken

    You effing moron, if you think that this ends peacefully, there really isn’t anything left to do to people like you, but keep you away from a ballot box, for you are as dangerous to the US, as what we have occupying the white house now. Wishful less than useless leftards have all but made war inevitable.

  • EarlyBird

    Aw, our lil’ “marine” sobs again. Go f**k yourself, loser. You always seem to have so much time while you’re out in the sand defending freedom, ain’tcha tough guy?

    • Drakken

      What’s the matter cupcake? Don’t like it when people point out your abject stupidity? Maybe your life partner will give you a cookie and ride your azz with the strapon tonight if you shrill a little more leftist for the cause.

      • EarlyBird

        I bet you got your own genuine K-bar knife and everything, huh Chesty?

  • EarlyBird

    Peace would be the worst possible outcome for you, wouldn’t it, loser?

    • Drakken

      I am going to make this really GODDAMN simple for you, there will be no peace with Iran dumbazz! War is coming and you just don’t know it.