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Iran’s Decision to Defy Uranium Limits Shows How Bad the Nuclear Deal Was

Iran’s Decision to Defy Uranium Limits Shows How Bad the Nuclear Deal Was

FM Zarif’s tweet shows that the JCPOA is toothless as a protection against Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions

https://youtu.be/bQf6Vny4mr8

Earlier this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif justified Iran’s violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of  Action (JCPOA) by increasing its stockpile of enriched uranium above the limit set by the deal.

According to Iran’s unofficial PressTV news, after announcing that Iran had a stockpile of enriched uranium exceeding the 300 kilogram limit set out by the deal, Zarif said, “According to what has been announced, we have said very clearly what we are doing and consider this as part of our rights as per the JCPOA.”

He cited section 36 of the JCPOA that if a party to the deal has a grievance that is not dealt with “then that participant could treat the unresolved issue as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA.”

Section 37 added, “Iran has stated that if sanctions are reinstated in whole or in part, Iran will treat that as grounds to cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.”

Of course, there’s more to section 36. It lays out the procedure for filing and handling the grievance. It isn’t at all clear that Iran has followed that procedure. Rather Zarif wrote, “We triggered & exhausted para 36 after US withdrawal; we gave E3+2 a few weeks while reserving our right; [and] we finally took action after 60 weeks.”

I’ve researched a bit and haven’t found any news reports that Iran formally made a referral as outlined by the JCPOA.  (According to this paper from May of this year, Iran had not yet referred any complaints about American non-compliance to the Joint Commission. In other words, Iran apparently isn’t following the terms of the JCPOA for walking away from the deal.)

What’s clear from sections 36 and 37, though, is that the JCPOA gives escape hatches to leave the deal without penalty.

In a post I wrote in the wake of the nuclear deal, I observed:

If the process of finding Iran in violation is completed and an effort is made to reimpose sanctions, what is to stop Iran from saying, “okay we’re leaving the JCPOA.” Obama has said that this negotiation process has kept a rein on Iran’s nuclear development, but doesn’t this mean that an attempt to re-impose sanctions if Iran is found in breach of its obligations could mean that Iran could then legally “cease performing” its JCPOA obligations?

There are many problems with the language in the JCPOA, but the language allowing Iran to walk away from the deal – apparently with no penalty – is one of the worst.

When the deal was being discussed, my congressman, Rep. John Sarbanes (D – Md.) wrote, “I have engaged in a careful review of the relevant documents that form the JCPOA, and have participated in numerous classified and unclassified briefings from U.S. diplomatic, military, national security and intelligence officials.”

Yet Sarbanes had also decided to support the deal because “I believe it will be effective in pulling Iran back from the threshold of becoming a nuclear weapon state and in keeping Iran away from that threshold for at least ten to twelve years.”

Sarbanes is a lawyer who presumably studied contracts and despite his “careful review” of the JCPOA and related documents, he didn’t detect this escape hatch in the deal itself for Iran. He was either lying about his careful review or he is a horrible lawyer for contracts.

And however righteously Zarif proclaims Iran’s fealty to the JCPOA, it’s clear that Iran only relies on those parts of the deal with which it agrees.

For example, because the JCPOA is supposed to ensure that Iran has no military nuclear program, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which is charged with ensuring that Iran is compliance should be able to demand access to military sites. However, Iran has refused access to its military sites, even though there is evidence that it was developing nuclear weapons technology at its military site in Parchin.

(The IAEA has also said that it would refuse to demand access to military sites, meaning that Iran has large areas that are off-limits to nuclear inspectors. So much for the “most intrusive inspection regime ever.”)

In any case, Zarif’s appeal to the JCPOA is interesting. The dirty secret of the JCPOA is that it was never signed – this was something demanded by Iran.

What was supposed to make it binding was United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231. This is something Zarif himself said in response to a letter written by Sen. Tom Cotton (R –  Ark.) ostensibly to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

At the time, Zarif wrote on Iran’s Foreign Ministry website, that the deal “will not be a bilateral agreement between Iran and the US, but rather one that will be concluded with the participation of five other countries, including all permanent members of the Security Council, and will also be endorsed by a Security Council resolution.”

