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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Saturday, September 23, 2017

Will President Donald Trump, yet again, verify that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear agreement it made in 2015 with world powers?

While running for president, Trump heavily criticized then-president Barack Obama for making such a flawed deal, yet has bowed to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the State Department twice certifying (as required by law every 90 days) that Iran is in compliance with the agreement.

The next certification must be made in October, but, as former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton argues, there is no need to wait until October to abrogate the deal.

That Iran is in non-compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal is a given. As outlined by Fred Fleitz, a national security expert who spent 25 years working for the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the State Department and the House Intelligence Committee, Iran is in non-compliance in four ways:

Operating more advanced uranium-enrichment centrifuges than is permitted and announcing the capability to initiate mass production of centrifuges

Exceeding limits on production and storage of heavy water, a substance needed to operate plutonium-producing heavy-water nuclear reactors

Covertly procuring nuclear and missile technology outside of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA-) approved channels

Refusing to allow IAEA inspectors access to nuclear-research and military facilities.

Bolton rightly points out that under the Ian Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, the president must certify (among other points) that:

Iran is transparently and fully implementing the agreement

Iran has not committed a material breach of the agreement (or at least has corrected such a breach if made)

Iran is not engaging in activities that could significantly advance its nuclear weapons program

The agreement is vital to the national security interests of the United States.

It is this last point that Bolton concentrates on in his recently-published proposal called Abrogating the Iran Deal: The Way Forward.

In the plan, Bolton puts forth a powerful case that continuation of the agreement is most definitely not in the national security interests – if it ever was.

Bolton advises that, through a national and international educational and diplomatic campaign, the U.S. must take the lead in explaining why this deal is a threat to the U.S. and all its allies.

Bolton writes that the campaign must stress the dangerous concessions that were made to reach the deal, not only allowing Iran to enrich uranium and operate a heavy-water reactor but also allowing the world’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism to develop advanced centrifuges.

In addition, the agreement, which is heavily imbalanced to the benefit of Iran, also contains inadequate verification and enforcement mechanisms as seen by Iran’s refusal to allow inspection of its military sites.

Bolton continues, saying, “We must also highlight Iran’s unacceptable behavior, such as its role as the world’s central banker for international terrorism, including its directions and control over Hezbollah and its actions in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. The reasons Ronald Reagan named Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1984 remain fully applicable today.”

Along with such a global campaign to discredit the agreement, Bolton says the U.S. must lead the way in creating a new coalition to replace the one which ended up rubber stamping the current flawed agreement. From this coalition, suggestions should be garnered to impose new sanctions on Iran in response to its nuclear and ballistic missile program, its sponsorship of terrorism and its “belligerent meddling in Iraq and Syria.”

In addition, Bolton recommends the U.S. impose unilateral sanctions on Iran “outside the framework of the Security Council Resolution 2231 so that Iran’s defenders cannot water them down.”

Bolton’s plan includes other concrete suggestions for putting the terrorist “genie” that is Iran back in its bottle, including:

Ending all landing and docking rights for all Iranian aircraft and ships at key allied ports

Ending all visas for Iranians, including so called “scholarly,” student, sports or other exchanges

Demanding payment with a set deadline on outstanding U.S. federal-court judgments against Iran for terrorism, including 9/11

Announcing U.S. support for the democratic Iranian opposition

Expediting delivery of bunker-buster bombs

Announcing U.S. support for Kurdish national aspirations, including Kurds in Iran, Iraq and Syria

Providing assistance to Balochis, Khuzestan Arabs, Kurds and others as well as to internal resistance movements within labor unions, students and women’s groups

Actively organizing opposition to Iranian political objectives in the U.N.

President Trump would be wise to listen to Bolton’s suggestions and stop enabling the extremist and dangerous Iranian regime to wreak havoc throughout the world. 

By: Meira Svirsky
(Clarion Project)