President Obama is ignoring another Iranian provocation and further endangering the US and our allies,
President Obama’s willful blindness toward Iran’s continued development of illicit weaponry is putting Americans and our allies in ever greater danger. Obama’s superficial detente with Iran ignores its deceits, dissimulations, and resolve to obtain a nuclear capability.
In the latest instance, Obama is downplaying Iran’s November ballistic missile test. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 provides, “Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology.” The November launch tested the long-range, nuclear-capable Ghadr-110 missile and was a clear violation of Resolution 1929.
Nevertheless, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power merely called for “conducting a serious review of the reported incident.”
This is only the latest instance of Obama withholding, distorting or ignoring information that might threaten his Iran policy. Previously, Obama abandoned his promise that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) would have “anytime, anywhere” inspections, agreeing instead to a drawn-out and inadequate system of notices and appeals.
Caving on inspections exacerbated Obama’s earlier failure to require Iran to completely disclose its preexisting nuclear program to the International Atomic Energy Agency (“IAEA”).
Free of pressure from the United States, Iran has little incentive to cooperate with IAEA investigators. What the IAEA has learned is disconcerting – earlier this month it reported that Iran maintained an active nuclear weapons program until 2009, far longer than previously believed. Alongside that new information, though, the IAEA also noted that Iran still has not answered key questions.
Even Iran’s modest obligations under the JCPOA are not binding. Last month the State Department wrote to Rep. Mike Pompeo that the JCPOA is not a binding agreement, as Iran never signed. Instead, the JCPOA merely reflects political commitments and depends on “extensive verification measures” and “Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose – and ramp up – our sanctions.”
But precisely because Iran’s adherence to JCPOA, UN and IAEA proscriptions depends on its perception of the US’s willingness to re-impose sanctions, the only means of assuring Iranian compliance is to vocally and powerfully respond to any violations.
There was always a risk that President Obama would opt to ignore Iranian violations that might further call into question the wisdom of his Iran policy, and that is precisely what has come to pass. Whether it is due to his misguided quest for rapprochement with Iran at all costs or unwillingness to concede his own mistakes, there is virtually no possibility that Obama will take action against Iran.
The repercussions are potentially disastrous. Iran will proceed with progressively more aggressive ballistic missile tests until either satisfied with the results or prevented from doing so. Iran will restart or continue an illicit nuclear weapons program impenetrable under the JCPOA’s feeble inspections regime, or merely wait out the JCPOA’s laughable 10-15 year sunset clause.
The United States cannot possibly ensure that Iran complies with even the JCPOA’s paltry requirements if it is unwilling even to acknowledge and denounce Iranian violations.DONATE
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