Obama administration officials say they continued to aggressively enforce sanctions against Iran throughout the negotiations, are still doing so, and will strictly enforce the remaining sanctions after the deal is implemented.
This agreement is much better than those.
But the expenditure was required to beat back opposition to the agreement that was rooted not in any consideration of the merits of the agreement itself but instead in other reasons that opponents had to oppose the administration and to keep Iran isolated. Additionally, Iran should consider the ways in which it can reassure its neighbors that a potential rapprochement with the US and other world powers will not occur at the cost of their security.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks after returning from the annual United Nations General Assembly, in Tehran, September 29, 2015.
The political rebalancing is manifested in an amplification of hostility toward, and threats against, Iran. They fear that this resolution endangers the status of rivals in the region due to Iran’s increasing power.
“Real believers in Iran’s revolution and its pillars and followers of our late leader (Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini will never accept it”. After oil sanctions are lifted, Iran will gain enhanced resources to finance escalating threats to the USA and its allies. The West had suspected that Iran was using the nuclear programme to develop an atomic bomb. The most extreme of the Iranian MPs, who are close to the IRGC, subsequently established a special JCPOA commission. The Arab sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf region face the same security challenge as Saudi Arabia.
Notwithstanding earlier anti-agreement rhetoric to the effect that we should not expect Iran to become nice because of the nuclear accord, what is involved is not niceness.
That is the sort of non-zero-sum situation that is the stuff of the normal give-and-take in normal diplomacy. They were so severe that Iran’s Supreme Leader began having concerns about the possibility of unilateral termination by the United States.
Multiple USA laws and regulations still bar the export of US goods and technology to Iran, especially anything related to defence. In August, Khamenei insisted that nothing was final; both the United States and Iran could potentially reject the deal.
To enhance deterrence against an Iranian nuclear breakout, Washington also should transfer to Israel capabilities that could be used to destroy hardened targets such as the Fordow uranium enrichment facility, which is built hundreds of feet beneath a mountain. Again, there is no logic to this in terms of what the nuclear agreement did and did not change.
In particular the placing of restrictions on a few aspects of Iran’s nuclear activities for 15 years was “a serious shortcoming”. The IPOA would allow the United States to provide Israel with security assistance to counter “non-peaceful nuclear activities by Iran” and also would authorize foreign military financing to Israel to “address threats from Iran”.
Upon entering office, the next Administration should immediately review Iran’s compliance with the existing deal, as well as its behavior in sponsoring terrorism, subverting nearby governments, and attacking USA allies. The aid is being given to a state that is among the richest one-fifth of the countries of the world, as ranked by GDP per capita. While President Obama’s remarks at the UNGA reflect this black-and-white thinking about Iran to a degree, other high-level USA officials have been far more brazen in their dishonest condemnations of Iran.
The French president, for his part, supported the nuclear deal between Iran and Group 5+1, and said, “All should focus their efforts on full implementation of the agreement”. It looks like nearsightedness and folding to fear will again prevail.
Khamenei has the last word on all policy matters in the Islamic republic as his authority trumps Rouhani and all politicians.
Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. And that means missing major opportunities to advance USA interests.