By Sam Fishman
The recently signed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran is simply baffling.
The Obama administration continues to live in some kind of false reality where the Iranian regime can magically change its extreme and violent ideologies. The deal reached in Vienna has frightening implications not just for Israel, but for the entire region.
Someone can write an entire book about the faults inside this deal, ranging from the lifting of the U.N. arms embargoto the lack of “anytime, anywhere” inspections. However, I would like to note a few of the unfathomable concessions made in this agreement between six world powers and Iran.
Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. It gives billions of dollars to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who uses chemical weapons to murder his citizens. It funds terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen.
Yet the agreement will give Iran a gift card worth hundreds of billions of dollars to spend on the terrorist organizations of its choice.
A 2010 U.N. arms embargo, which covered conventional weapons such as airplanes and tanks, will now be lifted within five years. This concession is almost comical. The issue was brought to the negotiating table just a week ago with the support of China and Russia, which both are interested in the possibility of a new weapons market in Iran.
The lifting of the embargo will permit Iran to continue its quest to become a hegemonic powerhouse via proxy armies like Hezbollah and the Houthis.
Also, “anytime, anywhere” inspections were considered to be one of the main sticking points of the final agreement. Now, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, will have serious restrictions when attempting to conduct inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities.
In the JCPOA, if the IAEA becomes suspicious of unreported nuclear activities, it can request clarification from the Iranians. If the IAEA does not feel satisfied with the clarification, it can request access to the nuclear site. Iran, however, has 14 days after the IAEA’s initial inquiry to resolve the concerns.
If there is no consensus after two weeks, the Joint Commission, which includes all of the signatory nations and Iran, has another week to advise “on the necessary means to resolve the IAEA’s concerns.” After the extra week, Iran has yet another three days to use “necessary means” to resolve the dispute.
If you have been counting, that is 24 days from the time the IAEA suspects something until the time it gains access to the site. It doesn’t quite sound like “anytime” to me.
Luckily, there is one remaining hope to kill this deal before it is too late. Because of the Corker-Menendez Act, Congress has the ability to vote in disapproval of the deal and to prohibit the lifting of the U.S. sanctions on Iran. The president has said he will veto any vote of disapproval, so a two-thirds vote in both houses will be necessary to destroy the deal.
The crucial votes will come down to high-ranking moderate Democrats like Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland. Political pundits are predicting that the 67 votes necessary in the Senate are feasible, but the 290 votes in the House will be more difficult.
Therefore, I urge you to call all of your elected representatives in D.C. to vote against this deal. It does not matter whether you consider yourself conservative or liberal, hawk or dove. If you care about Israel and if you care about global stability, you will join me and the rest of the pro-Israel community in fighting this catastrophic agreement, an agreement that was made with the purpose to boost a legacy, not to provide security.