Posted tagged ‘IAEA’

Is The JCPOA Working?

October 31, 2017

Is The JCPOA Working? MEMRIYigal Carmon and A. Savyon*, October 30, 2017

Introduction

All JCPOA supporters rely on the claim that “the agreement is working” and on the eight confirmations granted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to Iran that it is in compliance with the agreement.

Reality, however, invalidates this claim, on four levels:

  1. Violations of the agreement in letter, not just “in spirit,” in issues that are critical, not marginal.
  2. Developments on the ground that contradict the aim of the agreement.
  3. The lack of real inspection, making the IAEA’s confirmation misleading.
  4. The IAEA’s role in this deliberate misrepresentation that real inspection is carried out and that Iran is abiding by the agreement.

This paper will present evidence that the agreement is not working.

Violations Of The JCPOA

  • Section T –Iran is refusing to allow IAEA inspectors to monitor activities under Section T of the agreement, which prohibits Iran from carrying out “activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device.”

Section T of the JCPOA prohibits Iran from “designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using multi-point explosive detonation systems suitable for a nuclear explosive device” and also from “designing, developing, fabricating, acquiring, or using explosive diagnostic systems (streak cameras, framing cameras and flash x-ray cameras)” – unless these activities are “approved by the Joint Commission for non-nuclear purposes” and “subject to monitoring.”

Hence, in the most critical area of the nuclear agreement – developing options for detonating a nuclear explosive device – Iran is refusing to allow monitoring of its activity, as the agreement requires.

  1. Building advanced centrifuges –Iran is building (IR-8) and operating (IR-6) larger numbers of advanced centrifuges than is allowed by the agreement.[1]
  2. HeavyWater –Iran’s actual heavy water quota exceeds the quantity permitted it by the agreement, since according to standard IAEA verification practices, changes in heavy water inventory are registered not when the heavy water is removed from the territory of the country exporting it, but only when it arrives at the destination country that purchased it. For Iran, however, the calculation of the quantity of heavy water that it is allowed to possess does not include the quantity that is being stored for it in Oman and not being sold – while at the same time Iran is continuing to produce more heavy water.
  3. The core of the plutonium reactor at Arak –According to Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization Of Iran (AEOI) and a member of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team, Iran never dismantled the core of the plutonium reactor at Arak, but left it intact, saying that Iran neededit for research purposes. He also said that only the external pipelines of the reactor had been filled with cement, and that it would not take very long for Iran to reactivate it.[2] According to the Institute for Science and International Security (IISS), Iran has also tried to make changes to the fuel design for the modified Arak reactor, that differ from what the JCPOA requires.
  4. Production of uranium enriched to 5% –Iran is continuing to produce uranium enriched to 5% beyond the quantity permitted it. Two such violations have been recorded by the IAEA. Iran has exported the surplus for storage in Oman, in a procedure that does not exist in the agreement and is not allowed.
  5. Developments On The Ground That Contradict The Aim Of The JCPOA
  6. The8.5 tons of enriched uranium shipped out from Iran according to the JCPOA are not being monitored  by the IAEA,and in fact the shipment disappeared in Russia, as attested to by the Obama administration’s State Department lead coordinator on Iran, Stephen Mull, at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in February 2016. (Theoretically, however, since the uranium’s location is not known, the possibility that Russia, Iran’s ally, has returned it to Iran should not be discounted.)
  7. Oman, a political satellite of Iran that has nocapability for confronting Iran, has become the warehouse for Iran’s surplus heavy water and enriched uranium. The storage of this material in Oman is nothing more than a fiction aimed at covering up the fact that Iran is exceeding the amount of uranium and heavy water allowed it in the JCPOA.
  8. Lack Of Real Inspection, Making IAEA Confirmation Misleading

The IAEA cannot conduct real inspections in Iran, and therefore its confirmation that Iran is complying with the JCPOA is misleading, for the following reasons:

  1. The inspection that the IAEA is permitted to conduct, and through which Iran receives confirmation that it is meeting the terms of the agreement, is carried out solely in the limited areas where Iran allows inspection – that is, the sites that it itself has declared to be nuclear sites. No other site in Iran, including military sites, are included. Furthermore, with regard to the military sites, Iranian officials have stressed that the IAEA will never be allowed to enter them.
  2. The agreement has created a unique inspection framework for Iran that is less stringent than that for the other Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) member countries. For example, Iran has been allowed to accept the Additional Protocol voluntarily – that is, it was not mandatory as it was for the others – meaning that it can drop out of the Additional Protocol at any time (for instance, when it is required to allow inspection of military sites) without being considered in violation of the JCPOA. That is, Iran can prevent inspection of its military sites, both under the JCPOA and because it is not bound by the Additional Protocol.
  3. The agreement has created a supreme political forum – the Joint Committee of the JCPOA – in order to bypass the IAEA  and its decisions. The Joint Committee is authorized to overrule the IAEA’s statutory professional authority. 
  4. The IAEA’s Role In The Misrepresentation Of Iran’s Compliance And Of The Inspection Process
  5. 1. The IAEA does not declare Iran’s rejection of inspections, according to Section T, a violation of the JCPOA, but rather calls for handing the issue over for discussion to the political body – the Joint Committee.
  6. The IAEA carried out a scandalous inspection at the Parchin military site, that was aimed at closing Iran’s Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) file in accordance with a predetermined political decision. IAEA inspectors did not themselves visit Parchin, and the samples from these sites were taken by the Iranians themselves and handed over to the IAEA inspectors without any way of ascertaining that the samples taken were the ones handed over to the IAEA. Furthermore, IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano was allowed entrance to Parchin for only a few minutes, and he was not permitted to bring in any equipment, not even his cellphone.[3]Through this process, the IAEA even agreed not to question nuclear scientists, as it had demanded to do over the years.
  7. The IAEA is refusing to wield its authority by initiating inspections of military sites, as sanctioned by both the Additional Protocol and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, and despite statements by IAEA secretary-general Amano that he has the authority to do this.
  8. The IAEA is acting vis-à-vis Iran in violation of its own export control system, to which exporters of heavy water such as Canada and India are subject.[4]

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*Yigal Carmon is President of MEMRI; A. Savyon is Director of the MEMRI Iran Media Project.

[1] See IISS report “Update on Iran’s Compliance with the JCPOA Nuclear Limits – Iran’s Centrifuge Breakage Problem: Accidental Compliance,” Isis-online.org, September 21, 2017.

[2] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1341, Head Of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization: Only External Pipelines Of Arak Reactor Were Filled With Cement, Its Core Was Not; Within Five Days, We Can Begin Enriching Uranium To 20%, September 1, 2017.

[3] ISNA (Iran), Sept 21, 2015.

[4] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 1348, The JCPOA’s Critical Flaw Is Its Lack Of Real Inspection By The IAEA; Those Focusing On Iran’s Ballistic Missiles And The JCPOA’s Sunset Clause Are Evading The Urgent Issue – The Need For Real Inspection Now, October 3, 2017.

 

U.S. Pursuing Rigorous New Nuclear Inspection Regime in Iran

October 31, 2017

U.S. Pursuing Rigorous New Nuclear Inspection Regime in Iran, Washington Free Beacon, October 30, 2017

International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors and Iranian technicians at a nuclear power plant of Natanz / Getty Images

The United States is pursuing a rigorous new regime for international inspections of Iran’s nuclear program that includes access to off-limits military sites as well as increased transparency on the Islamic Republic’s often obfuscated enrichment of uranium, the key component in a nuclear bomb, according to U.S. officials and congressional leaders spearheading the new inspection effort.

A delegation of 13 leading senators petitioned the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, led by Ambassador Nikki Haley, to implement a series of stricter inspection methods that would give Western countries a deeper look into Iran’s suspected use of military sites to continue contested nuclear work prohibited under the landmark nuclear agreement, according to U.S. officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

The Trump administration is said to be fully on board with these tougher inspection measures, which could address lingering questions about Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, U.S. officials said. Iran has been found in breach several times since the accord was implemented.

