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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Robert Einhorn, "Deterring an Iranian Nuclear Breakout": Ignoring Parchin, ICBM Development and Human Rights Abuses

Yesterday, in an editorial entitled "An Emerging Nuclear Deal With Iran," The New York Times claimed that "Iran’s major nuclear installations are already monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency and watched by the United States." Iran, however, is refusing access to the Parchin military base outside Tehran. I informed Andrew Rosenthal of The Times of this "error" by email, but he didn't bother responding.

Today, Robert Einhorn, serves up more nonsense in a New York Times op-ed entitled "Deterring an Iranian Nuclear Breakout," also intended to persuade us to accept Obama's pending deal with Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei. Einhorn, who, according the op-ed, is "a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution" and "served on the U.S. delegation to the Iran nuclear negotiations from 2009 to 2013," writes:

"Fortunately, even if an agreement cannot eliminate Iran’s capability to enrich uranium to weapons grade, it can prevent Iran from exercising that capability. It can do so by deterring Iran’s leaders from making the decision to break out of the agreement and produce nuclear weapons. To deter such a decision, a deal should meet three requirements.

First, it should have rigorous monitoring measures to convince Iran that any attempt to violate and break out of the agreement at either declared or covert sites would be detected very quickly. This would require intrusive verification provisions that go beyond the measures contained in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s additional protocol, including frequent access to centrifuge production facilities, detailed reporting of nuclear-related procurement and robust inspection procedures."

Ah, yes, "the rigorous monitoring measures." However, as reported by the IAEA last Thursday, the agency "remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile." And meanwhile, Iran continues to bar the IAEA from inspecting the Parchin military base outside of Iran.

Is Einhorn naive enough to believe that the Iranians will not attempt to circumvent "monitoring measures" and thereby reduce break out time to months or even days? And then, who is going to stop them if they do this? Obama, already famous for his "red line" warning with regard to the use of chemical weapons against civilians by Assad? I don't think so.

Einhorn continues:

"One alternative is to try to ratchet up sanctions dramatically in the hope of pressuring Iran to make concessions it has been unwilling to make. But it may be very difficult to persuade states that have supported sanctions at considerable cost to themselves to adopt much tougher measures, especially if Iran is successful in portraying itself as not to blame for the negotiating impasse. And even if the United States could persuade others to adopt stronger sanctions, it is questionable whether they would produce the desired Iranian flexibility, given Iran’s ability so far to withstand punishing sanctions and the repeated assertions by the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that Iran can make do economically without an agreement."

"Iran’s ability so far to withstand punishing sanctions"? This is pure rubbish. With Iran on its knees in 2012, Obama eased the sanctions in order to bring Khamenei to the negotiating table. Now, with the dramatic decline in oil prices over recent months, reinstatement of the sanctions (if this can still be done after Obama let the genie out of the bottle) would severely destabilize the Iranian economy.

"[R]epeated assertions by the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that Iran can make do economically without an agreement"? Khamenei is also repeatedly calling for the annihilation of Israel, but I suppose Einhorn believes that these declarations should be ignored.

In a must-read Washington Post opinion piece entitled "The fatal flaw in the Iran deal," Charles Krauthammer observes today:

"News leaked Monday of the elements of a 'sunset clause.' President Obama had accepted the Iranian demand that any restrictions on its program be time-limited. After which, the mullahs can crank up their nuclear program at will and produce as much enriched uranium as they want.

. . . .

Meanwhile, Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program is subject to no restrictions at all. It’s not even part of these negotiations."

Apparently, Obama is gambling that Khamenei will not attempt a covert break out under his watch, which ends in two years. From 2017, it becomes someone else's mess. And then, just maybe, Khamenei, who is ill with cancer, might be replaced by someone more "moderate." But given that Iran stones to death women accused of adultery, hangs homosexuals, persecutes Baha'is, oppresses Kurds, abuses Sunni Muslims, and brutally quashes political opposition, this is a gamble that no rational person would accept.

1 comment:

  1. "Yesterday, in an editorial entitled "An Emerging Nuclear Deal With Iran,'The New York Times claimed that "Iran’s major nuclear installations are already monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency and watched by the United States"
    The New York Times? The New York Times? Sounds familiar ... Ah, I remember now. In this paper Walter Duranty CLAIMED that Stalin's Soviet Union was paradise .. during the famine which cost millions of lives.
    The New York Times? The New York Times? I remember again... This is a paper which claimed that there was no Holocaust in Hitler's Europe.
    So, now the New York Times is claiming again ..... I am scared ...

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