In his November 13 article for Gatestone Institute, Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, political scientists and Harvard University scholar, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East writes:
▪ President Obama is ignoring Iran's latest violations, and the UN and IAEA reports as well.
▪In fact, the administration, and State Department spokesman Mark Toner, are defending Iran on this issue, and appear willing to give critical concessions to Iran in the next round of talks in Baghdad this week.
▪In other words, Iranian leaders would be capable of more freely continuing their nuclear ambition without probing from the IAEA or the international community.
▪Iran has not yet allowed the IAEA "probes of various high-profile Iranian sites. The International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano is investigating whether Tehran has secretly worked on developing nuclear weapons.
▪Although the nuclear agreement heavily favors Iran and the main UN Security Council sanctions against Iran have already been lifted, Tehran continues to cheat and violate the terms of this weak nuclear pact.
▪Turning a blind eye to Iran's violations will only further empower and embolden Tehran to pursue its nuclear and hegemonic ambitions; ignore UN resolutions and international laws; scuttle US foreign policy objectives, and damage security interests.
One of the terms of the JCPOA accord,which Iran never signed, and so never had any legal legitimacy, is that Iran should restrict the amount of specific nuclear materials it possesses during the nuclear deal.
As reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran violated the nuclear deal by holding more heavy water than it is supposed to have. Heavy water is used to produce nuclear weapons.
This is the second time Iran violated the terms with no consequences. In February 2016, it exceeded its threshold for heavy water. In a previous article, other violations and reports of Iran's recent cheating and breaches of the nuclear agreement are laid out, Dr. Rafizadeh, says.
U.S. President Barack Obama is ignoring the latest violations, and the UN and IAEA reports. In fact, State Department spokesman Mark Toner, is defending Iran on this issue, saying that Iran didn’t try to hide the fact, and Is offloading the surplus soon. Dr. Rafizadeh says they appear willing to give critical concessions to Iran in the next round of talks in Baghdad this week.
Meanwhile, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano is investigating whether Tehran has secretly worked on developing nuclear weapons.
The head of the UN nuclear agency, Amano, pointed out that "I really think this is the right time to reach agreement." However, the IAEA and President Obama appear more than willing to close this investigation.
But, closing the investigation “means that there would be no monitoring of Iran's nuclear research and development, or of Iran's nuclear facilities, which have long been suspected of being used to develop nuclear weapons. In other words, Iranian leaders would be capable of more freely continuing their nuclear ambitions without probing from the IAEA or the international community,” says Dr. Rafizadeh.
Dr. Rafizadeh says that “The closure of this case will also strengthen the hold on power of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the senior cadre of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and Iran's intelligence agencies,” and that, “This is all happening while Iran has not yet allowed the IAEA probes of various high-profile Iranian sites, including the Parchin military complex southeast of Tehran, where the agency believes Iran in 2003 ran explosive tests needed to set off a nuclear charge. The suspected blasts took place inside a pressure chamber. Iran has never said whether the chamber existed, but describes Parchin as a conventional military site. Iran, however, has blocked IAEA inspection requests for more than four years. A deal on Parchin could give Iran some leverage going into the Baghdad talks".
In addition, Dr. Rafizadeh worries that “the success of this mission in closing the investigation means that Iran's position will be significantly strengthened against the six world powers (known as P5+1: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; plus Germany) in the next round of meetings, in Baghdad.”
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, said after arriving in Baghdad late Monday, "We had an agreement in Istanbul. That is the basis for the beginning of a new cooperation. We hope that the talks in Baghdad will be a kind of dialogue that will give shape to such cooperation.”
“Such an agreement means that despite Iran's significant clandestine nuclear activities and violations, the world powers would be announcing the nonsense that Iran's nuclear program is officially a civilian, not a military one, and that Iran's nuclear program is built for supplying power and medical applications, not developing nuclear weapons,” writes Dr. Rafizadeh, and further, “More importantly, it is unfathomable that despite significant evidence of Iran's clandestine activities over the last decade, and despite many revelations of Iran's secret nuclear activities which were not detected by the IAEA, the IAEA and world powers, in addition to giving more concessions to Tehran, appear willing to reach a fictional agreement that Iran never even desired to develop nuclear weapons.”
An agreement in Baghdad means the remaining sanctions on some sectors of Iran's oil industry and Iranian high-level officials will be lifted. This allows Iran to easily to use the international banking system and there will be no restrictions on, or investigations of, Iran's high-profile officials who are (or were) engaged in nuclear or non-nuclear violations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned against concessions, saying that the P5+1 should make "clear and unequivocal demands" that Iran halt all of its nuclear activities. Speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, he added, ”Iran wants to destroy Israel and it is developing nuclear weapons to fulfill that goal... Against this malicious intention, leading world powers need to display determination and not weakness. They should not make any concessions to Iran.”
Dr. Rafizadeh warns, “Although the nuclear agreement heavily favors Iran, and the main UN Security Council sanctions against Iran have already been lifted, Tehran continues to cheat and violate the terms of this weak nuclear pact. Turning a blind eye -- by President Obama and other organizations and powers -- to Iran's violations will only further empower and embolden Tehran and its Revolutionary Guards to pursue their nuclear and hegemonic ambitions; ignore UN resolutions and international laws; scuttle US foreign policy objectives, and damage security interests.”