Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs: Iran deal a ‘huge blunder’

International negotiations onIranian Nuclear Program in March, 2015. Credit: U.S. Department of State via Wikimedia Commons.

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) issued a warning Friday that the deal reached between P5+1 nations and Iran earlier this week is "a huge blunder by [President Barack] Obama and our international partners."

JINSA officials spoke to the public and the media about the agreement in a conference call titled "The Iran Deal: Details and Consequences." The group expressed concern that the deal will bolster not only Iran's regional terror activities, but also its overall defense budget. The same points were echoed in an editorial by JINSA CEO Dr. Michael Makovsky on July 17.

In the short term, the deal will facilitate "a huge boost to the Iranian position" in the Middle East, said Makovsky. 

As summarized by the BBC, according to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran will cease producing weapons-grade plutonium at Arak and send out spent fuel outside of the country. The Fordow facility will cease enriching uranium altogether and convert to a nuclear, physics, and technology center, in which the limited number of nuclear centrifuges that will still be allowed will be used for non-military purposes such as science and medicine.

At Natanz, Iran is committing not to install more than 5,060 of its oldest and least efficient centrifuges for 10 years. Iran will be allowed to conduct uranium enrichment research and development activities at Natanz for eight years.

In the long term, despite the limitations imposed by the deal, Iran may still acquire the capability to make a nuclear bomb, because over the course of the duration of the deal, "even if [the Iranians] adhere to the deal and there's no cheating," Iran will still be able to have a robust R&D (research and development) program with international legitimacy, Makovsky said. In addition, the deal does not force the Islamic Republic to relinquish its ballistic missile program.

Jonathan Ruhe, associate director of the Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy, explained on the conference call that the fate of the nuclear issue is ultimately "contingent on Iran complying [with the deal] and on Iranian non-compliance being detected." 

Detection may not be possible because the deal does not contain an "anytime, anywhere" inspection clause. Instead, the deal's text specifies a 24-day arbitration process that international inspectors will need to go through in order to access suspicious Iranian facilities.

When it comes to the the gradual elimination of the economic sanctions currently placed on the Islamic Republic, there are apparently no options for the sanctions to be re-implemented if Iran is found to be violating the deal. Instead, the deal states that any new international business contracts that Iran takes on during the course of the deal's lifetime will be exempt from being re-sanctioned. 

"Could [the Iranians] really be deterred [from producing nuclear weapons] if they have little to fear in terms of economic repercussions?" Ruhe asked.

One of the biggest consequences of the deal, according to Makovsky, is that it may release a "nuclear contagion" in the region, with countries such as Saudi Arabia choosing to pursue their own nuclear programs. 

"The ultimate solution [to the nuclear threat] is the downfall of this [Iranian] regime," yet the deal "will solidify it," added Makovsky.


Posted on July 17, 2015 .