Let’s see how the agreement with Iran protects us.
It does not dismantle any element of that country’s nuclear weapons infrastructure, enriched uranium stocks or intercontinental ballistic missile array. It has no provisions for human rights, the recognition of other members of the UN (such as Israel) or any cessation of direct hostile military activities, such as in Yemen and Syria. Let’s also not forget that Iran is sitting on one of the world’s largest sources of oil, so requiring expensive and fragile nuclear energy should theoretically be at the bottom of its priority list.
US President Barack Obama dropped his demand that Iran shutter its plutonium facility at Arak – a facility not required by any conceivable nuclear energy program that’s for peaceful purposes.
He dropped his demand that Iran shutter its underground nuclear facility at Fordow. He dropped his demand that Iran accept free, unfettered and unannounced inspections of all of its nuclear facilities; instead, inspections must now be approved by a committee (which amazingly includes Iran itself), and Tehran has 24 days to approve or reject any request for inspection, which is ample time for it to conceal or destroy evidence.
President Obama also dropped his insistence that non-nuclear sanctions imposed on Iran for its role in international terrorism and abuses of human rights remain firmly in place. Instead, he redefined all sanctions on Iran as being essentially nuclear-related in order to lift them. Not only that, but it now appears that arms embargoes on Iran will be lifted within five years.
It is also illusory that sanctions can be “snapped back” if Iran violates the agreement. The US will not make that determination – instead, a committee will (and again, amazingly, it includes Iran). Can one imagine Russia or China, which stand to gain huge economic advantages from the easing of sanctions, agreeing to reimpose them? This deal will free up $150 billion in frozen Iranian assets and result in tens of billions in sanctions relief for Iran each year.
With this stupendous windfall, that country will dramatically increase its funding for radical Islamic terror groups, especially Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Only last month, Iran gave Hamas tens of millions of dollars and provided Hezbollah with tens of thousands of missiles.
The P5+1 deal with Iran was struck at the very same time the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and its president, Hassan Rouhani, were leading rallies calling for death to America. Indeed, billboards all over Iran proclaim this. Iranian television regularly broadcasts simulations of nuclear attacks on Israel, as well as strikes upon US aircraft carriers in the region. Furthermore, Iranian leaders state that even with the deal, the US remains their number one enemy.
Iran’s Sunni neighbors are now probably preparing their own nuclear weapons program. The world is now an immeasurably more dangerous place. Do you feel protected?
HAROLD MILLER London
The problem with the agreement reached in Vienna is that it is with a party that cannot be trusted. You should not make treaties with regimes that cannot be trusted. Allowing Iran to have access to billions of dollars is in itself a threat.
Since it vows to destroy Israel and America, we should not be so naive as to think that if it does not have nuclear weapons, we are safe. It will be free to support all kinds of Islamic terrorists and develop biological weapons.
Eventually, the agreement will allow it to obtain nuclear weapons as well.
This agreement funds terrorist attacks. What a boost to Iran and Islamofacism! What a threat to the free world!
PHILIP BRIEFF Jerusalem
The real winners here are Iran, Russia and China, which realize that Congress will never get the required two-thirds majority to override any veto by US President Barack Obama.
These countries see Obama’s secretary of state, John Kerry, as the perfect stooge. His perfection in failure in every single international conflict is unequaled by any predecessor.
They will get what they want – Iran will get the bomb, Russia will have a client for unlimited arms sales, and China will get oil.
History will judge Kerry, as well as the president who put him there.
I. KEMP Nahariya
What chutzpah – “Obama: Iran deal is ‘a risk we have to take’” (July 16). We are on the firing line, and he will take the risk.
MALCOLM MANDEL Ra’anana
The hallmark of US President Barack Obama’s administration has been sweeping change (“Obama delivers on a bold promise of change,” Analysis, July 15). Unfortunately, the full impact of his radical policies, both foreign and domestic, will not be felt until after he leaves office.
What is most disconcerting to Israel are the draconian changes in foreign policy.
In the face of a growing threat of radical Islam, Obama reduced the US defense budget, decreasing the size of the armed forces and their equipment. He backed off enforcing his own red lines with belligerent nations. And, most recently, he engaged and consummated a nuclear deal with the number one terrorist state, Iran.
Without the participation of Israel, the American president reassures our prime minister to trust him with this existential agreement. But before the deal’s full implementation, Mr. Obama will be far away from politics.
A president who makes such far-reaching policies and will not be around to see the results can hardly be called a responsible leader. Instead of facing up to his enemies, Mr. Obama is simply kicking the can down the road.
ROBERT DUBLIN Jerusalem
I am writing to protest the attack by Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
How can Lapid both denounce the deal and blame Netanyahu? We all know the prime minister did all he could to prevent it.
Lapid should not be trying to make political capital against the prime minister at this time. It will only rebound to his detriment.
JACK S. COHEN Netanya
I think the best campaign for highlighting the duplicity of the Iranian nuclear agreement could be very straight forward.
1. Contact US National Security Adviser Susan Rice or another member of the Obama administration, and say: Words mean something.
2. Show a short clip of Iranians, including their leaders, shouting: Death to Israel and the US.
3. Show a clip of British prime minister Neville Chamberlain returning from Munich with his famous quote: Peace in our time.
STANLEY BROCHSTEIN Rehovot
Now that the nuclear deal with Iran has been finalized, Israel must take pragmatic steps to protect itself and maintain good relations with the US and the Obama administration.
Step one: Bite the bullet and allow Congress to debate the deal without interference. Israel’s position is well known, and direct input will only antagonize President Barack Obama. Right now, sanctions against Iran have lost their meaning because Russia, China and Europe support the new agreement, and America cannot go the sanctions route alone.
Step 2: Upgrade Israel’s defense with new weapons purchases.
Step 3: Continue to work toward a long truce with Hamas to place a wedge between it and Iran.
Step 4: Continue work on finding a solution to the Palestinian problem.
PAUL BERMAN Shoham