The recent and ongoing actions of the Iranian leadership could easily lead you to believe they don’t want the U.S. Congress to approve the nuclear deal. It may seem counterintuitive, but there are a number of plausible reasons this might make sense to the Iranians.
First, the Iranians attained almost every concession they wanted in negotiations such as removing sanctions and a clear path to removal of the embargo on conventional weapons and even ballistic missiles when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was approved by the United Nations Security Council. The line at the Iranian Minister of Commerce’s office is very long as companies from around the world jockey for a piece of the action in the newly opened Iranian market.
Second, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is already working to inspect and certify that the Iranian nuclear program has no military component and they will do so shortly. This might seem at odds with the Obama administration’s tales of a rock solid inspection regime that would be the envy of any Marine Drill Instructor. But, the Iranians are not on board with that intrusive inspections plan according to a top adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Ali Akar Velayati, on Al Jazeera on July 31.
“Regardless of how the P5+1 countries interpret the nuclear agreement, their entry into our military sites is absolutely forbidden.”
The IAEA is required to submit their report based on inspections they actually conduct. If they cannot even go to the military sites where Iran’s military components are located, they will have to certify they found no evidence of them. That certification is the trigger for the removal of sanctions on military arms and ballistic missiles. You can bet Iran has a shopping list of death and destruction ready when that happens.
Third, and speaking of shopping trips,
General Qassem Suleimani, head of Iran’s al Qods Force took a recent trip to Russia despite a travel
ban by the UN due to his confirmed terrorist activities.
Gen. Suleimani was a frequent visitor to Iraq while the U.S. was fighting Operation Iraqi Freedom. He supplied rockets, explosively formed projectiles and other tools of war to Shia militias who used them to kill more than 500 American troops. Sending
Gen. Suleimani to Russia, likely to discuss Iran’s imminent weaponry purchases, while the U.S. Congress is still actively considering whether to approve the nuclear deal, is blatant disrespect by the Iranian regime.
Fourth, Supreme Leader Khamenei, who has the final say on this deal and all matters of state, has been ramping up his pronouncements of Death to America and Israel. He even released a book called Palestine (exclusive excerpts translated here) that collects all of his best speeches on the destruction of Israel and the United States. Ayatollah Khamenei has also been identified by one of his top as opposing the deal in a major Iranian newspaper. If he says no deal, there is no deal.
Fifth, Iran still considers the United States the Great Satan: no amount of diplomatic tea-sipping or signing bonus cash from this deal has changed that fact.
The deal was enshrined at the United Nations and Iran now rejoins the community of nations. With that accomplished, they can brag they dominated the U.S. at the negotiating table; take their winnings and cash out via lifted UN sanctions; and, hang President Obama out to dry by actions demonstrating they cannot, and never could be, trusted.
Congress should vote “No” on the JCPOA due to its complete failure to accomplish any of the goals the president claimed for it. A legitimized Iranian nuclear weapons greatly increases the likelihood of war in the Middle East. The Saudis, United Arab Emirates and other Gulf Arab states won’t sit idly by and let their enemy, the Iranians, amass this catastrophic capability. They will also pursue nuclear weapons to protect themselves from a nuclear-armed Iran: The Deal is a surer path to war than the status quo.
The really painful part of this could be that the Mullahs got everything they needed or even wanted; and managed to diminish the United States even more in the process. The P5(+1) got empty promises; a basically intact Iranian nuclear enrichment program they can’t legitimately inspect; and secret side deals they can’t even read. President Obama believed showing the hand of friendship to this sworn enemy during the negotiating process would change their worldview. He was wrong and the Mullahs are laughing: