Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Nuclear Deal with Iran and 2016 Presidential Campaign: Investing in America’s National Interest without apologies to any other nation?

Keywords or Terms: Negotiated Nuclear Deal; P5+1+EU; Multilateral versus Bilateral Agreement Deal; Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; US, Britain, Germany, France, Russian and China; President Barack Obama; Supervised Inspections of Nuclear sites and research labs; Iranian Nuclear Research; International Nuclear Status Monitoring and Sanctions; International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Generalized views of Negotiation’s Provisions; State of Israel; Interest-threat mismatch; USA; Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu; 2016 Presidential Hopefuls; Republicans; Holding brief for an imagined impending nuclear catastrophe; Making enforcement of the provisions in the deal a priority to ensure success: Preventing Iran from Obtaining Nuclear Weapons.

Investing in America’s National Interest is nothing to be apologetic about; or, criticized just to satisfy the ambitions of an ally or supposed, friendly nation. Why bother or lose some sleep over a negotiated Nuclear Deal with Iran, which the only Jewish State known to man, does not believe the United States has a right to go into accord with to resolve a long-standing menace for the whole world. In concert with five other nations, America entered an internationally negotiated nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran to halt and prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and to ensure that Iran is not playing piker-boo or grandstanding anymore. America remains in perpetuity all sanctions and punitive restraints, allowing the negotiated partners and America to call into order Iran, in case that nation violates conditions of the agreement. Further, America and its partners can reinstate all the former and current sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons at any time, after a minimum of ten and maximum of fifteen years henceforth; including stipulations in the provisions that: 1) there would be continuous and supervised inspections of Iranian nuclear centrifuges, military industrial complex and nuclear research sites; 2) the inspection and verification of Iranian’s nuclear centrifuges storage and research sites are going to be random and may be enforced with an accelerated 20-day notice in case of suspected violation of the agreement; 3) Iranian’s obligations and commitments to the negotiating partners and the world, not to proliferate, is intact, sustained and made permanent under the deal; and if there is any suspected violation, the punitive sanctions automatically sets in; 4) there are many caviars in place in the agreement to ensure that Iran continue to roll back many advances in its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons; and, 5) hypothetically, if Iran decides in the future to cheat, or openly says, it wants to pursue a nuclear weapon, it would directly and forcefully be told in no uncertain terms that it may not because of prior commitments and obligations under the current deal with the negotiating partners and by default, the world.

Considering the provisions in the current internationally negotiated nuclear deal with Iran, United States or any other partner is not in a weaker position to respond to future threats from Iran to return to its ambition or break out of its obligations under the deal. And interestingly so, Iran will hardly find itself at a break-out point, where it will want to renege on its obligations under the deal, as immediate and future nuclear research activities will be constantly and consistently monitored by the international atomic energy agency (IAEA). The safeguard provisions in the new deal, not only place America at an advantage over any future Iranian’s ambition to acquire the weapon, it places ahead of Iran, any shenanigan that may afford that nation any belated choice to pursue a nuclear program expansion beyond what is known of it as of date. Why then, would this deal put America or her future President(s) in a bind to prevent Iran from obtaining the nuclear weapon or bombs, as advanced by domestic critics of the deal? If the joint comprehensive action plan freezes Iran’s uranium enrichment over 3.67 percent and terminates expansion of its heavy-water facilities, limiting the nation only to its first-generation centrifuges for the next ten years, with a memoranda that other existing facilities be converted, but for proliferation, how come critics continue to suspect the possibility of non-compliance? Is it because of Iran’s past recalcitrance? There is already in place, a verifiable mechanism, one that the United State is much advanced in than any country of the world and which can readily detect any violation of a commitment to the deal from Iran. Even if Iran brakes away from its obligation on this deal, there is still room to hold her responsible for the provisions in the deal, by incapacitating its key nuclear facilities, the Arak IR-40 heavy water reactor, the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant; the Gachin uranium mine and Isfahan uranium-conversion plant; the Parchin military research and development complex; and, the Fordow and Natanz enrichment plant. Why then is the fuss that America is in a worse place after the consummation of the two-year long negotiated deal is signed in Vienna, Austria? To those still apprehensive, the whole world is watching Iran, not only America and IAEA; there are many countries sharing the same conviction that Iran must not acquire the nuclear bomb and there must not be room for a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

For continued critics of the nuclear deal, it is essential and important to realize that: If the twenty-month arduous negotiations with the P5+1+EU and Iran had failed on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran could have readily walked away a rogue nation, independent of whatever pressures or sanctions enabled by the deal, to advance its confirmed nuclear ambition; including proliferation and multiplication of its number of centrifuges and expansion of its military research and development complex. The contextual argument in national security parlance is this, it is better to curtail Iran’s ambition, while keeping a keen eye on its activities, without which, it may be impossible to verify the level of build-up and expansion of its centrifuges, which may be weaponized without us or other partners knowing for sure. To avoid a nuclear arms race, we must manage Iran’s ambition, for it’s probably too late to eradicate the advances already made by Iran on its nuclear research ambition. What the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the nuclear deal, ascertains is this: For the next ten years, Iran is bound from achieving the nuclear weapon; it is going to be closely and gawkily watched by the international community to ensure that Iran is not cheating or working behind closed doors to achieve the nuclear bomb.

Given that America’s domestic politics and presidential campaigns have a way of flowing into foreign policy arrangement of a sitting President, it is important to allay the fears in some quarters that future Presidents of the United States would be handicapped under this nuclear deal. It is safe to acknowledge that America has a right of self-determination just like any other nation of the world; to effect its territorial integrity and protect its national interests under any circumstance. Further, America would pursue a future and imminent action from the State of Iran regarding its nuclear ambition in cooperation with other world powers. Because there is some difference in the generalized views of how the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was completed with Iran, hardly condones the current hoopla over the perceived inadequacy of the deal. For the records, the framework of agreement inculcated international inspections from United States and the European Union and neither Russia nor China could call for stay by individual veto power.

Although part of the recent criticisms, since the announcement of a deal, has a place in domestic politics, foreign policy, and national security narratives, there is hardly any justification to scorn at the agreement as putting America’s safety in jeopardy. Any other thing you hear from critiques of this deal, including those of Republicans holding brief for the state of Israel and those who would want us to believe in an impending nuclear catastrophe from this agreement, are mainly mischievous. Further, the discrediting of the deal by the Prime Minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu, is at best subjective and would hardly bring about a crisis that cannot be averted with our national military capability. In addition, as a nation, we must never put ourselves in a situation where we will be drawn into a war to preserve solely the national interest of Israel. While recognizing the right of the State of Israel to exist and preserve its national interest, these hardly trump America’s interest to enter into negotiations with leading world’s nations to set back surreptitious ambition for nuclear weapons of another nation in the world. This is why the current and past criticisms from Bibi Netanyahu of the deal must be disregarded, including his insistent and unwarranted disregard for the Office of the President of the United States, as they appear to be subjective belligerent noncooperation with the United States on Iran, under any circumstance.

The reality is, six nations went into negotiations with Iran, a potential nuclear rogue nation, each with its own national interest at heart, and came out with a deal, where anyone of the partners, individually and collectively, has an upper hand to rein in Iranian’s nuclear ambition. The deal creates a pathway for America, just like any one of the negotiating partners, to ensure that Iran does not acquire the Nuclear weapon, now or in the future. For those critics of President Barack Obama for reaching this deal in combination with other five leading nations of the world, here is the honest and blunt truth: Israel is not America; and, America is not Israel. Neither is America’s interest completely symptomatic of Israel’s interest.  No matter how America attempts to protect Israel’s right of existence; it must not be done at the complete expense of America’s national interest; else there comes a time of reckoning, where America finds itself lost under the premise interest of Israel. The realist’s paradigm suggests that America’s military power or might, may be used to protect an ally or discourage any of its enemies, depending on the circumstance; however, it is never to be substituted for America’s national interest. The implication has been relevant since the Cold war and the beginning of interest threat mismatch between Israel and America on Iran. This also is hardly Germaine to the current White House, as Israel has been known to go its way under other US Presidency, including spying on us.

