Susan Rice's Tears For the Disastrous Iran Deal

Former Obama national security adviser defends the indefensible.

Former President Barack Obama's national security adviser and ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice has penned an op-ed column for the New York Times entitled "Trump's Most Foolish Decision Yet." Ms. Rice, who previously counseled the Trump administration to "tolerate" North Korea as a nuclear power, has now outdone herself with her most foolish op-ed column yet. She condemned President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Obama administration's disastrous nuclear deal with Iran, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA for short. Ms. Rice was echoing the laments of her boss Obama and Obama’s feckless Secretary of State John Kerry.

Susan Rice argued in her op-ed column that the "U.S. is about to violate a nuclear deal that has worked." She is wrong. It is the Iranian regime, not the United States, that lied its way into the JCPOA and has been in violation since. And the JCPOA has only worked for the Iranian regime, which reaped the benefits of sanctions relief and cash infusions upfront while making temporary loophole-ridden "commitments."  At best, all this fundamentally flawed deal has done is to create a pathway for Iran's eventual attainment of nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles capable of delivering them. In about ten years or so, if Ms. Rice is still dispensing advice, she will be counseling the president in office at that time to be prepared to "tolerate" a nuclear-armed Iran. That is what happens when all that a foreign policy consists of is leading from behind, strategic patience and kicking the can down the road.

In the very first paragraph of the JCPOA’s preface, the Iranian regime knowingly misrepresented its intentions, stating it “reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.” Iran repeated this “reaffirmation” in subsection (iii) of the JCPOA’s “Preamble and General Provisions.” Susan Rice most likely had this Iranian promise in mind when she wrote in her op-ed column that Iran “foreswore ever producing a nuclear weapon.” At the very time that Iran made this fraudulent misrepresentation of its intentions, which the Obama administration took as gospel, the regime was hiding its “atomic archive” documents on its nuclear weapons program. In 2017, the regime moved the archive to another secret location.

The trove of Iranian documents, blueprints, photos and more only came to light because of the efforts of Israeli intelligence. Details on the contents were disclosed publicly recently by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Iran’s hush-hush nuclear weapons plan known as Project Amad began back in the early 1990’s and was supposedly shut down in 2003. However, it was subsequently carried on under different guises with the same Iranian scientists involved. One of the elements of the work involves integrating nuclear warheads on nose cones of ballistic missiles. Iran is also believed to be involved in certain nuclear-related activities which could contribute to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device, in violation of Section T of the JCPOA. There would have been no reason to keep the “atomic archive” documents at all, much less hide them away, other than for current and future use in developing and producing nuclear weapons and warheads capable of fitting on ballistic missiles designed to deliver them.

Indeed, according to a background briefing by a former high-level CIA official, there are “(O)ngoing activities of the Organization of Defense Innovation & Research (SPND),” which is the “Tehran-based element of Ministry of Defense responsible for regime’s nuclear weapons development.”  

In short, the Iranian regime's deception in luring the gullible Obama administration and its negotiating partners into entering the JCPOA under false pretenses is known in legal terms as fraudulent inducement, which makes the JCPOA void ab initio. 

Susan Rice claimed that Iran was abiding by “the most intrusive international inspection and monitoring regime in history.” That too is a total fiction. The inspection regime is full of enough holes to drive a missile launcher truck through.

Iran claims it has the absolute right to deny the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors access to any of its military sites, even where suspected nuclear-related activity may be taking place. The IAEA has backed off asking to inspect such sites in the face of Iranian resistance.  Ali Akbar Velayati, a top advisor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on international affairs, said last September that it was an “invention” by the IAEA Director General Yukiya that the IAEA has a right to inspect Iran’s military sites. “Visiting Iran’s military centers is forbidden to all foreigners,” Velayati said. The previous month, after U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley returned from a trip to Vienna, where she expressed the Trump administration’s concerns about uninspected sites to IAEA Director Amano, she said, "As good as the IAEA is, it can only be as good as what they are permitted to see. There are also numerous undeclared sites that have not been inspected yet. I have good confidence in the IAEA, but they are dealing with a country that has a clear history of lying and pursuing covert nuclear programs.”

As part of Obama’s sales pitch for the JCPOA, he claimed, "Inspectors will also be able to access any suspicious location. Put simply, the organization responsible for the inspections, the IAEA, will have access where necessary, when necessary." The Iranian regime’s flat refusal to allow IAEA access to any suspicious location it claims to be a military site is thus a clear violation of the JCPOA’s inspection terms as described by Obama himself. It is also quite possible that the nuclear deal was sold to Congress and the American people on false pretenses, giving President Trump every right to scrap it in any event. The former CIA official who spoke on background claimed that IAEA Director General Amano was physically threatened if he revealed what Iran did not want revealed, including secret side deals between the Iranian regime and Obama administration officials including John Kerry.

Iran has also been caught covertly procuring nuclear and missile technology outside of JCPOA-approved channels, according to German intelligence.

Aside from Susan Rice’s blind spot when it comes to the Iranian regime’s violations of the JCPOA, she argued, like many JCPOA advocates, that President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the JCPOA sends the wrong message to North Korea as negotiations over dismantling its nuclear program are about to begin. She wrote that it will prove to the North Koreans that “the United States cannot be trusted.” Why then did North Korea release three American prisoners as a gesture of good will after the president announced his decision regarding the JCPOA? Why didn’t North Korea call off the scheduled summit meeting between Kim Jong-un and President Trump? What message did the Obama administration send to North Korea, which conducted four nuclear bomb tests during Obama’s two terms in office – two of them after the JCPOA with Iran had been concluded? The correct message that President Trump is sending to both the Iranian and North Korean regimes is that the United States will no longer paper over difficult issues just for the sake of getting a deal. President Trump is intent on fulfilling what members of the Obama administration, including Susan Rice herself, only paid lip service to - no deal is better than a bad deal. 

Susan Rice concluded her op-ed column by calling President Trump “our wrecking ball in chief.” Thank goodness that the president’s “wrecking ball” was lowered to finish off Obama’s wreck of a disastrous nuclear deal built on a foundation of lies and deceit.


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