The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—better known as the Iran nuclear deal—was officially adopted Sunday, Oct. 18. That’s nine days ago. It’s already a dead letter.
Not that you would have noticed by reading the news or tuning in to State Department or White House briefings. It’s too embarrassing to an administration that has invested all of its diplomatic capital in the deal. Also, too inconvenient to the commodity investors, second-tier banks, European multinationals and everyone else who wants a piece of the Iranian market and couldn’t care less whether Tehran honors its nuclear bargain.
Yet here we are. Iran is testing the agreement, reinterpreting it, tearing it up line by line. For the U.S.—or at least our next president—the lesson should be clear: When you sign a garbage agreement, you get a garbage outcome.
Earlier this month Iran test-fired a new-generation ballistic missile, called Emad, with an estimated 1,000-mile range and a 1,600-pound payload. Its only practical military use is to deliver a nuclear warhead. The test was a bald violation of the Security Council’s Resolution 2231, adopted unanimously in July, in which “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons” for at least eight years.
|Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, |
Sept. 9. Photo: SUPREME LEADER OFFICE/EPA
Then Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei weighed in on the nuclear deal by way of a public letter to President Hassan Rouhani. “The behavior and words of the U.S. government in the nuclear issue and its prolonged and boring negotiations,” he wrote, “showed that [the nuclear issue] was also another link in their chain of hostile enmity with the Islamic Republic.”
The Supreme Leader’s comments on the nuclear deal have been billed by some reporters as a cautious endorsement of the agreement. Not exactly. They are a unilateral renegotiation of the entire deal, stipulating that the U.S. and everyone else must accept his rewrite—or else.
The best analysis of Mr. Khamenei’s demands comes from Yigal Carmon and Ayelet Savyon of the Middle East Media Research Institute. Demand One: The U.S. and Europe must completely lift, rather than temporarily suspend, their economic sanctions, putting an end to any possibility that penalties could “snap back” in the event of Iran’s noncompliance. Demand Two: Sanctions against Iran for its support of terrorism and its human-rights abuses must also go, never mind the Obama administration’s insistence that it will continue to punish Iran for its behavior.Read the rest of this WSJ piece HERE.
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