The letter, spearheaded by Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.) and a delegation of top GOP senators, urges the United States to force the United Nations into accepting a tough new nuclear inspection regime in Iran that could shed sunlight on the country’s hidden nuclear efforts.

Many of Iran’s most contested military sites and uranium enrichment plants have been off-limits to international inspectors or subject to a delayed timeline that gives Iran at least a month to prepare for inspections, a part of the nuclear agreement that has come under particular criticism from those who say it gives the Islamic Republic time to cleanup and hide possible nuclear work falling outside of the accord.

The senators highlight a series of “shortcomings in the inspection and verification regime” led by the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, which has itself admitted in recent months that it does not have a full picture of Iran’s current nuclear program.

A major “deterioration in the amount and quality of the information provided by IAEA inspections [has] prevented the inspection and verification regime of the JCPOA from being as thorough and transparent as possible,” the senators write, referring to the nuclear deal by its official acronym.

The U.S. Mission to the U.N. is said to fully back these tougher inspection requests and is already pushing for a change at Turtle Bay.

“The senators’ letter is completely in sync with Ambassador Haley’s concerns about Iranian nuclear inspections,” a spokesperson for the U.S. Mission told the Free Beacon Monday, several days after the senators first sent their letter.

Haley “will continue to press for the most aggressive implementation of the nuclear deal, while also working to move the U.N. toward stronger measures against dangerous Iranian actions that fall outside of the deal, including their missile testing, arms smuggling, and support for terrorism,” the official said.

A spokesperson for Perdue’s office described the letter as part of a larger bid to crackdown on flaws in the nuclear deal that were originally obfuscated by the Obama administration when it first sold the deal to Congress and the American public.

“It’s very clear President Obama’s dangerous Iran Nuclear Deal doesn’t have the teeth he claimed it would,” the congressional official told the Free Beacon. “President Trump was right to decertify this deal, and now we have to turn up the pressure on the IAEA to get more detailed reporting and ensure all potential nuclear sites—including military installations—are inspected thoroughly.”

“Senator Perdue is encouraged Ambassador Haley has brought these issues to the U.N. and supports her effort to get better information about Iran’s nuclear activities,” the source said.

U.S. officials and those in Congress are seeking to close a series of gaps that have allowed Tehran to receive a month’s notice before inspections and also keep secret its most contested military sites.

The letter highlights flaws in a portion of the nuclear deal known as Section T, which is supposed to provide assurances that Iran is not engaging in any activities that would contribute to the design or development of a nuclear explosive device.

The IAEA has admitted in recent weeks that it is unclear exactly how to interpret this portion of the accord and has been unable to fully verify efforts undertaken by Iran on this front.

Without this information, the United States cannot fully determine “if Iran makes any effort to leave the JCPOA abruptly or gradually,” according to the letter, which was also signed by Sens.Ted Cruz (R., Texas), Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), Mike Lee (R., Utah), John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.), and several others.

Access to Iran’s military sites remains a key outstanding issue for the Trump administration and Congress, according to these officials, who say there is no credibly way to determine Iranian compliance with the nuclear accord without such access.

“We believe that without visits to military sites, the IAEA cannot make a credible conclusion that Iran is meeting its section T obligations,” the senators wrote.

The group is also pushing greater transparency on Iran’s uranium enrichment efforts, including its mining of uranium ore and yellow cake.

Inspection regimes “should include the number of visits to mines and ore concentration plants,” according to the senators, who say that Iran should be forced to inform the West about the amount of yellow cake it produces.

Additional new measures would include disclosures of “the type and amount of uranium fed into [nuclear] cascades at” each of Iran’s facilities. Such information would provide a clearer picture of how much enriched uranium Iran has on hand.

Iran must also provide more information about the number of nuclear centrifuges it is operating in its Natanz plant, as well as other areas, according to the senators, who are pushing for greater inspection of Iran’s storage of advanced nuclear centrifuges.

This would include “an assessment on if the IAEA surveillance measures are conclusive” on this front, or if further inspections are needed.