But Iran has been found to be in violation of terms of 2231 by the United Nations.

Iran is prohibited by Resolution 2231, from “the supply, sale, transfer, manufacture, maintenance, or use of arms” to other nations and groups until 2020. The resolution also prohibited Iran from the sale or transfer of ballistic missiles until 2023.

In January of last year, a United Nations panel found that Iran had violated a UN arms embargo on the Houthi rebels in Yemen. If Iran was shipping arms to any party it was also violating 2231.

So for Zarif to cry like Iran is the aggrieved party is entertaining theater, but it’s phony. Iran is violating the UN resolution that implemented the deal.

Iran is now using its violation of the JCPOA as nuclear blackmail.

In response to European concerns about Iran’s violation of the JCPOA, European leaders urged Iran to come back into compliance.

Zarif responded, “So moving forward, Iran will comply with its commitments under the JCPOA in exactly the same manner as the EU/E3 have—and will—comply with theirs.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed that if Europe fails to hold up its end of the bargain, Iran will restart its Arak heavy water reactor. This would allow Iran to produce plutonium for a potential nuclear weapon.

The threat about Arak is particularly concerning. According to the terms of the deal, the calandria, a container at the center of the reactor was supposed to be filled with concrete, rendering it unusable for any future nuclear use. However, earlier this year Ali Akbar Salehi boasted that Iran had secretly maintained tubing for a new calandria that they could use to restart the reactor in Arak.

Apparently, Rouhani means that Iran will take advantage of its cheating and reconstitute the reactor, allowing Iran to produce plutonium, which, like enriched uranium, could be used as fuel in a nuclear weapon.

Zarif’s proclamation and Iran’s actions show that the JCPOA was utterly useless in stemming Iran’s ambitions for a nuclear weapon.

The withdrawal of the U.S. from the deal may have prompted Iran to openly violate the deal earlier. But with renewed U.S. sanctions, Iran will have less room to maneuver.

If only Europe would realize how misbegotten and ineffectual the deal is and would join the U.S. in re-imposing nuclear sanctions on Iran, Iran’s day of reckoning would be closer at hand.

[Photo: PressTV ]

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Comments

2smartforlibs | July 3, 2019 at 6:05 pm

If you ever read it you would understand they couldn’t violate the law only other counties could.

    From start to finish the Iran deal was a terrible plan. The P5+1 countries had no legal path to give theocratic fascists the technical and material means to create a nuclear weapons industry. So what did they do? They simply granted themselves the authority to do so from whole cloth.

    P5+1 told us that Iran would never menace us, or their neighbors, with nuclear weapons if we gave them our nuclear secrets. And what just happened after Trump walked away from the deal? The Iranian fascists declared that they’ve refined nuclear weapons grade fissionable materials beyond the “deal” limits proscribed by the jpcoa and are using the threat of continuing their nuclear weapons program as a bargaining chip with the EU. Yeah. That’s what sane people refer to as menacing behaviour. Exactly the thing Obama and the EU said would never happen.

    But lets stick to a bad deal. Because the Good Guys always stand by their words while the Bad Guys do whatever they please.

    :::bright light flashes over the horizon:::

    Have a nice day!

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Tiki. | July 3, 2019 at 10:16 pm

      Spot on!

      Let us not forget who to “curse” for that treason – illegal alien president Barrack.

      We all know he would have flown in completed fully operational nuclear missiles to Iran if he could have figured out a way to do it.

It seems rather stupid to have us break the deal, and then when they refuse to adhere to this no longer applicable deal you call it “bad”.

As to Yemen, you mean MBS “Murderous Bone Saw” Saudi Arabia also violating all kinds of laws? But they are our, well Israel’s friends now so they can behead gays, murder journalists, oppress women and worse but that is fine.

