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Unless Iran Allows Inspectors into Its Military Sites, It Can Violate the Nuclear Deal with Impunity

Sept. 1 2017

Section T of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—as the agreement to restrict the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program is formally known—forbids Tehran from engaging in certain activities, and from producing or acquiring certain equipment, that would be necessary for building atomic weapons. Furthermore, it requires regular inspection of specific Iranian military sites. Yet, no such inspections seem to be taking place and, just earlier this week, an Iranian official stated outright that his government would not allow any such inspections. David Albright and Olli Heinonen explain:

Section-T verification requires the establishment of a routine inspection approach, which takes into account provisions for access to sensitive locations. Unlike the visits associated with the Parchin [research] site or past nuclear-weapons work, . . . Section-T verification should not be based on alleging violations but instead on ensuring compliance by regular IAEA monitoring. . . .

To verify Section T, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will need to ask Iran to describe or declare in writing its capabilities associated with [certain activities and types of equipment covered therein]. IAEA access [to the relevant sites] would be part of verifying these declarations. Iran may deny having any such capabilities, a statement which the IAEA would also have to verify. However, based on open sources and IAEA reporting, Iran is known to have engaged in activities covered by Section T. . . .

It is likely that some of the conditions in Section T are currently not being met and may in fact be violated by Iran.

Until suitable action is taken, the IAEA and the parties to the JCPOA are allowing the agreement to go unenforced, and Iran may well be developing detonation systems and other equipment necessary for a nuclear bomb—and getting away with it.

Read more at Institute for Science and International Security

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

 

In Dealing with Iran, the U.S. Can Learn from Ronald Reagan

When Ronald Reagan arrived at the White House in 1981, the consensus was that, with regard to the Soviet Union, two responsible policy choices presented themselves: détente, or a return to the Truman-era policy of containment. Reagan, however, insisted that the USSR’s influence could not just be checked but rolled back, and without massive bloodshed. A decade later, the Soviet empire collapsed entirely. In crafting a policy toward the Islamic Republic today, David Ignatius urges the current president to draw on Reagan’s success:

A serious strategy to roll back Iran would begin with Syria. The U.S. would maintain the strong military position it has established east of the Euphrates and enhance its garrison at Tanf and other points in southern Syria. Trump’s public comments suggest, however, that he wants to pull these troops out, the sooner the better. This would all but assure continued Iranian power in Syria.

Iraq is another key pressure point. The victory of militant Iraqi nationalist Moqtada al-Sadr in [last week’s] elections should worry Tehran as much as Washington. Sadr has quietly developed good relations with Saudi Arabia, and his movement may offer the best chance of maintaining an Arab Iraq as opposed to a Persian-dominated one. But again, that’s assuming that Washington is serious about backing the Saudis in checking Iran’s regional ambitions. . . .

The Arabs, [however], want the U.S. (or Israel) to do the fighting this time. That’s a bad idea for America, for many reasons, but the biggest is that there’s no U.S. political support for a war against Iran. . . .

Rolling back an aggressive rival seems impossible, until someone dares to try it.

Read more at RealClear Politics

More about: Cold War, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Ronald Reagan, U.S. Foreign policy