“With these improvements to inspection and reporting practices, we can better deny Iran’s access to a nuclear weapons capability,” the senators wrote.

A spokesperson for the White House’s National Security Council declined to comment on the letter, saying it does not discuss “correspondence between Congress and government officials,” but the issues highlighted in the missive appear to jibe with the Trump administration’s public criticism of the accord.

One veteran foreign policy insider for works closely with Congress on the Iran portfolio told the Free Beacon that the new U.S. inspection efforts highlight important ways in which the IAEA’s current regime has failed to provide critical information about Tehran’s nuclear progress.

“This letter does a couple of things,” the source said. “It highlights how the IAEA has been spinning its wheels in Iran, and hasn’t visited the sites where Iran is likely to be developing nuclear weapons technology.”

“It also serves notice that Congress knows the IAEA is full of shit when its top officials say they’ve confirmed Iran is complying with the deal,” the source added.

Viewing Enemy Regimes as They Are, Not as We Wish They Were

October 10, 2017

Viewing Enemy Regimes as They Are, Not as We Wish They Were, Gatestone InstitutePeter Huessy, April 10, 2017

Experience has shown that soft rhetoric and so-called “smart diplomacy” have served only to enable North Korea and Iran to produce more nuclear weapons and better ballistic missiles.

Not only has the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) been prevented from monitoring Iranian compliance, but it is not pushing the issue for fear that “Washington would use an Iranian refusal as an excuse to abandon the JCPOA.”

During his first press conference after taking office in January 1981, US President Ronald Reagan called détente a “one-way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its own aims.” Echoing this remark while addressing reporters later the same day, Secretary of State Alexander Haig said that the Soviets were the source of much support for international terrorism, especially in Latin and Central America.

The following day, both Reagan and Haig were criticized for their remarks, with members of the media describing the president’s words as “reminiscent of the chilliest days of the Cold War,” and appalled that the administration’s top diplomat was accusing the Russians of backing terrorist activities.

Nearly four decades later, in spite of the successful defeat of the Soviet empire, the White House is still frowned upon when it adopts a tough stance towards America’s enemies. Today’s outrage is directed at President Donald Trump’s warnings about — and to — North Korea and Iran. The Washington Post called his recent “fire and fury” threats to Pyongyang a “rhetorical grenade,” for example, echoing top Democrats’ attacks on his remarks for being “reckless” and “irresponsible.”

Critics of Trump’s attitude towards Tehran go equally far, describing his opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the nuclear deal with Iran — as “rushing headlong into war.”

Trump’s detractors, however, are just as wrong as those who berated Reagan in 1981. Experience has shown that soft rhetoric and so-called “smart diplomacy” have served only to enable North Korea and Iran to produce more nuclear weapons and better ballistic missiles.

Although the JCPOA stipulates that Iran is not permitted to produce more than a certain quantity of enriched uranium or to enrich uranium beyond a certain level, not only has the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) been prevented from monitoring Iranian compliance, but it is not pushing the issue for fear that “Washington would use an Iranian refusal as an excuse to abandon the JCPOA.”

Furthermore, among its many other flaws, the JCPOA does not address Iran’s ballistic-missile capabilities or financing of global terrorism.

Nevertheless, it is the administration’s rhetoric that is under attack. Isn’t it high time for the media and foreign-policy establishment to wake up to the reality that seeing regimes as they are, rather than as we wish them to be, is the only way to confront our enemies effectively, and with the least number of casualties?

Peter Huessy is president of GeoStrategic Analysis, a defense consulting firm he founded in 1981

The Iran Deal Isn’t Worth Saving

October 8, 2017

The Iran Deal Isn’t Worth Saving, Gatestone InstituteJohn R. Bolton, October 8, 2017

(The chances of renegotiating the JCPOA to make it less harmful to America appear to be close to zero. — DM)

[T]he deal’s acolytes are actively obscuring this central issue, arguing that it is too arduous and too complex to withdraw cleanly. They have seized instead on a statutory requirement that every 90 days the president must certify, among other things, that adhering to the agreement is in America’s national-security interest. They argue the president should stay in the deal but not make the next certification, due in October.

