Iran action plan is no step forward

Article Highlights

  • The deal with Iran fails to verifiably eliminate its ability to develop nuclear weapons.

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  • The administration has long been ready for a deal that left Iran with considerable options in developing a nuclear weapon.

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  • Uranium enrichment and other related projects will continue unchecked

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Obama administration officials have been preening since the announcement that the November 2013 “Joint Plan of Action” (JPA) deal with Iran will be implemented beginning January 20.  But the credibility of the deal – and the negotiators that struck it – is in trouble for one simple reason:  The JPA fails to verifiably eliminate Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons. Or more succinctly, in Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s words: “In Geneva agreement world powers surrendered to Iranian nation's will.”

It became apparent during negotiations last year that the administration was ready for a deal that left Iran with considerable options in developing a nuclear weapon. The “first step” agreement did nothing to force Iran to address weaponization-related activities or its pursuit of ballistic missiles, which could serve as delivery vehicles for a nuclear warhead. And over-reliance on Iranian cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency will be another problem. Indeed, Tehran just postponed a forthcoming meeting with the IAEA on weaponization questions.

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About the Author

 

Maseh
Zarif
  • Maseh Zarif is the deputy director and Iran research Team Lead for the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project. He works on national security issues related to the Middle East and South Asia, with a particular focus on Iran’s nuclear program and its regional activities. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, National Review Online, and Foreign Policy, among others, and has appeared on CNN and Fox. Before joining AEI, he worked for several years in corporate finance as an analyst and a consultant.

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