Maybe Iran would come back into compliance if the USA did. It is one thing to attempt to renegotiate a bad deal, and another to break it entirely.

If you say Trump was right to unilaterally breach the deal, then you can’t hold any other leader or country to any deal, at least made by a prior administration.

    fishstick in reply to tz. | July 3, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    the problem will your above analysis is Israel proved a year and some months later that those in Iran were both lying and not following the non-binding agreement set in place by the Obama camp

    this so called “deal” was the West over a barrel while Iran was getting paid billions to fuck us in the ass

    Obama’s successor was every bit in the right to pull us out of it, freeze whatever assets his administration could, while slapping down sanctions

    since Iran never stopped their in their nuclear ambition

    but hey – if Iran wants to continue with their uranium enrichment, Europe and the US at the very least should make it hell for their country to afford basic needs

    I’d rather see Iran become the next North Korea than the next China or Russia

      JusticeDelivered in reply to fishstick. | July 3, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      I repeat, taking out Iran’s Hydroelectric and water resivors would really crimp their style. There are about 400. Water & power shortages would make their already miserable lives much worse.

      I view terrorists as being similar to bullies, they understand one thing, having the crap kicked out of them.

        artichoke in reply to JusticeDelivered. | July 3, 2019 at 9:16 pm

        If we know where this “calandria” is, where some of their nuke sites are, I’d take those out first. A mini-nuke bunker buster to “enrich” their uranium in a different way.

        Cleetus in reply to JusticeDelivered. | July 4, 2019 at 6:30 am

        If the US were to target reservoirs and such, then the loss of water and power would have devastating effects upon the Iranian population. This would result in widespread hatred for the US and would all but eliminate the general population’s anger towards the religious leadership who is the real enemy – not the people. If we want to encourage a change in Iran to one that would be more honest, no longer a source of terrorist funding, and more friendly towards the West, then turning the entire population against America is not the way to go.

      Conan in reply to fishstick. | July 5, 2019 at 2:27 pm

      “this so called “deal” was the West over a barrel while Iran was getting paid billions to fuck us in the ass”

      If Trump holds firm which he will the Iranians will continue their unnatural sex act with Europe and strip them of all their credibility in dealing with Iran which will be justice.

    PODKen in reply to tz. | July 3, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    It might have been a lousy deal and it’s fine to try to renegotiate it … but it was wrong of us to break it as long as Iran was living up to it. We’ve shown ourselves to be flighty and undependable to other nations and that’s not gonna help going forward.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to PODKen. | July 3, 2019 at 7:59 pm

      They were not, and never have lived up to any deal.

      Milhouse in reply to PODKen. | July 4, 2019 at 1:43 am

      The United States was never a party to this deal. Only Mr 0bama was. Making the US a party would require the consent of 2/3 of the senate, and 0bama knew he could never get that, so he did it privately, carefully promising only those things that he already had the authority to do whenever he liked, with or without a deal. If he’d promised anything that was beyond his authority he’d have needed to get either a majority of both houses or 2/3 of the senate to go along with it, and that was not possible.

    Tiki in reply to tz. | July 3, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    <<<>>>

    You mean like the deal Bush made with Qaddafi? Recall the deal? If Libya cease it’s nuclear weapons ambitions, then the US won’t kill him and install a western puppet government in Tripoli? And what does Obama do? Aids and abets the murder of Gadaffi (plus 1500+ US warplane airstrikes over Libya) and the EU airdrops a puppet government into Tripoli. And almost 10 years later Haftar and ISIS and Al Qaeda are vying for control of the country.

    Yeah. That deal? Right?

    TX-rifraph in reply to tz. | July 3, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Of the many gratuitous assertions and non sequiturs, this one stood out:

    “Maybe Iran would come back into compliance if the USA did.”

    And pigs will fly.

    If you say Trump was right to unilaterally breach the deal, then you can’t hold any other leader or country to any deal, at least made by a prior administration.