This morganatic strategy is a poorly concealed ploy to block withdrawal, limp through Mr. Trump’s presidency, and resurrect the deal later. Paradoxically, supporters are not now asserting that the deal is beneficial. Instead, they concede its innumerable faults but argue that it can be made tougher, more verifiable and more strictly enforced. Or, if you want more, it can be extended, kicked to Congress, or deferred during the North Korea crisis. Whatever.

The only sure way to resume economic pressure on Iran is for President Trump to stop waiving the sanctions, as he did a few weeks ago. The power to act is in executive hands, as it should be.

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“Cut, and cut cleanly,” Sen. Paul Laxalt advised Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, urging the Philippine president to resign and flee Manila because of widespread civil unrest. The Nevada Republican, Ronald Reagan’s best friend in Congress, knew what his president wanted, and he made the point with customary Western directness.

President Trump could profitably follow Mr. Laxalt’s advice today regarding Barack Obama’s 2015 deal with Iran. The ayatollahs are using Mr. Obama’s handiwork to legitimize their terrorist state, facilitate (and conceal) their continuing nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs, and acquire valuable resources from gullible negotiating partners.

Mr. Trump’s real decision is whether to fulfill his campaign promise to extricate America from this strategic debacle. Last month at the United Nations General Assembly, he lacerated the deal as an “embarrassment,” “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”

Last month at the United Nations General Assembly, President Donald Trump lacerated the Iran nuclear deal as an “embarrassment,” “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” (Image source: The White House)

Fearing the worst, however, the deal’s acolytes are actively obscuring this central issue, arguing that it is too arduous and too complex to withdraw cleanly. They have seized instead on a statutory requirement that every 90 days the president must certify, among other things, that adhering to the agreement is in America’s national-security interest. They argue the president should stay in the deal but not make the next certification, due in October.

This morganatic strategy is a poorly concealed ploy to block withdrawal, limp through Mr. Trump’s presidency, and resurrect the deal later. Paradoxically, supporters are not now asserting that the deal is beneficial. Instead, they concede its innumerable faults but argue that it can be made tougher, more verifiable and more strictly enforced. Or, if you want more, it can be extended, kicked to Congress, or deferred during the North Korea crisis. Whatever.

As Richard Nixon said during Watergate: “I want you to stonewall it, let them plead the Fifth Amendment, cover up, or anything else if it’ll save it — save the plan.”

Mr. Trump should not be deceived. The issue is not certification. The issue is whether we will protect U.S. interests and shatter the illusion that Mr. Obama’s deal is achieving its stated goals, or instead timidly hope for the best while trading with the enemy, as the Europeans are doing. It is too cute by half to employ pettifoggery to evade this reality.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 embodies the deal and includes two annexes: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action itself, and a statement by the other negotiating parties on “transparency… creating an atmosphere conducive” to full JCPOA implementation. Resolution 2231, the JCPOA and the statement were all crafted word-for-word with Iran (with Russia and China acting as Tehran’s scriveners on the statement), as was the cash-for-hostages swap Mr. Obama sought desperately to conceal. This packaging is more than a diplomatic nicety. It means Iran’s ballistic-missile program is integral to the deal — fittingly, since Iran’s missiles would deliver its nuclear warheads.

The ayatollahs have neither the desire nor the incentive to renegotiate even a comma of the agreement. Why should they, when it is entirely to their advantage? Both Resolution 2231 and the statement, for example, “call upon” Iran to forgo activity regarding “ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” The U.N. secretary-general recently reported that Iran is violating this provision and implicitly lying about it. But the deal’s language allows Iran to claim solemnly that its missiles are not “designed” to carry nuclear warheads, an assertion whose verification would require polygraphs and psychologists, not weapons inspectors. This is one of many textual loopholes.

If the deal is vitiated, Tehran would not be freer than it is now to pursue nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Not only is the international compliance regime a far cry from Mr. Obama’s promised “anytime, anywhere” inspections, crucial language is vague and ambiguous. Mr. Obama’s negotiators crippled real international verification by pre-emptively surrendering on what were delicately termed “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program.

