Every year, on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, millions of Iranians take to the streets to engage in a bizarre ritual. As if on cue, they incessantly and rhythmically chant “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” while burning effigies of the leaders and flags of those respective countries. Occasionally, they’ll burn the Union Jack as well. Rounding off the spectacle are fiery speeches issued by various military, political and religious leaders regurgitating the same banalities about how the “Great Satan” and the “Zionist Entity” will ultimately be destroyed and replaced by the banner of Islam.
The event is called Al-Quds Day and was sanctioned by the Islamic Republic’s now deceased and criminally insane Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 as a way of underscoring the Muslim obligation to “liberate” Jerusalem and unshackle “Palestine” from those pesky Jewish infidels. While most normal countries maintain national holidays that celebrate freedom, independence and sacrifice, the mullahs invented a holiday that revels in an orgy of death, violence and depravity.
This year’s Al-Quds celebration – micromanaged by the thuggish enforcers of the Islamic Republic – was no exception and if anything, the anti-Israel, anti-American rhetoric was ramped upward. In attendance at an Al-Quds rally in Teheran was of course none other than Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the so-called moderate face of the Islamic Republic. President Obama has redefined the term “moderate” to include one who professes his intent to kill you while displaying his pearly whites.
Obama has finally concluded his precious deal with the smiling “moderate” mullahs of the Islamic Republic and its frightening terms represent a complete and total capitulation to Iranian dictates and interests. On every issue, the United States performed a complete about-face from previously held positions and deferred to Iranian interests.
The mainstay of any agreement with Iran must rest on the need for surprise intrusive, anywhere, anytime inspections including inspections of military sites and the need to interview scientists and those otherwise involved in advancing Iran’s nuclear program. Only in this manner can the West be reasonably certain that the Iranians aren’t cheating. In 2013, Obama publicly committed himself to this position when he stated that he envisions an agreement “that involves extraordinary constraints and verification mechanisms and intrusive inspections…” in 2015 Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes noted that these inspections extended to military sites as well.
We now know however, that the deal in its finalized form makes a complete mockery of past statements by the administration concerning inspections. The notion of surprise inspections has given way to a cumbersome procedure by which the Iranians would be permitted to delay any IAEA inspection by 24 days, allowing them ample opportunity to hide evidence of malfeasance.
In April 2015, Secretary Kerry stated unequivocally that any deal with Iran must compel the Iranians to come clean on their past illicit nuclear program, a position echoed by no less than six UN Security Council resolutions. Such a requirement is crucial in gauging precisely how far along the Iranians are in developing nuclear weapons and that in turn is instrumental in calculating the breakout period. It is also critical in establishing a baseline against which future Iranian transgressions can be measured. But the deal that’s on the table now has inexplicably shelved this requirement. That means that we will never know the full extent of Iran’s opaque program including its highly secretive experiments at the Parchin military facility, which are ongoing.
The deal does not require Iran to dismantle its vast nuclear infrastructure. Instead of destroying its centrifuges, the Iranians will only be required to unplug a portion of them and place them in storage. It permits Iran to continue research and development of more advanced IR-5 and IR-8 centrifuges and also permits them to feed these centrifuges with UF-6 gas, a procedure that was strictly prohibited under the interim agreement.
In addition to sanctions relief associated with its nuclear activities, which will result in an immediate cash infusion of an estimated $100 billion, Iran will also obtain sanctions relief associated with conventional weapons in five years and ballistic missiles in eight. This despite the fact that the United States had always maintained the position that sanctions associated with Iran’s other illicit activities were not up for discussion.
The deal also has a sunset clause which in simplest terms means that in roughly 10 years, Iran can legally build a nuclear weapon without consequence. Instead of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the deal provides Iran with a legal pathway to go nuclear. Obama has essentially kicked the can down the road. But given all the holes in the current agreement, it is likely that the Iranians will be producing a nuke well before that period.
Left out of the deal were ancillary matters dealing with Iran’s support for international terrorism, its funding of terrorist groups, its military intervention in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon, its ICBM program and its failure to cooperate with Interpol and hand over six Iranians wanted in connection with the bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Argentina. Also excluded from the agreement is the fate of three Americans known to be languishing in Iranian prisons and the fate of a fourth – a former FBI agent – who went missing in Iran in 2007 and is believed to have been kidnapped by Iranian security officials.
Iran was an international menace and a global state sponsor of terror before this deal was signed. Joint Chiefs nominee, General Joseph Dunford, accurately characterized Iran as “the most destabilizing element” in the region and “clearly a malign influence.” The deal, with its favorable treatment of Iran and provisions for sanctions relief will instantly transform the Islamic Republic into a “malign influence” on steroids.
The only thing preventing immediate implementation of the deal is congress which passed legislation mandating congressional review. But Obama, demonstrating his usual distain for the legislative process, has already announced that he will veto any congressional attempt to torpedo the deal. Republicans must now rely on skeptical Democrats for support in their efforts to muster a veto-proof majority. It’s a tall order but not insurmountable. Already, ranking Democrats like Bob Menendez have voiced skepticism and have indicated that they would subject the agreement to extreme scrutiny. And ranking Democrat Chuck Schumer stated that he intends to “go through the agreement with a fine-tooth comb,” a sentiment echoed by his senatorial colleague Kirsten Gillibrand.
Given the investment that the Obama administration has made in this deal, we can expect an intense lobbying effort aimed at those sitting on the fence. Let’s hope that on such a grave matter of national security, Democrats don’t allow partisan pressure to interfere with common sense and good judgment.