It’s not often you hear that the US surrendered to Iran, but that’s exactly the message that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was preaching on Tuesday. The scary thing is that he’s probably right. Rouhani was referring to the recent nuclear deal reached in Geneva with the major world powers, in which Iran will basically freeze their current nuclear program and get some sanctions relief in return. But while the West has been portraying this as a good thing, Rouhani’s boasts—and the reports arising about what the deal really entails—should have you worried.
“The Geneva agreement means the big powers’ surrender to the great Iranian nation,” Rouhani was quoted by the Fars News Agency as saying. While it’s not unusual for Iranian leaders to overestimate their successes, this was hardly bluster.
The big news that arose from the recent reports regarding the nuclear deal with Iran is that the Iranians will be allowed to continue their work on improving their centrifuges—the machines used to make nuclear fuel.
Senior US State Department officials admitted in a call with journalists that the deal with Iran does allow the Iranians to continue their research and development work on the centrifuges they have already developed. In the interview, which was published by the State Department, the official tried to portray the situation as a success since Iran can’t develop even more advanced centrifuges.
The catch is that The Jerusalem Post reported that one of the centrifuges the US official listed as being okay for the Iranians to continue to improve is in fact an advanced centrifuge that’s much better than the ones they started out with. In other words, it may not be the best of the best, but it’s good enough. And that’s before Iran got the green light to keep improving it for the next six months with no threat of new sanctions—which is what this deal basically allows.
Furthermore, a US official even hinted that while research and development of even more advanced centrifuges is prohibited by the deal, the “on paper” design of newer and better nuclear machinery is not regulated. “Well, designing is not – all I would say is the – what you would do with a piece of paper and designing, that’s not the sort of thing that the Joint Plan of Action – the Joint Plan of Action talks about research and development,” the US official said, without elaborating about whether or not designing new technology would be regulated. Didn’t sound particularly strong and confident to me.
As one official said in the call, “the deal is they can continue what they’ve been doing, but they can’t go beyond that.”
That might sound ok, until you realize the Iranians were getting better and better at what they did and were inching towards the nuclear threshold. While it’s true the nuclear deal does require the Iranians to take apart some of the set-up which was developing higher grade nuclear fuel—a key step toward nuclear weapons—allowing Iran to keep improving the devices that could someday get them there just buys them time to prepare for when the deal expires. They’ll be even better off then than they are now. Will we?
It’s a scary thought, to think that the West did surrender to Iran in this deal. Scarier still to think about what that surrender might look like if Iran takes advantage of this nuclear arrangement.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, January 15, 2014)