Moreover, simple economic logic suggests that Tehran’s scientists are probably enjoying Pyongyang’s hospitality, well beyond the International Atomic Energy Agency’s limited capability to detect. Even U.S. intelligence could be in the dark if Iran is renting a uranium enrichment facility under a North Korean mountain. It is specious to assert that the North Korean nuclear crisis should lead to deferring action on the Iran deal. The conclusion should be precisely the opposite: Failure to act decisively on Iran now worsens the global proliferation threat.

The IAEA has interpreted Mr. Obama’s possible-military-dimension concession as requiring new evidence before it attempts to visit Tehran’s military bases, where the real work on weaponization and missiles is taking place—if not under mountains in North Korea. Mr. Obama acquiesced in this emasculation of the IAEA’s will to inspect, making the agency today like the drunk looking for his car keys under a street lamp because the light is better there. This is a sorry caricature of a robust, Reaganesque “trust but verify” regime.

Perhaps the most inane argument is that Congress should decide the deal’s fate and whether to reimpose U.S. sanctions. If a president is unwilling to solve this kind of problem, he shouldn’t have applied for the job. Watching what has happened on failed legislative efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare, can anyone doubt that Senate Democrats (joined by Rand Paul) would filibuster any legislative effort to renew sanctions? The only sure way to resume economic pressure on Iran is for President Trump to stop waiving the sanctions, as he did a few weeks ago. The power to act is in executive hands, as it should be.

Mr. Trump knows his mind on Iran. And as Mr. Laxalt said to Marcos, “the time has come” to act decisively.

John R. Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is Chairman of Gatestone Institute, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad”.

This article first appeared in The Wall Street Journal and is reprinted here with the kind permission of the author.

Time for Trump to Decertify the Iran Deal

October 5, 2017

Time for Trump to Decertify the Iran Deal, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, October 4, 2017

(President Trump has two options: (1) he can certify that Iran is not developing nukes and is also in compliance with the JCPOA in all other respects or (2) he can decline to do so. In view of the acknowledged inability of the IAEA to conduct meaningful inspections of military and other non-designated sites, President Trump has no way to determine that Iran is not developing nukes. In the absence of even minimal evidence that Iran is not developing nukes, it seems very unlikely that he will certify compliance.

President Trump does not need to go so far as to certify that Iran is not in compliance, as he should perhaps explain to Tillerson, Mattis et al. Any belief held by Tillerson, Mattis et al that, regardless of the lack of evidence of Iranian compliance, the Iran scam is a “good deal” for America is irrelevant. — DM)

Mideast Iran Nuclear Deal

Last week IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] chief Amano revealed the IAEA has been unable to verify Iran is fully implementing the nuclear deal, specifically Section T which prohibits certain activities related to “the design and development of a nuclear explosive device,” because Iran has barred inspectors from military sites where those activities would be occurring . . . .

*************************************

For all the talk of “morons” Wednesday — did Rex Tillerson call Donald Trump a moron and what does that mean, if anything — the real issue for those not transfixed by media gotcha games is the certification, or not, of something truly moronic:  the Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA).

In normal times, devoid of mass murderers and endless natural disasters, the looming October 15 certification decision on this deal would be front and center in the national consciousness.  It still should be because, ultimately, it is even more important than hurricanes and psychopathic killers. It’s about nuclear war.

The biggest mistake of the Obama years was not the Affordable Care Act — that can be fixed eventually — but the Iran deal, which has already resulted in massive catastrophe, causing irreparable damage. Iran, financially enriched by the agreement, has been able to play a growing and truly evil role throughout the Middle East (and even South America), but especially in the unending Syrian civil war through its brutal own Revolutionary Guard and its bloodthirsty Hezbollah cutouts. This war has undoubtedly changed the character of Europe forever by creating millions of refugees. Every one of our lives has been or will be affected by it, directly or indirectly. (Reminder: One of the Paris Bataclan theatre terrorists who slaughtered 130, more than twice Las Vegas, held a Syrian refugee passport.) Even now, as ISIS is being pushed back, Iran, not us or our allies, is moving in to take control of their territory. We can be sure the mullahs will use it to build children’s hospitals and cancer research institutes — either that or murder thousands more in the name of the Twelfth Imam.

