Israeli MK calls on US to scrap sunset clauses of Iran deal

Oren praised the additional sanctions placed on Iran but stated Israel should discuss the sunset clauses of the nuclear deal.

Former ambassador to the US Michael Oren (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ANNE MANDLEBAUM)
Former ambassador to the US Michael Oren
Israel should urge the US to revisit the Iranian nuclear deal and do away with sunset clauses that lift restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear program if the Islamic Republic abides by the deal, Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren said on Tuesday.
Oren’s comments came a day after the US State Department – after getting President Donald Trump’s agreement – certified to Congress that Iran remains in compliance with the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. The certification is required every 90 days by law.
Even though Trump reportedly agreed to only re-certify the deal begrudgingly after arguing with his top national security team for nearly an hour, Oren said Trump was “clearly not ripping up the deal any time soon.”
During the election campaign, Trump called the JCPOA the “worst deal ever,” and vowed to tear it up.
While Oren praised the US decision on Monday to slap additional sanctions on some Iranian entities and individuals for support of terrorism and for developing ballistic missiles, he said Israel should enter into discussions with Washington regarding the sunset clauses in the deal.
These clauses sets expiration dates on the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program if it abides by the deal.
Under one such clause, Iran will be able to increase its centrifuges beyond its current limit of 6,000 in 10 years’ time, and in 15 years it will be able to increase its stockpile of low-enriched uranium beyond its 300-kilogram cap.
If Iran abides by the deal, Oren said the restrictions will be lifted and “you will have a situation where Iran is going to remain the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism; is complicit in the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Syrians; is going to try to build bases and ports in Syria, and missile laboratories in Beirut; is attacking in Iraq and Yemen; and is publicly committed to destroying the one and only Jewish state. But that country is going to have all the restrictions lifted from its nuclear program.”
In addition, Oren said, all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure remains intact.
“Some of it is detached, some unplugged, some mothballed, but it is all there,” he said, adding that Israel should be working with the US “to ensure that the sun never sets on the sunset clause, until there is a different Iranian regime.”
Oren said he has discussed this situation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We are already two years into the agreement,” Oren said, adding that the time before the sunset clause kicks in is not that long. He said one remark Netanyahu once said about the deal resonates very true: “Ten years is a young man’s idea of a long time.”
For the Iranian regime, Oren said, a decade is no time at all, “because they are very much in control. There is nothing shaking this regime,” he said, noting that there has not been a single protest against the regime since June 2009 and the green revolution that the government crushed with an iron fist.