Under the terms of the agreement between Obama and some Iranian leaders, neither the US Congress nor the Iranian Parliament signed on to the deal, Iran was supposed to give up its nuclear weapons research in return for Western assistance in developing civilian nuclear facilities in Iran. Iran was also supposed to be prohibited from acquiring or developing ballistic missile technology for at least eight years (it actually wasn’t but if I start calling out Obama and Kerry on their chronic lying I won’t get anything else done). I suppose someone, somewhere, believed this agreement to be binding upon Iran its just that those people aren’t in the Iranian government.
First, the unsurprising part. Ballistic missiles are a great tool for your typical rogue regime with pretensions of being a regional power to have. If you are planning on acquiring nukes, ballistic missiles are must-have. So we have this:
Iran has carried out a new medium range ballistic missile test in breach of two United Nations Security Council resolutions, a senior U.S. official told Fox News on Monday.
Western intelligence says the test was held Nov. 21 near Chabahar, a port city in southeast Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province near the border with Pakistan. The launch took place from a known missile test site along the Gulf of Oman.
The missile, known as a Ghadr-110, has a range of 1,800 – 2000 km, or 1200 miles, and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The missile fired in November is an improved version of the Shahab 3, and is similar to the precision guided missile tested by Iran on Oct. 10, which elicited strong condemnation from members of the U.N. Security Council.
“The United States is deeply concerned about Iran’s recent ballistic missile launch,” Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said in a statement after the last Iranian ballistic missile test in October.
Well, so long as Samantha Power is “deeply concerned” instead of her usual state of “deeply stupid” I suppose things are under control.
Last month the president sent his Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to Vienna to twist the arm of International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano into issuing a favorable report on the state of the Iranian nuclear program.
The yes-or-no question Amano faced was simple: Has Iran closed the military aspect of its nuclear program?
Being an honorable man, Amano could not provide the straight “yes” that Muniz was asking for. “Much progress has been made, but much remains to be done,” he said. “More confidence building is needed, and verification of what Iran is doing may need many more weeks.”
Amano also hedged in his formal report to the IAEA board of governors. In paragraph 79 of the report, he states that the IAEA is in no position to categorically report that all of Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful. That’s because the IAEA does not have access to all nuclear sites in the Islamic Republic. He then injects a dose of hope by reporting that Iran has “taken preliminary steps” to meet its treaty obligations.
Such a cocktail of optimism and pessimism may be passable if one dealt with repairing one’s plumbing. But we’re dealing with a nuclear arsenal in the heart of the world’s most unstable region.
Interesting. The IAEA can’t verify that Iran’s nuclear weapons programs had ceased to exist. Is this a surprise? Under the terms of the agreement, IAEA inspectors must give Iran 24 days notice of any inspection and “sensitive” facilities are only open to inspection by Iranian, yes, you read that correctly, inspectors.
The current dealings stink to the extent that not even the Washington Post, a major cheerleader for the nuclear surrender, can’t ignore it:
IRAN IS following through on the nuclear deal it struck with a U.S.-led coalition in an utterly predictable way: It is racing to fulfill those parts of the accord that will allow it to collect $100 billion in frozen funds and end sanctions on its oil exports and banking system, while expanding its belligerent and illegal activities in other areas — and daring the West to respond.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s response to these provocations has also been familiar. It is doing its best to downplay them — and thereby encouraging Tehran to press for still-greater advantage.
It’s not hard to guess the reasons for this fecklessness. President Obama is reluctant to do anything that might derail the nuclear deal before Iran carries out its commitments, including uninstalling thousands of centrifuges and diluting or removing tons of enriched uranium. The same logic prompted him to tolerate Iran’s malign interventions in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, along with the arrest of Mr. Rezaian, while the pact was under negotiation.U.S. officials argue that Iran’s nonnuclear violations make it all the more important that the nuclear deal be implemented. But that ignores the clear connections between the missile launches and Tehran’s ambitions to become a nuclear power. The only practical military purpose of the missiles the regime is testing is to carry atomic warheads. And while missile launches are not prohibited by the nuclear pact itself, the separate resolution banning them remains in effect until the deal is implemented, after which a new resolution takes effect that calls on Iran not to develop such missiles for eight years.
So now we have a perfect storm: no sanctions in place on Iran; Iran ignoring the agreement that they DIDN’T sign; Iran testing ballistic missiles; No verification that Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon; and an administration actively concealing the breaches of the agreement.
Suddenly, I’m feeling “deeply concerned”, too.