Obama’s motivation to make this deal, to choose the mullahs’ side in the more than thousand-year-old Shiite-Sunni blood feud that comes to us as a horrifying ghost from the pre-Middle Ages, remains one of the great mysteries of our time. It was the kind of agreement only State Department bureaucrats could love or, for that matter, see. In that sense, the Iran Deal is a perfect “Swamp” agreement. Nobody really knows what’s in it, deliberately so — just like the Affordable Care Act, actually. Only in this instance, Nancy Pelosi did not have to tell us to sign it to know what’s in it, because it was never signed in the first place — nor intended to be.  It was simply put in place — Constitution be damned — over the heads of an impotent Congress by Obama and his claque of unwise wise men and women.

But that was then and this is now. According to The Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo:

The Trump administration is expected to announce next week that it will not formally certify Iran as in compliance with the landmark nuclear agreement, a move that could kill the agreement and set the stage for Congress to reimpose harsh economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic, according to multiple U.S. officials and sources familiar with the situation.

While some senior Trump administration officials—including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis—are pushing for President Donald Trump to preserve the deal, it has become increasingly clear the president is frustrated with Iran’s continued tests of ballistic missile technology and rogue operations targeting U.S. forces in the region, according to these sources.

Let’s hope that Tillerson and Mattis won’t prevail if that really is still their opinion. You would think given Kim Jung-un getting almost as much media attention for his missiles as Stephen Paddock for his guns, and the longtime documented alliance on military matters of Iran and North Korea, they would be ready for another strategy. After all, looked at from afar (actually not that far) the JCPOA mirrors the approach many administrations took to North Korea. There are minor differences, but they all came down to “give them some money so they play nice.” How did that turn out? Perhaps I’m naive, but getting tough with tough guys for a change just might be worth a try.

It seems that Trump gets this. According to Eli Lake: “The centerpiece of Trump’s new Iran strategy will be the designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, placing it in the same category as al Qaeda and the Islamic State.”

The Revolutionary Guard is responsible for approximately 15 percent of Iranian GNP. Designating them a terror organization, which they indubitably are, would result in a substantial financial hit to the mullahs. The Swamp, of course, will object. That’s not how the game is played. But the truth is, the Swamp game is destructive to our country and the West, not mention factually absurd.

Omri Ceren, whose ongoing reporting on this “deal” has been invaluable (as has the work of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz), explained why in a recent email:

Last week IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] chief Amano revealed the IAEA has been unable to verify Iran is fully implementing the nuclear deal, specifically Section T which prohibits certain activities related to “the design and development of a nuclear explosive device,” because Iran has barred inspectors from military sites where those activites would be occurring,

Deal? What deal?

Your turn, Mr. President.

Omni Ceren: Decertification Approaches

September 28, 2017

Omni Ceren: Decertification Approaches, Power Line,  Scott Johnson, September 28, 2017

Omri Ceren writes to comment on the Reuters story by Francois Murphy reporting that “IAEA chief calls for clarity on disputed section of Iran nuclear deal.” Omri’s commentary on the story — please check it out — should serve as a preview of coming attractions. He writes:

This is pretty close to game over on certification.

Condition 1 of Corker-Cardin requires the president to certify “Iran is transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing the agreement” [a]. One part of the agreement – Annex 1, Section T – prohibits Iran from conducting certain “activities which could contribute to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device” [b].

The IAEA has not been able to verify Iran is implementing Section T because the relevant activities would be occurring on military sites and Iran has barred the IAEA from inspecting those sites [c][d][e]. IAEA officials say they won’t even ask for access because they know Iran would say no and it would give the Trump administration an “excuse” on the deal [f].

The policy community has known about this failure for months: in August nuclear experts from FDD and ISIS published a report that concluded “it is likely that some of the conditions in Section T are not currently being met and may in fact be violated by Iran” [g].

