Since the Iran nuclear deal was never submitted to the Senate as a treaty, the Obama Administration helpfully explains that there is no legal force behind it. It is, they tell us, merely a set of political promises. So despite the treatment of the deal as “landmark,” how airtight do you suppose those promises might be when one party to the deal is a group of radical Islamic fanatics and the other party to the deal was led by John Kerry?
Most of us figured the deal would never survive the arrival of the next U.S. president, but now it appears it may not make it out of the year in which it was negotiated (I almost said signed, but apparently that never happened) without the commencement of its own demise.
Seriously, how dumb is this? You lift all sanctions, but promise that there will be “snapback” sanctions if Iran violates the deal, even as you include an appeal process in the deal that basically assures nothing will be snapping back at all. Then, the first time Iran thumbs its nose at you with a missile test and you try to bring back the sanctions, the mad mullahs point the finger at you and accuse you of violating the deal. These geniuses didn’t see that coming?
U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration is preparing new sanctions on international companies and individuals over Iran’s ballistic missile program, sources familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that the potential sanctions would target about 12 companies and individuals in Iran, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for their suspected role in developing Iran’s ballistic-missile program.
U.S. officials have said the Treasury Department retains a right under July’s landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers, including Washington, to blacklist Iranian entities suspected of involvement in missile development, the Journal said.
Iranian officials have said the country’s supreme leader would view such penalties as violating the nuclear accord.
It appears any attempt to impose new sanctions is going to come up against resistance at the UN Security Council, where Russia and China wield veto power and would likely use it.
Now I realize I talked in the headline about the deal going up in flames, but what’s truly maddening about this development is that this is actually how the deal was designed to work, and Kerry was quite willing to structure it this way to get Iran to go along. Their violations of the deal, or of other existing treaties prohibiting their development of nuclear weapons, merely trigger a drawn-out and complicated process that gives their protectors in Moscow and Shanghai the opportunity to run interference for them.
The U.S. can make noise, but we’re essentially toothless, and that’s because we agreed that we would be. People who are desperate for a deal make concessions like that. People who aren’t committed to protecting their own nation’s interests make concessions like that. Obama will go through the motions of doing something, but there will be no meaningful action, and anyone who thinks for a second that Iran’s nuclear ambitions will be slowed down by this deal is an idiot.
The testing of this one missile probably doesn’t mean - all by itself - that Iran is on the verge of the bomb. But it shows that there is no serious process in place to stop that from happening, because Obama and Kerry knew that Iran would never go along with the deal if there was.
It’s fine to say that a new Republican president could abadon the deal, but the sanctions have already been lifted, and while the U.S. could reimpose its own, it would be extremely difficult to get our allies (let alone our geopolitical rivals) to join us on that. The left claims that the alternative to this deal was war with Iran, but in fact the opposite is true. Before the deal, at least we were making Iran pay a price for their defiance. Now they’re paying nothing, and a military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran appears to be the only action that could stop Tehran from getting the bomb.
Unless, of course, the Israelis once again take matters into their own hands - a prospect you can never count out as long as Benjamin Netanyahu is the prime minister.
Dan Calabrese’s column is distributed by CainTV, which can be found at caintv.com
A new edition of Dan’s book “Powers and Principalities” is now available in hard copy and e-book editions. Follow all of Dan’s work, including his series of Christian spiritual warfare novels, by liking his page on Facebook.
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