Iran Agreement Paper
The Iran Agreement
In designing agreements with the former Soviet Union, my former boss, President Ronald Reagan, famously admonished us to “trust, but verify.” The Obama Administration, however, is attempting to impose upon the American people a deal with Iran that is based only on misguided trust and is apparently devoid of meaningful verification. In fact, since a significant side agreement to the proposed agreement has not been presented to either Congress or the American people, and the few leaks in the press indicate that this side agreement allows verification by self-inspection, it raises the question of whether we can even trust our own leadership to fully describe the terms. Therefore, I oppose this agreement.
From my over 40 years of experience in developing policy positions and making resource allocation decisions on military and international affairs, including several years as President Reagan’s Deputy Undersecretary of the Army, I have learned a lot. I know that international agreements do not work when they include no adequate verification mechanisms. There are plenty of examples, but the most recent relates to the 2013 agreement with Syria to relinquish their entire stockpile of chemical warfare material for the United States to destroy at our taxpayers’ expense. It is believed that ISIL has acquired the mustard gas they have increasingly used in recent weeks from chemical weapons stocks retained by the Syrian regime. This is an extremely serious violation that may have grave consequences for regional security.
My opposition to the treaty is based on several factors:
(1) Agreements are reliable only if they codify mutual interests. In this case the restriction on Iran’s pursuit of nuclear capability is only a U.S. interest – not an Iran interest. This agreement has been drafted because the current Administration wants a deal for the sake of a deal. Iran remains a nation hostile to the United States and the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. History has proved it cannot be trusted.
(2) It is not the U.S. role to help Iran. Yet this deal does precisely that. Through this agreement, we would allow Iran to receive more than $100 B over the next decade. This economic influx and the other provisions would enable Iran to continue research and development in their nuclear program over the next decade. We would also lift the embargos that have so far prevented them from developing a usable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
(3) The inspection regime is insufficient to ensure Iran cannot cheat and surreptitiously develop nuclear weapons, despite President Obama’s public assertion that the deal would subject Iran to the toughest verification and inspections in the world. The agreement falls far short of providing “anytime, anywhere” inspections. Some areas are immune from any inspections and, moreover, the agreement gives Iran the ability to delay inspections for more than 3 weeks. Plenty of time to remove and hide material it does not want discovered.
(4) While these provisions are extremely disturbing, equally disturbing are the so-called “side agreements” reached between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran. Our Congress is actually being prevented from knowing the content of these side agreements. IAEA head Amano Yukiya has said that IAEA will not turn over the documents on side deals to the U.S. Congress. The Administration appears to be following Congresswoman Pelosi’s historic approach to Obamacare that Congress must pass a bill before it can know what is in the bill. No responsible Congress should bind the American people to a deal that it has not fully viewed.
We are talking about deadly weapons that can wipe out Israel and other U.S. allies and potentially be used against the United States. Congress should not bind the American people blindly to unknown side agreements made between foreign entities. For a legislator to support an agreement that he or she is prevented from viewing all details on, an agreement that could put the United States and our allies at the very real risk of destruction, would be a serious mistake.
I sincerely hope that the Congress recognizes these defects and strongly opposes the agreement.