Yesterday’s Washington Post reported that as the latest talks with Iran began yesterday Iran pledged to never dismantle any equipment or facilities other countries believe could be used for the manufacture of atomic weapons. I may have missed something, but I thought the sanctions were lifted because Iran said it would discontinue its nuclear program.
On February 14th, the Washington Times reported that Iran was going to receive more than $20 billion in sanctions relief under the agreement reached. What in the world did Iran agree to do in return? Has Iran still agreed to it? It really doesn’t sound as if we got anything in return for lifting the sanctions.
The latest round of negotiations regarding Iran’s nuclear program began yesterday. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi stated what has always been clear: “Dismantling [the] nuclear program is not on the agenda.”
What, then, is? As the Washington Post reports, the West seeks only “to prevent Iran from quickly converting its nuclear program to weapons production or from hiding a parallel program.” (emphasis added) This probably means “a demand that advanced centrifuges for enriching uranium be destroyed or mothballed, and that Iran make changes to a nuclear facility under construction so it cannot produce plutonium.”
Will Iran agree to this limited package? Not likely. As the Washington Post puts it, “Iran has signaled that it would oppose any such curbs.” And a senior U.S. official acknowledged that “we have a very long way to go.”
At some point, the Obama Administration is going to have to realize that the only way Iran will ever give up its nuclear ambitions is if the west imposes crippling sanctions. Even if that were to happen, I doubt that Russia and China would honor those sanctions, so we would be right back where we started. However, the sanctions that were just lifted in the first round of negotiations were what brought Iran to the bargaining table. We need to put them back in place until the negotiations are done.
Negotiating with Iran does not make the world safer–it makes the world more dangerous. The Iranians are simply stalling for time as their nuclear program progresses. It will be necessary at some point before Iran goes nuclear for someone to take out its nuclear facilities. America will probably not do that–Israel will probably do it without asking America. That will result in mass destruction in the Middle East. Iran needs to be stopped before it goes nuclear–that will help preserve peace in the Middle East if peace is at all possible.