Pathetic and Disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal Formally Adopted
The Obama administration began implementing its landmark nuclear agreement with Iran with an eye toward lifting expansive sanctions imposed on Tehran in the past decade.
Concerns from opponents of the deal continued to grow, however, as senior administration officials during the weekend played down the importance of a United Nations probe into whether Tehran has attempted to secretly develop the technologies needed to build atomic weapons.
The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, is committed under the deal to release a report by year-end about the status of Iran’s alleged weaponization work. U.S. officials over the weekend said the IAEA report would have no bearing on moves by the international community to lift sanctions.
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“That final assessment, which the IAEA is aiming to complete by December 15th, is not a prerequisite for implementation day,” a senior U.S. official said Saturday. “We are not in a position to evaluate the quality…of the data. That is between Iran and the IAEA.”
Secretary of State John Kerry and other U.S. officials had previously said sanctions wouldn’t be lifted unless Iran substantively cooperated with the U.N. probe.
The shifting U.S. position is stoking criticism from Republicans, who say the White House is essentially agreeing to whitewash the weaponization issue. They also charged Iran with growing more belligerent since the July nuclear agreement, with Tehran testing a ballistic missile this month and convicting a Washington Post journalist of espionage.
“In a key test of its commitment to the nuclear agreement, Iran has given minimum cooperation to international inspectors attempting to determine the extent of Iran’s past bomb work,” said Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “If this is what the last 90 days look like, the next few years look like a disaster.”
President Barack Obama said that Sunday marked an important milestone toward preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and ensuring its nuclear program is peaceful. He said the U.S. will closely monitor Iran’s adherence to the commitments it made in Vienna.
“We, together with our partners, must now focus on the critical work of fully implementing this comprehensive resolution that addresses our concerns over Iran’s nuclear program,” he said.
Steps announced Sunday by the U.S. and its negotiating partners to move ahead on what has come to be known as “adoption day” are intended to show a readiness for sanctions relief if Iran begins scaling back its nuclear infrastructure.
That relief will only begin on “implementation day,” when the IAEA certifies Iran has lived up to its commitments to curb its nuclear program.
Mr. Kerry said in a statement Sunday that adopting the deal marks “a critical first step in the
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