Iranian Nuke Deal: An Islamist Victory

Why the Mullahs will likely never return back to the negotiating table in good faith.

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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