Monday, April 20, 2015

Iran’s Nuclear Deal

There’s been much talk lately regarding the nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran. The current deal being negotiated would limit Iran’s nuclear program to only civilian use and scale back their nuclear enrichment program. Unfortunately, they’ll get to retain their advanced [‘military-grade’] centrifuges and plutonium-producing heavy-water reactor [instead of being required to dismantle it]. Great for Iran! Not great for the rest of us. But wait there’s more, Iran will get an assist with nuclear Research and Development, plus, sanctions relief will give their economy a big boost as foreign companies engage Iran to do business.

‘Civilian use, what’s the big deal,’ you say. To be truthful, the deal being negotiated would provide for International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] inspectors to verify that Iran’s nuclear capability remains solely for civilian use, not for bomb-making purposes. This assurance of inspectors, of course, ignores the fact that prior deals have also allowed for IAEA inspectors, but the inspectors had regularly been denied access disallowing this verification. Who would trust Iran to make another similar deal and this time expect them to abide by the inspectors?

“We are powerful enough to be able to test these propositions without putting ourselves at risk,” said President Obama in a recent interview with journalist Thomas Friedman. Iran’s a long ways from us, so he’s likely correct that we would not immediately be at risk. Being a good citizen, however, especially the most powerful good citizen in the world, means looking out for more than number one. It means also looking out for our allies.

Additionally, a nuclear Iran affects a vast circle of influence. This could spike a nuclear arms race as their neighboring countries try to keep up to deter the local bully. What happens when the violence in the Middle East becomes nuclear? At that point, the troubles may flow like an open fire hydrant.

If Iran complies with the details of the deal, nuclear armaments are delayed for 10 years. After those 10 years, however, their bomb making nuclear capability is virtually assured as a result of the shared knowledge and research. To speak clearly, a nuclear bomb is not the issue, it’s a matter of who has the nuclear bomb. France and England have a nuclear bomb, but nobody’s worried that they’d actually put it into play. Iran, however, is a different story! A hotbed for terror and aggression with a newly booming economy - due to the lessening of economic sanctions [sanctions have been in place since the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979], and enhanced nuclear knowledge could energize them with renewed bravado and a willingness to get militarily frisky. Bummer for their neighbors, and our allies – the good guys, they are not in favor of this deal’s success.

“I’ve been very clear that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch,” President Obama went on to say. I’d find it more encouraging had he stopped after ‘Iran will not get a nuclear weapon,’ instead he seems more content in knowing that they’ll get one, just not until he’s out of office and they’re somebody else’s problem. Here’s an alternative: no nuclear deal, keep talking with Iran, retain sanctions, do not provide nuclear technology, and prevent their bomb-making capability.

Maybe I jump to conclusions, certainly President Obama would not be in favor of a deal that makes Iran a nuclear power. He hopes at least, hope that is neck-deep in a utopian’s perspective. I’m not one of his detractors saying the president is trying to push forward to intentionally compromise the U.S.’s world position. I am, however, one of his detractors who thinks President Obama is regrettably naïve in the things he believes will fall into place as a result of a sporting gesture. Unfortunately, this sporting gesture has nuclear catastrophic potential.