In the twenty month negotiated deal reached with Iran along with US, Britain, Germany, France, Russian and China, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, reassures the International Community that Iran will not progressively continue to work towards a nuclear weapon. While the possibility of continuing with peaceful nuclear research work is part of this deference to Iran, there is the legitimacy that the use of force is still available to any of these six nations to affect their national interest if Iran defies its obligations under the agreement, beginning with the return of all former sanctions and restrictions against Iran. Interestingly, the current spate of 2016 Republican presidential candidates have rushed to condemn the agreement without reading the one-hundred and fifty page missive completely; with Senator Marco Rubio saying to the press, failure of the President to obtain congressional support will tell the Iranians that this is Barack Obama’s deal, not an agreement with lasting support from the United States; with Governor Jeb Bush visualizing the deal as dangerous, deeply flawed and short-sighted; with Governor Scott Walker admonishing that America needs a president that will terminate the Iran deal, calling on congressional leaders and election rivals to repudiate the agreement; with Senator Ted Cruz  urging the public to campaign against the deal during congressional review period; with Governor Huckabee keeping all options on the table, probably including hostilities; with former Hewlett-Packard CEO saying that on her first day in office, she will call Iranian leaders and say, unless you are prepared to open every nuclear facility and every military facility, anytime, anywhere inspection, not 20-day notice, not all this stuff apparently we agreed to, we are going to make it as hard as possible for you to move money around the global financial system; with Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina insisting the deal is a possible death sentence for Israel; and, former Texas Governor, Rick Perry boasting he will rescind the deal on his first day in office as US President, and do anything in his power to work with US Senate to oppose the deal, among others. As fanciful and probably eye-popping as these comments are, they unfortunately show a lot of naivety on the part of the 2016 Presidential aspirants. In the first place, like any foreign policy and international negotiator will tell you: rescinding an internationally collectively negotiated agreement will not only damage America’s standing and reputation in the world, it would put a dent in its future relations with other countries, especially the P5+1+EU. The power and influence of a US President have some limitations in the international arena and United Nations, no matter what these presidential aspirants may be spewing out at this moment.

As President Barack Obama reiterated, if the nation does not choose wisely on this deal, future generations would not look very kindly on our position of apprehension. In line with his campaign promise to use the bargaining table rather than the battle field to achieve the objective of solid foreign policy initiatives and or agreements, the President articulates that this deal accomplishes the ultimate national interest: Preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; knowing fully well that this is an unacceptable situation under any scenario. There is another reality that critics must consider, this deal is not a binary agreement; rather, it is a joint agreement, involving some super powers and leading European nations, who are hardly beholding to our national interest. Though some congressional lawmakers may be apprehensive of the deal and probably want the whole agreement scrapped, other countries involved in the negotiations, including two Western permanent members of the Security Council (Britain and France) and two Eastern permanent members (Russia and China) want it; and, are eager to see some of the sanctions come off as they are hardly directly benefiting from them in totality. The deal is here, we all need to make enforcement of its provisions a priority and work within the realm of an agreement to ensure the ultimate goal is accomplished. In case anyone misses the not so obvious situation before the deal, many Americans have very little tolerance for another foreign war and the unrepentant Prime Minister of Israel is not going to gamble going to war with Tehran on its own terms, because of the obvious implication and possible repercussions.  A multilateral deal of this nature guarantees that many countries may effect their will and national interest if Iran becomes an egregious offender, by violating the provisions of the deal.
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