By changing course and “halting the Iranians’ path toward nuclear capability,” the Obama administration could reverse what is potentially “one of the greatest missteps” in history and strengthen the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, Josh Block, the president and CEO of The Israel Project, wrote in an op-ed published today in The Baltimore Sun. The Israel Project publishes The Tower.
A final nuclear deal must guarantee the dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, linked with fully transparent inspections and verifications of Iran’s nuclear-related sites any time and anywhere. Anything short of these prerequisites will greenlight the Iranian terrorist regime’s insidious clandestine nuclear activity.
Along with mandating full disclosure of Iran’s suspected military dimensions, Iran’s ability to breakout must be capped unconditionally. The lifting of nuclear restrictions after 12 to 13 years currently outlined in the Lausanne framework cannot occur if we are to remain dedicated to completely preventing Iran from acquiring and using nuclear weapons.
Block also argued for increasing sanctions, noting that the sanctions already imposed on Iran have been effective.
To be clear, economic sanctions were working. Last winter, the Islamic Republic of Iran was facing a balance of payments crisis, and its economy was on the brink. Rather than capitulating once again to Iranian deceit, economic pressure should be increased to give Iran the choice the sanctions were originally intended to provide: Face steadily increasing economic pressure or, as the Obama administration used to put it, “dismantle its nuclear program.”
Block observed that Iran’s intransigence during the nuclear negotiations, even with sanctions in place, suggests that Iran will not be more flexible once sanctions are lifted. “On the contrary,” he wrote, “these conditions foment the perfect nuclear storm and embolden Tehran.”
A number of Block’s recommendations were also made earlier this week by a group of nuclear, military, and foreign policy experts, including five former members of the Obama administration. These recommendations include demanding that inspectors have full access to Iran’s military sites, receiving a full accounting of Iran’s past and ongoing nuclear work, and extending sanctions until Iran complies fully with all the terms of an agreement. Similarly, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last year that “it’s really important for there to be so little enrichment or no enrichment, at least for a long period of time.”
In a speech earlier this week, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated that he opposed any long-term freeze on Iran’s nuclear research and development, the full disclosure of past nuclear work, or inspections of military sites. He also demanded the immediate lifting of sanctions for agreeing to any deal.
[Photo: Nuclear Threat Initiative / YouTube ]