It’s not a done deal

By OPHIR FALK
July 29, 2015 21:45
3 minute read.
Iran nuclear deal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) meets with foreign ministers and delegations from Germany, France, China, Britain, Russia and the European Union at a hotel in Vienna, Austria July 13, 2015. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers is one of the biggest diplomatic failures in the modern history of international relations.

The agreement failed to reach any of the declared objectives set by the powers at the inception of the process and what makes the failure unprecedented is the lopsided strengths of the parties to the negotiations compared to the adversely lopsided results reached.

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One of the initial stipulations, set out by US President Barack Obama, was that Iran’s major nuclear facilities, heavy-water reactors and unconventional centrifuges be dismantled. That, of course, according to the deal reached last week with Iran in Vienna, will not happen.

Aside from the signing itself, not one American objective was obtained, and aside from signing a deal with America all of Iran’s objectives were achieved. Instead of dismantling Iran’s nuclear program, the agreement dismantled the sanctions against Iran and the international consensus against the terrorism-sponsoring state.

The agreement leaves Iran’s nuclear infrastructure intact; key clauses of restriction and inspection in the deal disintegrate (aka “sunset clauses”) after a decade; the deal will most probably activate a regional nuclear arms race, and it immediately injects nearly 150 billion US dollars into the Iranian economy – funds that have already been declared to be allocated in part to Syria, Hezbollah and organizations of its ilk.

The strongest nation on earth caved before a terrorist-sponsoring state that celebrated its achievement by holding parades through the streets of its capital accompanied by chants of “Death to America.”

Of all the debacles in the Iran nuclear deal, the notice required prior to inspection of Iranian facilities is the most absurd. As a lawyer who has drafted scores of commercial contracts and reviewed hundreds of others, I cannot recollect ever seeing an accrued 24-day notice appearing in any agreement. Depending on context, the notice is usually 30, 60 or 90 days or, when appropriate, 24, 48 or 72 hours. Never a 24-day notice. Which leads to the conclusion that someone extremely eager or pathetically imprudent agreed to change the time-for-notice mechanism from 24 hours to 24 days. The “anywhere anytime” inspections should be conditioned by 24 hours’ notice at most.



The bottom line, as Henry Kissinger and George Shultz concluded in The Wall Street Journal, is that, “The negotiations aimed at preventing an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal ended with an agreement that concedes this very capability... .”

The risk of the Islamic Republic becoming the biggest and most influential regional power, increasing its dissemination of terrorism and equipped with nuclear weapons, has become imminent, and the chance of this cascading into a regional arms race is clear.

No American, moderate Muslim or Israeli patriot could consider the agreement with Iran a good deal. Not even Obama can candidly see it as such. The problem is that many Americans see the agreement as a done deal, and look to mitigate the magnitude of its ramifications. That premise is wrong. It is not a done deal.

All parties to the agreement were fully aware upon signing that its ratification depended on the US Congress, and that Congress does not rubber-stamp presidential suggestions. Congress has a right to balance possible presidential imbalances. It can demand change and has done it before.

In 1975, Democratic Senator Henry M. Jackson insisted on what is now known as the Jackson amendment that conditioned the removal of sanctions on the Soviet Union, agreed upon by president Nixon in his détente talks with general secretary Brezhnev, on allowing free emigration for Soviet citizens. That amendment freed thousands of people that were confined within the USSR’s borders. At the time the amendment seemed outrageous. Immediately after acceptance, it was deemed obvious.

All efforts should now be made to improve or nullify the nuclear deal with Iran.

President Obama, who once said that no deal is better than a bad deal, now stresses that there is no better solution than the agreement reached and that the only alternative to this agreement is war. He is wrong on both counts. The alternative to this bad deal is a better deal. The correction of any one of the above-mentioned clauses would be a better alternative. Iran will not go to war and waive $150 billion if “days” is corrected to “hours.” War will not erupt if the powers insist on improving the deal. And if for some unlikely reason such a reasonable demand does deteriorate into an unlikely war – such a war would be better fought against a nuclear-free Iran.

The author is a licensed lawyer and PhD candidate in International Relations at Haifa University.

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