The Iranian regime's sham conviction of an American journalist today -- reportedly a maneuver designed to help precipitate a prisoner exchange -- comes on the heels of yet another egregious provocation. The New York Times reports:
Iran tested a new guided long-range ballistic missile on Sunday, hours before Parliament, in a rowdy session, approved the generalities of the nuclear agreement reached in July between Iran and world powers, the state news agency IRNA reported. The missile launch may have violated the terms of the agreement, reached in Vienna with six world powers. According to some readings of the deal, it placed restrictions on Iran’s ambitious missile program. Experts have been debating the interpretation of a United Nations Security Council resolution, adopted a few days after the accord was agreed upon, that bars Iran from developing missiles “designed to carry nuclear warheads.”
Who's to say, really? After all, our Secretary of State already handed out a preemptive hall pass to Tehran, signaling that the regime could violate certain elements of the deal without nullifying the entire agreement. The pact supposedly maintained restrictions on Iran's rogue ballistic program for a number of years (phasing them out at all was a shocking concession), a timetable the regime appears to be aggressively ignoring. These advanced missiles are said to have a range of 800 miles; this further endangers Israel, whose leader's strenuous opposition to Obama's deal has been cast as racist by Susan Rice. Another sad detail of the Times story:
Also on Sunday, members of Parliament voted in favor of a bill approving the generalities of the nuclear agreement, but they had been denied information on its details. State television broadcast the session using only audio and archived images of Parliament...The bill allows the government to stop carrying out the nuclear agreement if the six world powers fail to lift sanctions.
Even Iran's so-called "representatives" held an up-or-down vote on this agreement, even if the outcome was preordained and/or toothless. Meanwhile, back in our actual constitutional republic, Senate Democrats obstructed any Congressional vote on this enormously consequential international accord -- about which many of them have purported to harbor serious reservations -- for the sole purpose of sparing President Obama the political humiliation of rejecting Congress' strong, bipartisan verdict on the matter. It appears as though the Iranian regime made, ahem, "common cause" with the Obama administration by withholding details of the pact from legislators, which represents a violation of US law. The Iran nuclear deal crosses multiple American red lines, pumps roughly $150 billion in sanctions relief into Iran's beleagured economy, extracts no significant concessions from the regime, and virtually guarantees that Iran will be an internationally-blessed threshold nuclear state within 10 to 15 years. And that's if they don't cheat. Which it appears they're already doing, as they so often have, with impunity. The administration has reportedly shirked its sanctions-enforcement duties against Iran for two years, and will undoubtedly ignore credibly claims that lifting certain sanctions under the agreement's terms would violate another federal law signed by this president in 2012. For what it's worth, the 2016 attack ads have already started flying: