Hearing: Nuclear Agreement with Iran: Can’t Trust, Can We Verify?


By Turki Buyabes

WASHINGTON – Members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs called on witnesses to help determine Iran’s real agenda as although a historical compromise between the US and Iran was reached last month, many members of the committee doubt that they will implement all the agreed terms of the deal to use.

Chairman Edward Royce (CA)  addressed his doubts that Iran will go through with the deal as he talked about news coming from Iran that the Supreme Leader of Iran and Deputy Head of the Revolutionary Guard have said inspectors would not be allowed to enter the county.

“The chants of “Death to America” led by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, is an assertion that Tehran wouldn’t allow international inspectors access to its military facilities. And this weekend, the Deputy Head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps reiterated, “They will not even be permitted to inspect the most normal military site in their dreams,” he said.

He is not confident that the Obama administration will backlash Iran if they were caught tampering with the procedures because Iran were already working behind the United States back.

“If Iran is caught not playing by the rules, will this current administration or the next  be prepared to call them out? I am not confident. Why? Because during the interim negotiations, when Iran was caught testing an advanced supersonic centrifuge, it faced no consequences. To hear the administration explain it, this was probably just the work of a low-level employee who wasn’t acting on orders from above,” he said.

Although the Obama administration said it was just domestic propaganda cementing Iran’s strong will against the “evil” west.

But to Congress it is still an important issue if the Iranian government does not cooperate fully.

“The issue of inspections and verification will determine how Congress accepts or rejects any final agreement. Will inspectors have quick, unimpeded, go-anywhere, anytime access? Who can they interview; what documents can they review; can they take environmental samples? Does the IAEA have the qualified manpower and resources to take this on? Can the framework’s “limited” centrifuge research and development restriction really be verified?” Royce said.

To help answer these questions Chairman Royce bought on three experts of diverse fields to help show Iran’s true agenda with these negotiations.

The Committee called up Mr. Charles Duelfer, who talked about his experience in dealing with Iraq and their WMD as the former head of the UN Special Commission On Iraq. Since Iraq and Iran are geographical neighbors and are in the same situation. He states that since Saddam Hussein got rid a majority of WMDS when he was still in power in order to get out of sanctions implemented by the UN, Iran will follow suit but it would not be smooth.

“In the end, it all comes down the politics. Political leaders will make decisions about how to proceed with the Iranian nuclear program and its other actions. I simply hope that here will not be any false hope about inspection effectiveness. Illusions about the effectiveness should be dispelled. They will be messy at best, and provide false security at worst,” he said.

The Honorable Stephen  Rademaker, a National Security Advisor and former Assistant Secretary of State, elaborated that this negotiation is a huge retreat in U.S. nonproliferation policy and undermines decades of efforts from the Bush to Obama Administration to ensure Iran does not obtain nuclear capabilities. The US is conceding to Iran, which will still give them the capacity to produce nuclear weapons.

“This deal will see Iran being accepted as as a nuclear threshold state and by nuclear weapons threshold state,I do not mean that we’re accepting that Iran will have nuclear weapons, but we are accepting that, after ten years or so, Iran will have the ability to produce nuclear weapons in very short order, within a matter of weeks, or perhaps even days,” he said.

Rademaker said even if they station more American personnel in allied countries who want to follow with their own program, the U.S. will not be able have the same leverage and power they had in keeping Iran at bay all over these years.

“There is every chance that one or more countries in the region especially Saudi Arabia will say “thanks, but we really would rather have our own enrichment capability to match Iran’s.” How do we respond to that? The answer is that we don’t. Having conceded such a capability to Iran, ultimately we are not going to be able to deny it to any other country determined to have it, whether in the Middle East or elsewhere.”

Mr. David Albright, the president of the Institute for Science and International Security added several measures that the U.S. needs to take in order implement the negotiation rules swiftly. He had a more positive outlook on the deal than the other witness who testified.

“ I just want to emphasize that the limits for the first  ten years in the negotiations are not that bad. The real questions is what will happen after those ten years. It should be recognized that the Iranians had to give up a lot in those ten years. I have disappointments that they get to have centrifuge R&D, but it is still limited in those ten years. But nonetheless, with those limitations in place, only the verification issues will affect what will happen in those years.”




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