    Excuse me, did you read the links in this article? Iran never signed a deal with the US, and this was not submitted to the senate for ratification. It’s not worth the paper it’s written on, although to Iran it’s worth hundreds of billions.

    kjon in reply to tz. | July 4, 2019 at 6:56 am

    That is the fundamental difference between a “deal” and a “treaty”. Obama should have gone for the treaty.

Channeling Claude Rains, I’m shocked, simply shocked, to learn that Muslims routinely lie to non-Muslims.

texansamurai | July 3, 2019 at 9:18 pm

the israelis are there–they will deal with any plausible nuclear threat iran makes–of that, believe we can be sure–if we can use sanctions/political actions in lieu of actual boots on the ground(though we certainly have the boots if necessary) then is in our best interest to do so–let the israelis do the heavy lifting–they are more than capable–if iran was so foolish as to actually build and deploy nuclear weapons believe the israelis would subsequently create several square miles of parking space in tehran in response

“Bad?” It was treason. It you were a traitor and antiSemite like obama, it was a rather good deal.

Bad, my ass.

They violated this years ago.
Honestly, does anyone think they did not?

Terence G. Gain | July 4, 2019 at 8:06 am

The Iran deal does nothing to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons once the deal expires. Obama confused a decade with a millennium.. The Iran deal isn’t just bad, it is insane. And the belief that Iran would not cheat during the deal’s existence was ludicrous.

    Milhouse in reply to Terence G. Gain. | July 4, 2019 at 8:36 am

    It did nothing to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons during its term either. It made it more complicated, but Persians are fine with complication. They’re sophisticated people, and they practically invented complication. So a more complicated process was a challenge, not a barrier.

Trump: The Art of the Deal
Obama: The Art of the Bad Deal
.
Thanks for pointing out that there was no deal with the U.S. This was Obama’s legacy deal that Clinton was going to memorialize. Like the Paris Accord, Obama was willing to spend hundreds-of-billions of American taxpayer dollars to get his face on Mt. Rushmore. The people spoke when they voted Trump into office.

It is worth pointing out too that the Iranians, under Islamic law, are under no obligation to honor any agreement made with infidels. It’s like crossing your fingers behind your back while pinky swearing.

I don’t think the Iranians negotiated the nuclear deal in good faith anyway. The Iranians said what they needed to say and agreed to what they needed to agree to in order to get their payday. The Iranians have likely invested a substantial sum of that payday into their nuclear program and it is also likely the have been violating some of the terms of that agreement all along.

Milhouse: It did nothing to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons during its term either. It made it more complicated, but Persians are fine with complication.

The deal concerned what is called the breakout time.

It takes time to produce a nuclear weapon if you lack the fissile material. If there is sufficient warning, then other actions can be taken; hence the important of the breakout time. The Iran nuclear deal extended the breakout time, meaning, if Iran went out of compliance, there would be sufficient time for the allies to respond with other means.

Most any country can develop nuclear weapons. Gee whiz, North Korea built a boosted nuclear device. The question is how to convince a nation it is not in their own best interest to develop a nuclear weapon.

MikeAT: It’s not worth the paper it’s written on

So that is the value of the words of an American president.

David Gerstman: There are many problems with the language in the JCPOA, but the language allowing Iran to walk away from the deal – apparently with no penalty – is one of the worst.

The penalty is the reimposition of sanctions. However, the U.S. withdrew from the agreement and reimposed sanctions, removing the incentive for Iran to stay in compliance.

DanJ1: Like the Paris Accord, Obama was willing to spend hundreds-of-billions of American taxpayer dollars to get his face on Mt. Rushmore.

The money provided to Iran as part of the nuclear deal was Iran’s own money that had been impounded, and that the U.S. had already agreed to return as part of the 1981 Algiers Accords.

DanJ1: It is worth pointing out too that the Iranians, under Islamic law, are under no obligation to honor any agreement made with infidels.

The evidence indicates that Iran was in compliance, while it was the U.S. that withdrew from the deal.

    Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | July 7, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    The deal did nothing to prevent Iran from breaking it. Or indeed from continuing to pursue nuclear weapons while ostensibly keeping it. It did not extend the “breakout time” in any meaningful way. And it guaranteed that they would eventually be able to get the weapons.

    The money provided to Iran as part of the nuclear deal was Iran’s own money that had been impounded, and that the U.S. had already agreed to return as part of the 1981 Algiers Accords.

    And yet we had kept the money in escrow since 1981, because it was blindingly obvious that giving it to them would be a very very wrong thing to do. This deal didn’t change that. They took the money and put it straight to exactly what 0bama swore up and down they wouldn’t — funding terrorism.

    The evidence indicates that Iran was in compliance,

    There isn’t and can’t be any such evidence, because the deal was designed to avoid finding breaches, and indeed the evidence that Israel revealed last year is very much much against that claim.

      Milhouse: The deal did nothing to prevent Iran from breaking it.

      The deal ended many sanctions, which would come back into effect if Iran withdrew from the agreement. Instead, it was the U.S. which withdrew, reimposed sanctions, including threatening European allies if they did business with Iran under the terms of the agreement.

      Milhouse: The deal did nothing to prevent Iran from breaking it. Or indeed from continuing to pursue nuclear weapons while ostensibly keeping it.

      The deal included the most extensive inspections regime ever implemented.

      Milhouse: And yet we had kept the money in escrow since 1981, because it was blindingly obvious that giving it to them would be a very very wrong thing to do.

      The money was in escrow due to pending arbitration by the Iran–United States Claims Tribunal. The U.S. had agreed to abide by the determinations of the Tribunal, which was finally near to ruling. The U.S. was obligated to return Iran’s money to Iran.

      Milhouse: There isn’t and can’t be any such evidence, because the deal was designed to avoid finding breaches,

      The deal included the most extensive inspections regime ever implemented.

      Milhouse: and indeed the evidence that Israel revealed last year is very much much against that claim.

      What evidence is that?

So, Iran admits to breeching the limits, and gets that issue out of the way…
What about the other Countries that are still observing the agreement…. what are they going to do?
Nothing.

As far as the Libya situation, Hillary cackled in an interview “We saw. We came. He died.” Proving to other nations they nations they needed an ironclad treaty, ratified by the US Senate as required by the US Constitution, or their own nuclear weapons program to be a credible threat so I really do understand why both North Korea, Iran and some other nations desire them. That one is entirely on Obama.

As far as Iran goes right now, Israel always enforces their red lines so, if the US or US and other nations haven’t concluded a new treaty, ratified by the Senate, Israel will act in their own best interests. Yes, it would be better for them if the US were to use

B-2 stealth bombers that can carry the big bunker busters that Israel can’t to keep Israel from having to go nuclear but if the US hasn’t done so by the time Israel believes they can no longer wait or the 2020 elections are lost by Trump meaning they may have a new Obama that will use US fighters to act as Iran’s air force again, that will force their hand. They have already proven they can fly into Iran with their F-35a to hit everything above ground and Iran has already proven they don’t need to develop new missiles to hit Israel but they do need to develop better ones that can reach the US. They still do evety Friday after prayers they will rally to call for the deaths of both the Little Satan and Big Satan and have been doing so for 40 years including the entire time they were negotiating the “deal” so I take them at their word. Why does anyone honestly believe otherwise? They are led by “Twelvers” who believe they are destined to bring about the return of the Mahdi to conquer the world for Islam and who used to children to clear minefields for their soldiers during the iran/Iraq war. Does anyone believe that they aren’t willing to sacrifice 80 million Iranians to fulfill prophecy and gain an instant trip to Paradise where their 72 virgins await to reward them? That is the mindset so many can’t seem to get through their heads even when they prove daily they are willing to strap explosives to their bodies just to take out even 1 infidel let alone sacrifice 80 million to take out 300-500 million when they can reach the US as well as all the other nations that agreed to this useless deal. They don’t and never have subscribed to Western thinking where a MAD policy would work on those who don’t want to die like the nuclear nation they are attacking.

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