Yesterday IAEA chief Amano confirmed the IAEA has indeed been unable to verify Iran is implementing Section T….Here are the Amano quotes:

“Our tools are limited,” Amano told Reuters when asked if his agency had the means to verify Section T. “In other sections, for example, Iran has committed to submit declarations, place their activities under safeguards or ensure access by us. But in Section T I don’t see any (such commitment).” Amano said he hoped the parties to the agreement would discuss the issue in the Joint Commission.

Advocates of the Iran deal respond that the IAEA hasn’t found any Iranian violations [h]. 1st, that’s not relevant for certification: condition 1 requires the president to certify Iran has implemented all parts of the agreement, not that Iran hasn’t been caught cheating on the parts they have implemented. 2nd, the IAEA hasn’t caught Iran cheating because they haven’t been able to look where Iran is cheating: last week lawmakers on Senate Intelligence suggested to the Weekly Standard they’ve seen classified reports that Iran is violating the deal [i].

[a] https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/615/text
[b] https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/245318.pdf
[c] https://financialtribune.com/articles/national/69753/us-demand-for-military-inspections-rejected
[d] http://kayhan.ir/en/news/42609
[e] http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=1396052200040
[f] https://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN1BB1JC-OCATP
[g] http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/verifying-section-t-of-the-iran-nuclear-deal
[h] http://iranprimer.usip.org/blog/2017/sep/14/debate-nuclear-deal-us
[i] http://www.weeklystandard.com/cotton-on-iran-nuclear-deal-i-simply-do-not-see-how-we-can-certify/article/2009716

EXCLUSIVE – Former IAEA Deputy Director: Agency Has ‘Credibility’ Issue on Iran Nuclear Inspections

September 19, 2017

EXCLUSIVE – Former IAEA Deputy Director: Agency Has ‘Credibility’ Issue on Iran Nuclear Inspections, Breitbart, Aaron
Klein
, September 18, 2017

NEW YORK — A former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) raised questions about the credibility of that agency’s inspection and verification system for Iran’s nuclear program as required under the U.S.-brokered international nuclear accord with Tehran.

Speaking in a radio interview with this reporter, Dr. Olli Heinonen, former deputy director general of the IAEA and head of its Department of Safeguards, questioned how the IAEA can credibly inspect Iran’s nuclear program without gaining access to Iranian military bases.

Heinonen made the comments last night on his talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and NewsTalk 990 AM in Philadelphia.

The IAEA, headquartered in Vienna, is an international body that reports to the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. It is the agency charged with ensuring Iran is complying with the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Heinonen said he was “concerned” about the lack of IAEA access to Iran’s military bases.

He continued:

Military bases should not be sanctuaries. There is a special provision in the deal which asks the IAEA to monitor certain activities, so-called dual-use activities which can also be used for nuclear weapons purposes. IAEA has assessed that it has now verified that undertaking from Iran.

So it is hard for me to understand how you can verify that undertaking without visiting a military site and this is the most puzzling thing. And it goes to the credibility of the verification system.

How can the IAEA conclude that there have been no undeclared activities highlighted in JCPOA in those locations? This needs to be clarified and explained by the IAEA.

Last month, the IAEA declared that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal. However, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki R. Haley and other administration officials have argued that the IAEA should have access to Iran’s nuclear bases.

Last week, Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, ruled out any possibility of international access to Iran’s military bases, declaring the issue an “unnecessary and closed case.”

Also last week, Haaretz cited Israeli officials revealing that a “Western entity” provided the IAEA last year with information regarding sites that Iran did not officially report as part of its nuclear program and where Tehran is suspected of carrying out activities related to nuclear capabilities, including research and development.

While one such alleged site was a civilian facility, the report stated that Iran did not allow access to other sites, claiming they were military bases.

Haaretz reported:

Iranians refused to allow inspectors to visit a series of other suspicious sites, claiming they were military bases and, therefore, not covered by the nuclear accord and that they were not required to allow access to inspectors.