The Virtues of Empire

For the first time since the Ottoman Empire fell, Muslims in the Middle East are free to pursue the same dream that inspired Europe’s nationalists. Next: widespread ethnic cleansing?

Read more at First Things

More about: Ethnic Cleansing, Europe, Genocide, Islamism, Middle East, Nationalism, Ottoman Empire, Syrian civil war, Woodrow Wilson

 

The Iran Nuclear Deal’s Corrosive Effects on Non-Proliferation

Among the many flaws of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is the precedent it sets for future attempts to prevent other states from acquiring nuclear weapons, writes Behnam Ben Taleblu:

The agreement [teaches] four . . . lessons [to] potentially problematic nuclear actors. The first is that steadfastness and even intransigence can lead the international community to accept domestic enrichment [of uranium]. Numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iran’s nuclear program highlight Tehran’s “breach of its obligations to suspend all enrichment-related activities.” Yet the JCPOA does not require the Iranian leadership to temporarily, even symbolically, suspend low-level enrichment. . . .

The second lesson is that being a Western ally does not guarantee more flexible treatment when accessing nuclear technology. Key American allies that have previously limited their nuclear activities—like South Korea or the United Arab Emirates—have noted that Iran, which has been repeatedly sanctioned for its nuclear noncompliance, has been permitted to sign a deal allowing it to develop industrial-scale nuclear capacity.

The third lesson pertains to the establishment of an artificial divide between [the production of] fissile material needed for weapons of mass destruction and their delivery platforms. . . . [R]estrictions on ballistic missiles are noticeably absent from the JCPOA. . . .

The final lesson is that just because an agreement is lengthy (159 pages) does not mean it is always specific. The JCPOA contains a vague condition called “significant non-performance” under which parties can walk away from the deal. Such legalese incentivizes a skilled negotiator like the Islamic Republic to define violations on its own terms.

Read more at National Interest

More about: Iran nuclear program, Nuclear proliferation, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations